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The Book I Will Write #58: People Tell Us You’re Savory

THE BOOK I WILL WRITE by John Henry Fleming is a serial novel-in-emails about a would-be writer named John Henry Fleming who is desperate to publish a book. THE BOOK I WILL WRITE is a work in progress; readers are invited to make comments and influence the outcome. Fleming has been exchanging emails with an editorial assistant and a senior editor at Knopf, as well as with an agent. He’s been kicked out of his apartment, and is living at the library following a kidnapping episode with The Zeppelin Society. Now he’s being stalked by the murderous son of Reid Markham, the author of The Devil’s Good Graces, a book Fleming is trying to track down and read as an influence to his own, still unwritten, novel.

 

Dear H. F. Leming,

Are you out of money and food and whatever things you need to sustain yourself while you write things down and try to make a book of those things?

We thought so!

Good news for you! We at Free MonE Place are having a Grand Opening Special!

We want you to know we’re in the neighborhood, so we’re going to give you free money just for coming in to check us out. How cool is that?!

We’re not even actually open yet, so maybe it’s a little premature to say it’s a Grand Opening Special. It’s more of a pre-Grand Opening Special. Who knows, we may never actually open, in which case the Special will be even more special, don’t you think?

If you’re thinking, Hey, if they’re so anxious to give me free money, why don’t they just come to me and give it?, it’s because we don’t want everyone to know about the free money. There’d be too many unsavory types wanting it, and we only do business with savory writerly types. Mainly you.

People tell us you’re savory, anyway. We wouldn’t know for sure because we’ve never seen, emailed, or in other ways been in contact with you before now. We only learned about you from our friends at Special Friendly Cuddle-Time Bookshoppe. They share our liking of “special” things, which is why we’re such good friends with them and trust their opinion, especially when it comes to writerly and savory things, or any combination thereof.

Imagine what you could do with your free money! You could get yourself a nice set of unstinking clothes. You could treat yourself to a steak dinner or, if vegetarian, to a supersize tomato that bleeds just as good as steak.  You could upgrade your living conditions to actual living conditions by getting yourself a place, maybe one with a bed and desk and so on. No more hiding. No more running from people. Sing to me, sweet silence!

How much do you want? 50? 100? 1000? Nothing’s totally out of the question.

Take a walk down Main Street. Just beyond the Special Friendly Cuddle-Time Bookshoppe is a little alley, and in the alley is a little stairway. Go up the stairs to the blue steel door. The door has some rust on it, but we’ll get that fixed up. We’ll leave it open for you. We’ll be inside with your money, and we’ll give it to you good.

We feel this giving needs to be done before we open, if we ever do, so don’t delay!

Love,

Your friends at the Free MonE Place.

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About John Henry Fleming

John Fleming's stories have appeared in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The North American Review, Mississippi Review, Fourteen Hills, and Carve, among others. He is the author of The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman, a novel, and Fearsome Creatures of Florida, a literary bestiary. He teaches creative writing at the University of South Florida and is the founder and advisory editor for Saw Palm: florida literature and art. He blogs at johnhenryfleming.com.

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