Hearts in Jars (Aaron Leyshon)

Dearest departed potential contributor, 

I forgot to send the ransom note, but we have your piece and a reading fee and a dozen other fingers and toes we’ve claimed in tribute over the years. You get it, we’re a small publisher (like you care) and we don’t and can’t and won’t pay our staff even if we could. 

Remember when Van Gogh sent us his ear. Yeah? We still have it. Rosemary’s baby? All grown up now. What about those bloody Weasley brothers? Not sure, Jane, did we store them in the cryogenic chamber? We’ll get back to you about them. 

We do endeavour to respond to all submissions of appendages (and brothers) within 90 days. Yes, we know you’ve been waiting 180 but, hey, so long as you meet our conditions, we won’t worry about meeting them either. 

We had a lot of interest. Submittable nearly exploded. We’re swamped under a pile of shit drafts for shit stories about shitty characters. At least we don’t need to buy bandages for the mummies out back. Sure, we didn’t suffer too badly in the great toilet paper wars of 2021, and, yes, inflation only aids the price of limbs.

Anyway, we digress. I’m not sure why we use the royal we, is that in our style guide Jane? Jane? Maybe our writers would appreciate the workload of the slush pile of dung paper more if they realised it was just me here. 

Me here, again. 

Look, we’re not going to take it. I’m not.

Doesn’t really fit on the shelf. 

You know. 

Something not quite right.

Just the vibe of it.

Looks a bit screwy. 

Yeah, we (I) asked for quirky, but what I meant was something that bleeds purple. Something just like all the other stuff we get. 

What’s that? You’d love some feedback to help you improve?


Here it is.

You ready for it?


Cut off the other leg.

Kind regards,

The Editor (of limbs)

Ps. Keep writing. We’re always looking for regular organ donors. So next time you have a brain, or a heart please be sure to keep us in mind.


Aaron Leyshon writes an assortment of fiction, poetry, and unclassifiable classified ads. His work has appeared in ‘Fifty Shades of Awkward’ an anthology of short stories approved of as mind-blowing by author and adult star Ron Jeremy. He also publishes crime-fiction under his own imprint Rogue Kitten Media. He can be found on Twitter @aaron_leyshon.

image: Jade Hawk is a meat popsicle.