“Are you serious?” Lucille, his wife, said.
“Yes. A publication ran a flash fiction story, which was about a firing squad executing writers who didn’t follow the submission guidelines. Editors all around the world liked the story—and some decided to find a way of making it happen in real life. Although the publications I write for have opted to use hit men—they say a hit man is a more practical solution than a firing squad.” James sighed. “Who knew editors hated writers so much?”
Lucille had been married to a writer for ten years. Ten long, unhappy years. She could easily imagine that an editor would get aggravated enough to think about executing some writers. The only surprise was that it hadn’t happened sooner.
“Although if enough writers are executed there will be less competition for selling stories!” James said cheerfully. He refilled his coffee mug (it was a large “writers are fueled by coffee” size mug). Then, he headed for his study, where he spent much of his time literally plotting and scheming.
Lucille sat, sipping coffee. Suddenly, an idea hit. She now had a way to getting rid of James—with someone else doing the dirty work. She could submit a bunch of stories under his name. They’d blatantly break the rules. Too many submissions for the month. Stories that were too long. Stories that weren’t formatted properly.
And then James would be executed. No one would be surprised—he was always breaking the rules. Just last week, he’d said: “Yes, the story was a thousand words too long—but those words were too important to cut! It’s better to be ‘too long’ than lose important meaning!”
Lucille smiled for the first time in a long time. She reached for her laptop computer.