Wanda, the Wicked Writer of the Northwest
From the book Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories
Amazon-Paperback and Kindle, Purchase or read on Kindleunlimited.
by Janelle Meraz Hooper
Wanda never went to the mailbox without her baseball bat. For every rejection she found, she gave the box one whack. Of course, this scared the bats that lived in the box’s belfry silly, but Wanda was always so angry she didn’t notice.
Back inside her house, Wanda meticulously filed away each rejection. The rejected stories about gardening she kept neatly stacked under a leaky flowerpot. The children’s stories she filed in the bottom of her bird’s cage, and the novel rejections she filled at the bottom of her cat’s litter box.
Wanda was especially chagrined at the rejection of her latest 500,000-word novel. What were they thinking? It had a plot and everything! Actually, it had several plots—it was about a gravedigger who was afraid of dirt.
Other stories were rejected because they didn’t follow required format. Format, smormat! So what if the stories weren’t double-spaced? So what if she used the Rave font instead of Times Roman? So what if she didn’t include a SASE? One story was returned because she didn’t put any postage on it. The nerve.
They had to be punished. The whole lot. Publishers. Agents. Newspaper editors. All of them.
The ticked witch went to her kitchen and whipped up a batch of special candy for the rejecters. She’d show them to have a little respect. She filled her black kettle with a recipe of special hard candies that turned into wiggling slugs when they were sucked on. After the candies were wrapped in Halloween paper, she put them into a tote bag and took off for New York. Thanks to her new 300 high-speed broom, she was able to zip in and out of each office without being seen.
Back home, Wanda poured a glass of wine and lit the candle in her Halloween pumpkin. Then she turned on CNN and waited patiently for the story to break. Soon, all over the city there were reports of people in the publishing businesses choking on slugs. Oh, they just choked a little—they didn’t die. And how those slugs loved to sing! When they were spat out, they stood up and sang in a perfect imitation of Aretha Franklin:
R-E-S-P-E-C-T! (Find out what it means to me…take care of TCB!)
Wanda put out the cat and turned out the lights. Tomorrow, she’d start a new novel. This one would be really big.
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© 2007, Janelle Meraz Hooper.
Originally published in Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories
Paperback & eBook
(Illustration for blog only)
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