Steed stood, clasping a very large plain paper bag, at the front
door of the tallest skyscraper in all of Seattle, WashingtonPlatinum-Notion
towersand stared up longingly to the forty-second floor.
where they all sitpompous likescoffing and ridiculing
aspiring authors," he mumbled as he felt himself beginning
to tremble in anticipation. "I best get this over with, I
Before I lose my bloody nerve."
himself up erect to his full five feet of height and with bravado
unbefitting of a man with such a limited stature and lacking a
fancy college education, he pulled open the heavy door and cautiously
entered the grand foyer. As he made his way through the door,
two incredibly tall and muscular men, dressed in uniforms rather
reminiscent of an early episode of "Doctor Who" featuring
Tom Baker, studied him intently as he made his way up to the reception
me, miss," he politely said to the platinum blonde, generously
proportioned girl dressed in a very fashionable, albeit scant,
black dress perched provocatively on a stool.
lady, whose nametag attached distractively close to her ample
freckled cleavage announced her to be Jules, reluctantly put down
the nail file she had been busying herself with and stared down
at the little man.
I help you?" she said with a distinct air of repugnance and
with what Trevor keenly detected as a liberal measure of well
rehearsed indifference thrown in for good measure.
have brought my latest short story manuscript, neatly double-spaced
in 12-point courier, and I would like to take it on up to the
raised her hand and was about to speak and unquestioningly send
him on his way, and the two security officers began menacingly
reaching for their weapons.
do have an appointment." Trevor attempted to smile cheerfully
as he spoke, but the growing fear burning in the pit of his stomach
transformed his expression into a sort of a sinister, twisted,
frowned, and surprisingly no wrinkles appeared in her silky smooth,
tanned forehead, and lowered her hand, and the two security goons
reluctantly left their weapons where they were.
have an appointment? What is your name?"
name is Trevor Steed," Trevor said. "I have called every
day for the last four years, three months, two weeks and six days
and finally, this very morning, they have most graciously allowed
me a few minutes of their precious time to present my latest manuscript
But only under the stipulation of me promising that I am never
to call ever again."
you are the bothersome, untalented Trevor Steed, are you?"
Julie said. Her face was contorted in a not very agreeable fashion,
and her voice now had an added distinct tone of disgust.
" Trevor replied, trying to maintain what
was left of his dignity and composure, which admittedly wasn't
rolled her flawlessly made-up green eyes and sighed.
I suppose that you had better go on up," she hissed.
satisfied at his apparent victory, was making his way to the platinum
colored elevator along the platinum covered carpet on the opposite
side of the foyer when Jules spoke again.
you are not allowed in the elevator
Those are reserved
for real authors
You can take the stair," she said,
pointing to a door, barely noticeable on the other side of the
to the security guards and Jules laughing at him, Trevor made
his way to the door, pulled it open and vanished inside. He soon
discovered that this stairwell was not a very nice place at all,
full of thick cobwebs, dust and frightening large rat droppings.
He pulled his tweed jacket tight about him and clasped his brown
paper bag and slowly proceeded to climb the dimly lit staircase
* * *
fourteen minutes and twenty three seconds later a very tired and
sweaty Trevor Steed arrived at the top of the stairs and saw a
large 42 painted on a door in green fluorescent paint
Trevor considered, I wonder if there is any significance to
that? He had difficulty opening the door; it was almost as
if the door itself was somehow mocking and hindering him
Finally, with one big almighty tug, the door reluctantly swung
open and Trevor quickly made his way through it. The door promptly
closed behind him with a squeak that sounded remarkably like a
woman laughing after inhaling a generous amount of helium. Trevor
peered about him in awe at the impressive sight that now met his
surely unworthy eyes. Everything was platinum nowthe floors,
the walls, the carpets, the shutters on the windows, and at the
end of an impressive hallway stood the biggest door Trevor had
once more garnered all of the self confidence he could muster,
straightened his bow tie and tweed jacket, tightened his grip
on the brown paper bag and headed towards the door. The closer
he got to it, the bigger still it appeared. By the time he was
upon it, he realized that the door towered at least twenty feet
high, making Trevor feel even less significant than usual. All
at once a white light above the door began to flash and the door
opened with an impressive whooshing sound. Nervously he peered
inside to discover a platinum table, at least fifty feet long
with five incredibly well dressed men and women sitting at the
please," a man at the end of the table said in a bold, deep
and commanding tone.
must be Phil House, the esteemed and brilliant founder of Platinum-Notion
Publishing House, Trevor thought as he followed the command.
have precisely five minutes beginning from now to tell us why
we should read your manuscript," a rather distinguished and
striking lady sitting at Phil's immediate right said in a silky,
deep seductive voice. Instantly Trevor's entire body came out
in goosebumps, and he was delighted at his decision to wear the
extra-strength underarm deodorant that morning.
my goodness, that is Peggy Baddle. She's legendary.
stumbled closer to them, almost as if in some sort of a surreal
dream state, and stood at the far end of the table.
