Rejection Letters

Rejection Letters from the World to the Zombie Apocalypse

Dear Zombie Apocalypse,

Thank you for sending zombies our way. We found much to admire about the way you attempt to reflect this turbulent social landscape through the mass uprising of re-animated, brainless corpses. However, all our current slots have been unexpectedly taken up by another outbreak – one that promises to do very big things in 2020.

Your submission was also a tad ‘on the nose’ for us. May I advise you look at previous issues to get an idea of other outbreaks we’ve accepted. I would recommend SARS, Bubonic Plague, Ebola and Foot-and-Mouth Disease to start off with. Note the subtlety and slow, relatively manageable rise of the mass panic.

Once you’ve considered this, we would like to hear from you, but please do wait at least a month before submitting again. We’re a small operation in the grand scheme of things, and we’re a bit overwhelmed right now.

Sincerely,

The World

***

Dear Zombie Apocalypse,

Congratulations on all you’ve achieved since we last spoke. As you’ve sent more zombies our way, in much greater quantity and seemingly far more hungry for flesh, it is clear you didn’t read my last email, in which I emphasised; 1) Subtlety; 2) Our policy of asking submitters wait at least a month before submitting again.

It’s only been five days, Zombie Apocalypse. Why am I getting reports of hospital corridors splattered in blood and bile?

As expressed in the previous correspondence you ignored, we are extremely busy right now. I, for one, have soap, food and medical supplies to bulk buy, with nothing like the required resources, labour and infrastructure to do so. The schools are closing too, so it looks like childcare is going to be a ‘thing’ now. Yet another ‘thing’, Zombie Apocalypse. On an ever growing list of ‘things’…

I’ve been polite this time. Next time, I will be in no position to do so. My stress levels are all the way to the moon right now. Self-quarantine is all well and good for our citizens, but where am I supposed to go? Jupiter?

Yours,

The World

***

Dear Zombie Apocalypse,

Look what you’ve done.

There is no soap. There is no toilet roll. The tins of beans are gone. The medical supplies are stockpiled in the walk-in wardrobes of the rich.

Please, Zombie Apocalypse, kindly fuck right off. We’re busy! Stop submitting and go isolate yourself at home. If you really can’t hold off for a month, leave it two weeks at least while we get our shit together.

Stay away from our sports events! Unpack that supermarket trolley full of hand sanitiser! Get to the back of that hospital queue!

Don’t even think about boarding that plane!

Get away from my door, Zombie Apocalypse! Stop banging it down! STOP!

Don’t you understand SUBTLETY???

Why so many zombies?

There is no room for you here!

Manageable rise of mass panic. I said it in my first email. Clear as day…

No.

No!

We’re busy. We’re so,

so busy

NO!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOxrfiohr’/fr

Fr

Re

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Ecf

[END OF CORRESPONDENCE]

***

Neil Clark is a Best of the Net and Best Small Fictions nominated writer from Edinburgh, Scotland. His first print collection, ‘Time. Wow.’ is out on Back Patio Press, April 2020. Find him on Twitter @NeilRClark or visit neilclarkwrites.wordpress.com for a full list of publications.
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