Step right up! See the horror of horrors! See the one thing in the universe that will make you realize how small you stand in the cosmic order! There is nothing on the midway as terrifying as this! Ladies, please make sure you have a strong arm to lean on. No one with heart conditions! You’ll need to sign this waver!
Kid, not you. Get away. You bother me.
Thank you, ma’am. Sir. Kid, get away. You can’t come in.
Now, everyone has paid up! Now enter at your own risk! Now…. Behold!
The beast that has slain a thousand writers! The creature as thin as an anorexic manta ray and yet able to destroy a man’s career without ever touching him! The monster that causes many to stay inside and never venture outside, and we have brought it here for you, tamed so it can’t touch you! Step right up ma’am – this one’s not aimed at you. This one can’t hurt you. Now… look!
The rejection letter!
Sir, if you’re feeling tightness in your chest, please step out. I know the horror. I know how terrible it is. This note that says your heart is simply not good enough!
Imagine finding this note in your inbox! Gasp! Weep! Gnash your teeth all you want, sir, but it’s there, and it’s waiting! And while this one won’t come for you, there are countless more hunting!
It seems to see into your soul! It seems to say your best can’t climb to the attention of the masses! And the greatest horror of all, the terror that grips your spirit, is that fear that perhaps, perhaps, it could be right!
You bled your heart out in ink and pixels! You crafted your best message, your truest narrative, and it has been deemed substandard! The rejection letter, the worst thing that could ever happen to you!
I know for some that the fear of this terrible creature keeps you from submitting.
Kid! How’d you sneak in here? Under the tent wall? Well, kid, you’re in it now. You’re seeing things too big for you. Do you see the simple pixels brought together, “We won’t be accepting your story at this time.”
Your story isn’t worth anyone’s time.
That’s the fear.
Shut up, kid. You’re talking nonsense.
Yes, it means you can clean up your story and send it again. Obviously. Sorry, folks, you paid for a scare and he’s ruining it all.
Yeah, kid, it means that maybe your story didn’t fit what the editor was looking for. Shush.
Fine. Sure. Maybe it’s not judging you as a person but only saying that this one piece you cobbled together of the marrow of your being and the sinew of your inner child doesn’t match this one opportunity today.
Wait, ladies and gentlemen! Oo and ah at it! Feel the fear!
No, ma’am, no refunds.
Great, kid. You ruined it. Hope you’re happy.