"The midnight people decided we were to duel to the death.
The fact that I and The Duke were thousands of miles apart,
both broke and apt to commit suicide before we met was
neither here nor there to them. They were the midnight
people. I use the term people loosely, of course.
I emailed The Duke several times to see if there was a way
we could get over it, talk out our problems, but rather than
take the solution, he let the sickness bloom, like ink dropped
I believe that you are only emailing me because you are afraid to
die. I myself am not. I’m sitting here in my logpile cabin, deep in the
wilderness of X, looking at the bottle of Jim Davidson and gun on
my table. I might take it out and squat a Hunter S. Thompson pose
and maybe shoot a rabbit if one happens to pass by. Or I might send
this email to you and then swallow this barrel and blow the roof of
my head off and dapple the ceiling with my brain. Why would I do
that? Because I’m not afraid to die. But I know that you’re talking to
all of your friends about me. And the midnight people don’t think
you should be doing that as you well know. They’ve been telling me
things. Secret things. Things about you and how you act, go about
your business, try to bring everyone down with your insidious
slurs. I’m going to shut you down. I bet you’re reading this email in
awe. I know I’m the better writer. You do too. You won’t be able to
answer this with poise, elegance, mother-fudging pizzazz. You got
nothing. You got no box to pull from. You are a hack writer, full of
self-importance, sitting there in your little bookbarn, your crusty
seed-hardened pants the only thing you can call comforting.
Yours in hell, you sack of British brown stuff,
The Duke Gerent"
Will Anyone Figure Out that this is a Repackaged First Collection? by Johnny Mains
Can anyone guess who the Duke is meant to be? A free copy of any book published by Parallel Universe Publications for the first correct answer.