Pshh, pshh, pshh.
Papers flew hot off the printer, words smudged as the wet ink came into contact with another page.
I shot out and slid across my companions, into the recycling bin below. I watched as more and more pages were printed and a couple followed me into the bin.
Then just as suddenly as it began the printer had ceased and bathed the office in a stunned silence. Until the vibration of a thunderously heavy set of feet came thumping down the hallway, in our direction.
The owner of the feet let out a heavy sigh as they scooped the stack of pages off of the printer and began to rummage through their desk. Eventually, they pulled out a manilla envelope and stuffed the stack of pages inside. With a lick, they sealed the package and began to address it, as they stomped out of the room I read the envelope.
Lacov Publishing Office
123 Lacov St.
My heart sank at the realization they were headed out to mail that package, unaware of the missing pages that sat in the recycling bin with me.
I sighed as I exchanged disappointed glances with my companions. We all shared the fear of what our absence would mean for the foot stomper’s work.
But I wouldn’t find out until several weeks later when our dust-collecting silence was interrupted by an angry grunt and the sudden impact of a crumpled paper as it crashed into our bin.
The crumpled paper unfurled a little so that I could read its contents.
Dear Grayson Silverman,
We regret to inform you that your submission has been rejected for the following reasons:
- The plot seems incomplete, disorganized, disjointed
- Excessive spelling mistakes
- Unreadable content
- The theme is overdone and lacks originality
Although we have to pass on your work for this edition, we're truly grateful that you were kind enough to send it our way. All the best in your future writing. Warm wishes and good luck!
Just as I finished reading the stomping of feet erupted again and was headed toward the office. Then came a crushing blow as something heavy fell into the recycling bin, it’s weight crushed those of us below it.
“It’s the manilla package.” One of my comrades mumbled with an agonized mumble.
Then the thunderous footfalls began again but only made it a short distance away before they returned to stop alongside the bin.
Suddenly the entire recycling bin was upended, and the contents spilled all over the carpeted floor.
A set of hands shuffled through the pile as they began to sort through the scraps, in search of something. They tossed some papers back in the bin but gathered us pages into a pile with the envelope and rejection letter.
The heavy-footed grunter growled in annoyance as they lifted us into their line of vision.
“Son of a-“
Their words were drowned out by the wailing of my companions as they were each crumpled into a ball and tossed aside.
I watched in horror as I awaited the same fate.
I also wailed in agony as I was crumpled and thrown into a pile with my counterparts. Then just when I didn’t think my luck could get any worse, our maimed remains were collected and brought outside by the heavy-footed tyrant.
They tossed us into a hole lined with stone that held several scorched remnants of wood.
Only they knew what was in store for us next as they stomped away and came back moments later to slam the manilla envelope on top of us. Followed by the strangled cries of the rejection letter as the foot stomper ripped it to shreds and then tossed its corpse on top of the pile.
An eery silence fell over the scene as a very distinct fffffffck split the air and a warm sensation began to encompass us. Followed by a foreboding crackling sound and then the cries of my comrades as they one by one perished in the flames and I soon followed suit.