Dear Editor

by Anatoly Belilovsky

Dear Editor,

Submitted herewith for your kind consideration is “My Little Tale,” a flash piece of 750 words. The author, a SFWA member, hopes you find it suitable for publication in Awesome Stories.

Sincerely,

The Author.

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Dear Editor,

As per your guidelines in which turnaround time of 60 days is stated, I would to respectfully query the status of “My Little Tale,” a flash story of 750 words.

Sincerely,

The Author.

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Dear Editor,

As it has now been six months since I submitted “My Little Tale,” I would once again like to query the status of this submission. Please let me know if it is still under consideration by Awesome Stories.

Sincerely,

The Author.

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Dear Editor,

Thank you for your kind forbearance and patience you have shown by providing foster care for “My Little Story,” especially during the second of the two years it has so far spent in your custody. You have nursed it through several bouts of teething pains between 4 and 12 months of age, taught it to walk and speak short sentences, achieve both rake and pincer grasp and progress from sitting upright to walking up and down stairs. You have been on the receiving end of temper tantrums that ushered in the Terrible Twos, and managed them by appropriate limit setting. Between the diaper and formula and baby food expenses, my debt to you must by now be astronomical.

I am doing much better since I began therapy for the separation anxiety from which I suffered, and will soon be able to care for “My Little Tale” on my own. It is with profound gratitude that I now ask for your decision: since “My Little Tale” has spent her formative years with you, and has by now surely grown into a smart and confident novelette, I should have no objections if you were to adopt her; but should this not be your plan, I beg you to allow me to reunite with my child. I promise to be as good a parent to her as I possibly can, and allow only professionals to have custody of her in the future.

Sincerely,

The Author.

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Dear Author,

For the last three years I have learned at Dear Editor’s knee, observing and absorbing the care and consideration Dear Editor lavished upon each and every submission that crossed their desk, said care and consideration being incorrectly interpreted as sloth and indecision on Dear Editor’s part, and now, as Dear Editor is nearing retirement, I have grown into the role I am about to assume.

I suppose I owe you, The Author, the next-greatest debt after that owed Dear Editor, as you has something of a hand in my inception, and as I assume the reins of editorial management at Awesome Stories, let me assure you that any further works you may wish to submit here will be considered with the same care and courtesy Dear Editor lavished upon my colleagues and myself.

Sincerely,

My Grand Novella.

•••

Anatoly Belilovsky was born in a city that went through six or seven owners in the last century, all of whom used it to do a lot more than drive to church on Sundays; he is old enough to remember tanks rolling through it on their way to Czechoslovakia in 1968. After being traded to the US for a shipload of grain and a defector to be named later (courtesy of the Jackson-Vanik amendment), he learned English from Star Trek reruns and went on to become a pediatrician in an area of New York where English is only the fourth most commonly used language. He has neither cats nor dogs, but was admitted into SFWA in spite of this deficiency, having published original and translated stories in NATURE, F&SF,  Daily SF, Kasma, UFO, Stupefying Stories, Cast of Wonders, and other markets. He blogs about writing at loldoc.net .

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