Rejection Letters

Hello Mother, Hello Father

Dear Katie,

Why did you drop me off at this stupid camp. I’ve been here for a very long time. Maybe even half of my life. Please come rescue me. I told you I didn’t want to come here. I wanted to stay in my comfy bedroom with my Lazy Boy chair, coffee pot and Reader’s Digest classic collections. I’m meeting new friends but they are all a lot older than me. And boring. They sleep all the time. One camper named Donnie hasn’t worn pants all week. He is gross. Someone stole my favorite pants on the first day so I’m stuck wearing my second favorite pants that are itchy every day and not pink. Please bring me new pink pants.

My new best friend is Katherine. She likes what I like and hates what I hate. She also has Die-Uh-Beat-Ees. Just like Lily. That means they only can eat certain foods. I don’t have diabetes but I still hate whipped cream. Guess what they have on single EVERY desert? Piled up like a snow drift? Super icky, sticky whipped cream. Even when “desert” is slimy green jello. The only thing worse in the dairy category is the cheese. It is fake. Fake yellow. Fake milk. Fake. Fake. Fake.

Karen and I have formed an alliance against the people running this place. We may even get Donnie No-Pants to join us. We especially hate the people running the messy mess hall. That place is a complete mess. They don’t have anything good to eat, not even BBQ. We both think they cook the “baked” potatoes in hot water instead of the way you make them for me. Get this: Italian Saturday has no Italian soup, just Spaghettios. Donnie says the thing they call steak is super tough but I’m apparently on a diet with no meat so I have to trust him.

They try their best here to make me do crafts but I just throw the beads right back at them. You know I hate crafts. I didn’t like doing crafts with you. Just so you know, I always threw away those dumb pasta necklaces you made me for Mother’s Day. Necklaces should be made out of diamonds, not macaroni. Also, why would you pick a camp for me with forced sports and board games and writing classes? Have you ever seen me do sports that didn’t include mimosas and a pool? I specifically asked for a low-keyed camp where I could nap in a hammock. And get my nails painted. Pink. Hot pink nails to match the pants someone stole from me.

When are you coming to get me? Please come get me. And also bring my sunbonnet girl quilt, the one with the pink bonnets. This camp is awful. I would come get you.

Is Henry ever coming to visit? I miss him so much.

Love,

Esther

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Amy Barnes has words at a variety of sites including The New Southern Fugitives, FlashBack Fiction, Popshot Quarterly, Flash Fiction Magazine, X-Ray Lit, Anti-Heroin Chic, Museum of Americana, Penny Fiction, Elephants Never, Re-side, Lucent Dreaming, Lunate Fiction, Cabinet of Heed, Spartan Lit, National Flash Flood Day and others. Her work has been long-listed at Reflex Press, Bath Flash Fiction, Retreat West and TSS Publishing. She volunteers at Fractured Lit, CRAFT, Taco Bell Quarterly, Retreat West, NFFD and Narratively.

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image: Grace Alice Evans

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