You can always trust your editor

Fresh Meat! 

Or, if you are vegan and not the carnivore that I am,  Fresh Broccoli!

That’s right, a newbie has strayed into our playground to enter our contest You Didn’t Write That.

Welcome.  Here is

They Told Me, Keep Quiet

by Vincent Pritchard

            When the city woke up that morning, it was greeted by the inky tongues of the newspapers. The tickers at the bottom of morning weather segments slithered their way across the milky surface of morning’s coffee to meet the eyes of a million not-quite-people-yet. The internet calmly spun in its imaginary dominion, distributing an infinite number of data to an infinite number of displays.

And yet, his exposé on the city’s organised crime had shown up in exactly zero places. He stared at the newspaper, where his column should be printed. Instead, there was an advertisement for dog food.

The editor-in-chief feigned surprise when the man burst into his office. “I don’t know what you’re on about,” he said carefully.

“You louse, you didn’t publish it! The entire underground would be exposed once the police find this guy, and you didn’t publish it!”

“Trust me,” said the editor. “You didn’t write that. You never did, and never will.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“I mean,” said the editor, sighing, “you should be careful what you stick your fingers into. Our advertisers have their eyes on you.”

The blood drained from his face. He understood suddenly.



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24 thoughts on “You can always trust your editor

  1. Michael Stang says:

    Seems, Vincent, you are a morning man.  The opening paragraph is a knock dead killer and a great intro into plot and ending.  Fantastic work.  Get comfortable, pull up a chair, make yourself at home, you are going to like it here.

  2. Mac Eagan says:

    First of all, I am a huge fan of third-person narratives.  Not only are they the types of stories I grew up reading, but these days they also go against the status quo.  So, second paragraph “his expose,” I was looking forward to the rest.
    Of course, you already baited me with your illustrious language in the first paragraph.  “Not-quite-people-yet” and ‘the internet’s imaginary domain.’  Wonderful wordsmithing.
    And then, the way you worked the prompt into the story.  Not a hurdle to overcome but an important building block to resolve the conflict of where the newspaper story went.
    Mike Stang says you’re going to like it here.  I want to add I think we are going to like you here.

    • Vincent Pritchard says:

      Thanks, Mac! You guys are such a warm bunch. I’m more of a fan of the third-person as well, even though the two stories I am working on the hardest right now are first-person limited. One is the diary of a maid who thinks the house for which she is working is traitorous to the crown, and one is about a mercenary on the lam who picks up a kid to mentor.
      I expect I will enjoy my stay here, and hope to dazzle you all with the best word-ing I can cobble together from my brain-dust.

  3. diana_SD says:

    Vincent! I take great pleasure and pride in crediting myself with your joining our motley crew.  As usual, it’s a delight to read your work.  Thank you for entering.  Since folks know nothing about you, I’m going to give away a bit and ask you how things are going away over the waters in Japan?  I love your use of the prompt, and my favorite bit of word-crafting is “to meet the eyes of a million not-quite-people-yet.”   I hope you’ll send another entry and visit often.

    • Vincent Pritchard says:

      Diana! I thought I replied to this comment, but I guess I didn’t.
      Japan is treating me with respect, and I her. It’s getting a bit roller-coastery here with the weather, seeing as it’s in the transition season. (We have three seasons, one of which shows up twice.) We have the Hot season, which is trying to be over, the cold season, which lasts for about eight months, and the transitional season, which lasts around two or three days between each of the other two.
      China is not treating Japan very well right now, as the government has prodded Chinese people over in China to start destroying things and beating Japanese nearly to death due to some little tiny territorial debate. Fortunately, Japan is not being nearly as impolite.

  4. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    It is always a mark of a good story when my reaction at the end resembles something to the effect of, “Oh SH*T”…well done =D

  5. Diane Cresswell says:

    You captured me with the first line…such visions I have incurred with your writing…wowzy…you have to be one of us in hiding.  Excellent.

  6. Chalice Divine says:

    Ah the deep intrigues of media, truth, and the bottom line. Make that deadline, collect that fee, and avoid anything that might get you erased like a poor grade. The invasive qualities of media in life has reached machavellian intrigues so lethal, I am amazed that anyone shows up for the acid pen stride. Nice entry:)

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