Thanks so much for working with me, Jeanne. It was a pleasure talking and working with you, and I hope we can figure out a way to collaborate on something again in the future. I've included our rejected flash fiction below, along with Jeanne Miller's website.
Always Bring References
Jeanne Miller (Web: http://www.thepetmedium.com) and Rex Jameson
“A snowbunny that is afraid of the cold and wants to ski in hell? You can’t be serious… Mr. Snuggles, we don’t give job openings to just anyone…”
Alex fumed at the devil’s disciple across a vast expanse of desk between them, but his interviewer was implacable and unyielding. There were a lot of choice curse words that fought against his lips, but Alex breathed deeply, closed his eyes, and pressed harder. This wasn’t the time to blow up. He had waited for this interview his whole life.
“You think I like these long ears, man? This fluffy tail? No, they’re ridiculous. Was it my fault I was born pink, cute, and fuzzy? No, Derrick, it’s not. I’ve tried hair coloring and tattoos, but people just think I’m even more adorable. And why would I make up that I suffer from frigophobia? It’s in my file.”
Alex readjusted himself and moved his white tail through a slit in the back of his cushioned chair. “I have always belonged here, but I know how this looks. I understand there are no free lunches in Hell, and I have to pull my weight. That’s why I’ve brought references!”
He slammed three newspapers down and slid them across the long desk.
The disciple pulled the stack of papers slowly across the remainder of the glossed surface and read them aloud.
“Las Vegas Chronicle: Three people were killed today as they stumbled through traffic to rescue a rabbit stranded on the highway. Onlookers reported that the pink bunny looked frightened and frozen in shock. At least one mammal expert contends that the hare may have been a rare breed. Consequently, some local residents are praising the deceased as martyrs for endangered animals. Others are calling the loss of life a terrible waste.”
Derrick looked up at Alex, but he didn’t make any remarks about the article. Alex nervously thumped his paw against the floor but stopped after Derrick raised his black eyebrows and chuckled.
“Houston Journal: Was a crazed, suicidal bunny really the cause of a freak accident today on Highway 36? Two SUVs slammed head first into each other, and eight people lost their lives after a pink animal ran in front of a vehicle, causing the driver to swerve into oncoming traffic. Experts believe the events leading up to this head-on collision may be the first example of video evidence showing a rare snowbunny grabbing onto an automobile’s windshield wipers with its teeth and screaming obscenities into the cab of the car. Not everyone is impressed with the Youtube video, however. Representatives on both sides of the aisle are calling for an early opening to rabbit season this year.”
The disciple soberly gazed up at Alex. He didn’t seem impressed.
“There’s more,” Alex promised. “Keep reading!”
Derrick unfolded the next paper.
“Bangor Maine Today: Terrible news today for friends and loved ones flying American Airlines. Flight 733 crashed today while making an emergency landing in Bangor. Of the 156 passengers onboard, 155 died on impact. The lone survivor, copilot John Metzger, is listed in critical condition. Police are still questioning the man concerning the conditions of the plane before the accident occurred, but he appears to have suffered severe brain trauma. An unidentified source inside the TSA has disclosed to Bangor Maine Today that Mr. Metzger adamantly claims a pink rabbit leapt into the cockpit and bit both pilots in the neck.”
Alex leaned forward on the table and hoped against hope. His big brown eyes pleaded with his interviewer. If this didn’t qualify him, then what would? Derrick put down the paper, smiled and wiped a tear from his eye.
“My boss and I are very familiar with your work, Alex. We’ve actually been watching you for quite some time. You’ll be happy to know that we preapproved all of your requests months ago. Special accommodations for frigophobia issues? Not a problem. It’s always warm here. A ski slope? We’ve never approved something like that, but we purchased the snow machines from a local rental company three weeks ago in anticipation of your application.”
“Since my Las Vegas killing spree?”
Derrick nodded. “Welcome to Hell. You’ve earned it.”
Alex’s mouth quivered as he stood up and hopped around the table. “You won’t regret this, sir. You won’t regret this.”
Derrick grabbed two pairs of ski goggles, pulled the straps of one of them around his head, and passed the other to Alex, who was in tears.
“Alex, you know there is no crying in Hell—not for employees, anyway.”
“I’m just so happy…” Alex said laughing and rubbing his eyes.
“Well, you’re in for another treat, my friend. We’ve lined the ski course with new arrivals from PETA and some improvised explosive devices. You think you’re up for it?”
“Derrick, I was born for this…”