Cast Offs

‘Turning south and facing the sunset?’ Gary Elders ranted, ‘My God! I’m an idiot!’
‘You’re being too hard on yourself, Gary,’ Lisa sighed wearily, ‘You’re obviously working too hard. Maybe you should take a break?’
‘Bullshit!’ Gary yelled, ‘Gary Elders does not make mistakes. It’s unacceptable!’
Lisa sat quietly as Gary continued berating himself, his thick arms gesticulating wildly. Being Gary Elder’s editor had been a dream come true for Lisa which had quickly degenerated into a nightmare.
He was exacting, volatile, and at times, downright scary.
Renowned for his obsessive behaviour, a reclusive lifestyle and the precise and beautifully detailed manuscripts he presented, Lisa had not been able to understand the reluctance of her more experienced colleagues to take him on.
All of her questions were answered when Gary had brought in the third manuscript he’d written during their fledgling partnership – if you could call it that – for her to read.
The first two had been perfect. Not a single phrase or word had needed to be changed. They had gone straight to the publishers and were on the shelves and bestseller lists within weeks.
In the third, Lisa had spotted his first mistake. “Their” instead of “there”. Gary’s reaction had stunned her.
That was a turning point in her life.
‘What do you want me to do, Gary?’
‘Scrap it!’ he ordered tersely, ‘I’ll have something by next month.’
‘Sure you don’t want to hang on to it?’
‘What are you stupid?’ Gary bellowed, ‘Burn the damned piece of crap! I never want to see it again.’
‘Fine, see you next month then.’
As the door to her office slammed behind him, Lisa reached into her drawer for a typed sheet of paper. She replaced his cover sheet with one of her own and slipped it into an envelope.
Her alter ego, Blanche Le Faux, was fast becoming a star in the literary world.
“The greatest writer since Gary Elders,” the critics had crowed over her first two books. Now she’d wow them again and all she’d had to do was convince Gary he’d made one mistake.

© Alison Pearce 2008

Cast Offs

Alison Pearce

Logan Central, Australia

  • Artist
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Artist's Description

For Star Twisters Challenge.
Prompt – Turning South

Word Count – 350

Also submitted to Pulp Noir’s Insane Writer Challenge

Artwork Comments

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