Writers of the Future

So I’m on the Internet, minding my own business, when my postman Google comes up and delivers my mail.  Google’s a good guy.  He’s wise to just about every desperate African widow of murdered politicians who need my help in holding onto their millions – for a small down payment.  He can spot a fake Rolex salesman a mile away and chase him off with pepper spray.  And he sure as hell knows I don’t need any blue pills delivered to me at discount prices.   All that stuff gets dumped into my trash bin without ever sliding through my mail slot.  That’s a classy postman.

Problem is, I see him every day.  Can’t avoid the guy.  Every time I go to my mailbox, there he is.  It wouldn’t be so bad except Google babbles.  A lot.  It’s not his fault, he can’t help it.  He knows what kind of mail I’m getting and so he just blurts out whatever he thinks I’ll be interested in.

“Hey, Noah, you hear about that special Star Wars collector chess set?  I hear they got it for $19.95 over at Toys R Us.”

“Noah, good to see you!  Valentine’s Day is coming up, I know where you can get some great flowers!”

Most of the time it’s easy to just smile, nod, and completely tune him out while I sort through my mail.  But once in a while my ears will perk up.

“You hear about that free writing contest they’re having?”

Perk.  “What was that, Google, old buddy, old pal?”

“You know, the Writers of the Future contest.  It’s free to enter and first prize is 5000 smackeroos!”

Well, five thousand smackeroos is enough for me to give old Google my undivided attention.  “Really?”

“Yep.  Apparently it’s helped over three hundred writers get published.”

Three hundred?  Gosh!  I know I have to find out more.  “So how do I enter?”

Google smiles.  “Thought you’d never ask!”  He gives me the address and goes on his merry way delivering mail down the street, whistling a merry tune.

Address in one hand and portfolio in the other, I leave my mail on my desk and rush off to their headquarters.  A poster on the front door announces the contest in flourishing color.  Writers such as Anne McCaffrey and Kevin J. Anderson give proud quotable sound bites supporting it.  Apparently they hold this contest every three months, so I can keep on trying!  Golly, I can’t wait to submit to them; this could be the big break I’m looking for!

I’ve almost walked through the front door when a glint of light catches my eye.  I stop and realize I’ve almost walked into the building without knowing what the building was.  I look up at the large metal letters hanging on the side:

L. Ron Hubbard

I flinch from the door handle like it had run out of toilet paper and had to wipe using its hand.  Are you fucking kidding me?  I should have asked myself how they could afford to hold a free $5000 contest every 3 months!

As I start to back away two men in grey suits and dark sunglasses glide towards me without a sound.  They must be wearing Hush Puppies… made of real puppies.

“Aren’t you going inside?” one asks.

“Um.  No.  I thought this was the sperm bank.  I was going to make a donation.”

“What’s that in your hand?” says the other, gesturing to my portfolio.

I have to think fast.  “Porn?”

The sunglassed men look to each other, then listen to something over their ear pieces.  “I think you’d better come with us.”

I knew if they took me through those doors I’d never come out.  Oh, sure, they’d act all nice and friendly, maybe even give me milk and cookies.  Then they’d hook my gonads up to their e-meter and measure the thetan levels of my testicles.  I pointed over the shoulder of one burly man and shouted, “Look out!  It’s Xenu!”  then ran as fast as I could.  They gave chase and soon caught up to me, but fortunately there was a river nearby.  I splashed across and cried out in triumph, for as everyone knows Scientologists can’t cross running water.  I took an elaborate route back home in case they tried to follow my scent.  Once inside, I locked the door and collapsed on the bed.  I was safe.

The next day I knocked out two of Google’s teeth.

The End