OLWG #11 – Chekhov’s Editor

What was I thinking when I wrote this? This weeks prompts are at the bottom. The story here is just for fun.

Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.

“A dark figure eased from the shadows and peered down the moonlit street. Glass, from the shattered hulk of a burned out staff car crouched at the curb, glittered like a gem stone; and the black shadow of a furtive search chopper rolled past like a ball.”

Daniel Wellborne shook his head and placed the manuscript back on his table, carefully squaring the corners, lining them up with the edges of the blotter centered on the desktop. Pulling open his drawer, he grabbed three aspirins and washed them down with a healthy slug of Maalox. Reading tripe like this all day was not good for his health. As a junior editor at the boutique publisher “Incidental Crib” though, it was his lot in life.

Samantha Sandburg, and Roland Hightower got to read the good stuff. They got the fancy corner offices on the top floor, the three martini lunches, and the flights to London, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro to meet with the talent. Meanwhile; he sat in this closet beneath the stair, eating fried potato sandwiches and, reading crap all day – every day. He needed a promotion, but to get a promotion he needed a real author. He needed to discover a new talent. He looked at the manuscript he had placed so carefully on his desk.

Anton Chekhov was the name on the cover page. Daniel considered the document and what he had read so far. The story wasn’t too bad. It probably needed a stronger love interest and maybe a car chase. The writing was OK, albeit a bit ostentatious. Maybe a letter to Mr. Chekhov was in order. Maybe Mr. Chekhov would agree to a voluptuous damsel in distress and a few automobile crashes. Maybe Mr. Chekhov could tone down the flourishes of his prose. Maybe he needed a pen name too. Who would read anything by someone named Anton Chekov. Maybe Mr. Chekhov would consider writing under the nom de plume of “Slate Sideiron”

Daniel grabbed two clean sheets of erasable bond letterhead, stacked them together, and rolled them into the Royal Typewriter he kept on the return beside his desk. He squared them up and placed the bail over the top of the worksheet.

August 5, 2017

Dear Mr. Chekhov:

Thank you for submitting your new short story to Incidental Crib 
Publishing. After reviewing your manuscript we have some suggestions 
that might help to facilitate our selection of same for publishing...

Blah, blah, blah


Daniel Wellborne
Incidental Crib Publishing

Daniel grinned and hoped that this Chekhov character could take constructive criticism. He was tired of eating potato’s on rye.

This week’s prompts are:

  1. Wait for it!
  2. Can I call you Brenda?
  3. It will tarnish

Go ahead and dive in,
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes!


3 thoughts on “OLWG #11 – Chekhov’s Editor

  1. Maybe you were thinking of his famous quote: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass”? My question is this: Why would Gospadizm Chekov submit a manuscript to a publisher by the name of Incidental Crib in the first place?! Oh, the irony.

    Liked by 1 person

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