Peggy spoke, she pulled out a platinum digital timer, set it at
five minutes and placed it on the tabletop, and with a precise
gesture, slammed the palm of her right hand onto a button located
on the top of the timer, which responded by beginning to tick.
The echo of the small timepiece in the large metallic room echoed
the gentleman on Phil's right said, who Trevor recognized as Marv
Grand, the chief reviewer of Platinum-Notion, "please do
tell us about your manuscript
Does it have a space ship?
I do love space ships."
about a motley collection of weird looking aliens with peculiar
maybe you have written about crazed extraterrestrial zombies who
discover just how sweet human flesh is on a prison planet several
light years away from mother Earth? Those are always gleefully
possibly you have come up with a gripping storyline about a huge
demonic death robot three hundred meters tall. Oh, I simply love
about a creative tale about the complexities of time travel?"
good grief, little man!" Phil said. "What in heavens
do you write?"
the privileged board members' eyes in the shiny, sterile, imposing
room were now focused intently on the peculiar little man standing
in front of them who was fumbling awkwardly with the brown paper
bag he was still carrying.
wrote a gruesome, blood curdling horror story
In fact, all
I ever write are short horror stories!"
was at that very moment that all of the Platinum-Notion board
members groaned and rolled their eyes back in unison.
stories?" Peggy echoed.
have two minutes and forty-three seconds left to impress us,"
another of the members said, grinning, showing a false platinum
tooth in the middle of his perfect pearly white front teeth.
pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and mopped his brow. He
then looked at all of the faces staring back at him with contempt.
Trevor once more pulled himself up to his full height and emptied
the contents of his brown paper bag. Seconds later, five blood-filled
plastic bags tumbled onto the desk, with a lump of flesh in the
middle of each of them.
room fell silent, except, of course for the tick-tick-tick-tick.
what is that?" Phil questioned, his face now quite pale and
his words not as confident as they had been just moments before.
those? Those are the hearts of the last publishers that turned
then reached into his tweed jacket and pulled out a long knife,
the shiny edge of which was covered in what appeared to be dried
blood, and brandished it furiously in front of him.
are you going to give me a contract, or aren't you?" Trevor
said, with each deliberate syllable making eye contact directly
with each board member and then the next.
was Phil who spoke next. "Well, come to think of it, we have
been discussing adding a few horror stories to our anthologies,
haven't we?" He nodded at his team.
all nodded back.
the stuff we need."
that, Peggy got up and walked over to the platinum filing cabinet
and pulled out a seventeen-page document. Trevor watched as she
made her way unhurriedly over to him, and placed it directly in
front of him. He then made eye contact with her.
thank you!" he said. "Isn't that a lovely surprise indeed?"
Peggy pulled a shiny platinum pen from behind her ear and handed
it to Trevor.
signed the contract. Next he pulled out a manuscript from the
bag and placed it on the table.
was then the alarm went off.
up, I guess," Trevor said as he returned the bloody plastic
bags to his brown paper bag, pulled out his copy of the contract,
folded it and placed it along with the knife back into his tweed
jacket inside pocket, and bowed.
Trevor marched out of the boardroom and to the elevator
* * *
twenty-three minutes and seventeen seconds later, Trevor was to
be discovered almost skipping along the busy Seattle downtown
Street, to his first stop; the Sizemore butchers shops
he walked in, the sprite, attractive mature woman behind the meat
counter smiled at him knowingly.
how did it go with the pigs' hearts?" she said, trying not
"And that damned realistic fake knife you
acquired from George's magic shop?"
beamed back his biggest smile and pulled himself up again to his
full height with a smug expression now on his face.
brought it hook, line and sinker
Little do they realize
I wouldn't even hurt a fly!"