Archive | February, 2019

Rejection Letters To The Afterlife (Flashfic by Ray Daley)

23 Feb

Published with my heartfelt apologies to the always delightful Charlie Finlay who read then politely rejected this. Neil Clarke didn’t want it either.

Rejection Letters To The Afterlife
By Ray Daley

(original idea inspired by Joanna Maciejewska from Twitter)

“Charlie?” Megan read the printout a third time, just to be certain. “Got a rejection going to the afterlife here? Is that a misprint, or does my address book need updating?”

Charlie Finlay stuck his head around the office door. “You screamed?”

Megan nodded, holding up the printout. “What in gods name is this, Charlie? Rejection letter to the afterlife?”

The rest of his body slid out of the door. Charlie looked at his feet. “Oh, yes. That guy – he’s dead I’m afraid. Sorry Megan. Look under D, for Daley.”

Charlie tensed, fully aware of the reaction that was about to happen. It was a damn good job he had, too.

Megan started hyperventilating. Then she finally screamed, “You’ve got a medium on speed dial? The note under here reads ‘Ouija board in the supply closet. Do not throw away’.’ Charlie, as much as I love this job, you can fuck right off there!”


It took two hours to calm Megan down. Along with three Valium tablets, a shot of neat Jack Daniels and a large raise. By which time the medium had arrived at the office.

“Hey Charlie. You must be Megan? She’s new Charlie, what happened to the last one? Never mind, I’m Maggie. Nice to meet you. So, we’re sending another rejection notice to Mister Daley? Doesn’t let a little thing like death stop him from sending you new stories, does he Charlie?”

Megan quietly mouthed, “Last one?” to herself.

“Pass me the letter, love.” Maggie clicked her fingers in front of Megan’s face. “Megan? The letter, please?”

Eventually Megan snapped out of it and handed the printout across the desk.

As Maggie scanned the document, she mumbled out loud to herself. “Thank you for sending, not a good fit, made me laugh, look forward to seeing your next submission. Oh, that’s a nice one Charlie. He almost made it this time then?”

Charlie nodded. “Fell at the final cut, sadly. He does good work, I’m sure whoever he left his archive to will find the right story pretty soon. Shall we get on with this then?”

Placing the Ouija board in the centre of the table, Maggie nodded. “We’ll try the seance first. See if young Mister Daley is in a chatty mood or not, eh?”

So Maggie and Charlie joined hands.

Maggie called over, “Megan, we need a third dear. Otherwise this won’t work.”

“I’ll approve your travel claims, if you help us out?” Charlie offered.

She was over there like a flash, grabbing their hands before she regretted it.

Maggie closed her eyes. “I call on the energies of all present, guide my mind across the ether. Help me find this departed soul. Raymond Daley, can you hear us?”


Maggie smiled. “Don’t be disheartened, this isn’t an exact science. I’ll try again. If everyone can concentrate for me please, and try to keep your minds clear. That’s fantastic, Megan. Just like that. Why can’t you be that relaxed, Charlie? You really should try golf.”

Charlie just rolled his eyes at her.

“Okay, focus back to me again please. We are trying to reach the essence of Raymond Daley. We have a message about your story submission to Fantasy and Science Fiction. Raymond Daley, are you there?”

The planchette on the Ouija board started to twitch.

“Ooo, I think he’s coming through another way Charlie. Go ahead Raymond, we feel you among us.”

The planchette quickly moved from letter to letter.

I prefer Ray, actually.

Maggie blushed. “Sorry, Ray. I’ve got a message from Charlie Finlay.”

About my story? Cool. Go ahead.

“Dear Raymond, thank you for your submission “The Shape Of Come To Things“. Sadly it wasn’t a good fit for this issue, but it certainly made me laugh. I want you to know this only just missed the last cut so I hope you will submit again in the near future. Good luck with finding this story another home. All the best, Charlie Finlay. F&SF.”

Is Charlie there with you?

“Yes Ray.”

Tell him he can sod off, okay? And tell him to toss that bloody Ouija board away too, it’s giving me a terrible migraine. Fella can’t even be dead in peace now. I’ll let my executor know not to submit there again. Ray Daley, signing off from the netherworld. Tell my tweeps I love them!

Then finally the planchette shattered across the table into thousands of tiny pieces.

Charlie let out a sigh. “That’s a shame, he was a bloody good writer. Funny bugger, too. Megan?”

“Yes Charlie?”

“Can you be a dear and put Ray’s details into our ‘do not contact again‘ folder please? Then you can have the rest of the week off on full pay. I don’t know about you Maggie, but I could murder a drink?”

Maggie smiled at him. “Does this mean I won’t be needed again then, Charlie?”

As he was getting his jacket, Charlie looked across the office at her. “Of course not, Maggie. I still need you. How else am I going to talk to Isaac Asimov? He still owes me three short fic pieces.”


All We Know For Sure Is That James Has Gone Rogue [By Ray Daley]

4 Feb

All We Know For Sure Is That James Has Gone Rogue
By Ray Daley

The office has finally returned to a state that is now fast approaching normality. What ever the hell that might be.

The news crew behind me are already reporting their lies every fifteen minutes, doling them out in sound-bite sized pieces to the baying masses, still hungry for their updates. “We know for sure he’s gone rogue!”

Lie number one. He didn’t go rogue. We aren’t exactly sure why he logged off, stood up and walked out.

“The trail of bodies he left in his wake have barely had time to cool.”

Lie number two. He didn’t kill anyone. He pushed one man over, that was the supervisor who tried to stop him leaving. And that guy picked himself up off the ground moments after our colleague had left the room.

“This frustrated psychopath finally cracked. Once, a mild mannered administrator…”

There’s lie number three. He wasn’t crazy, just highly strung. And lie number four too, he was a bloody telephone operator!

“We’ve been told we can only expect the body count to increase from this point on.”

Lie number five. He hasn’t killed anyone. How can a zero body count increase? Unless the media are out there now, murdering people in his wake, just to make their lies reality?

“The reports are still sporadic, but we are receiving updates about new victims all the time..”

How? Did the press team send their own hitmen after him? Are they killing people themselves, just to keep the story in the headlines?

“This information just in! We’ve had reports of a killing on the High Street.”

That’d be difficult, he doesn’t even take that route home. I decide I’ve had enough at that point.

“And we are…”

This is where I step in, excuse me.

“Lying to you. Sorry ladies and gents, but I’ve got to cut these idiots off and tell you the truth. I work with James. He didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t go rogue. There’s no trail of bodies. He didn’t kill anyone in the High Street, his route home doesn’t even go in that direction! He’s a nice guy. He just had a bad day on the phones. He stood up, logged off, pushed over a supervisor and left. That’s all we know for sure. Don’t listen to the news. These folks are lying to you. They’ve already murdered three innocent people that we’re aware of here. And that’s just to keep this lie in the headlines. All we know for sure is that James left. Anything else is pure speculation. I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.”

I’ve always wanted to say that. It certainly leaves the Press in utter confusion. They have to cut to commercials, with nothing more to report here. I just hope James comes back to work soon. We miss his smile.


AUTHORS NOTES:- I wrote this during the 1st week of on-floor academy at Severn Trent. James did vanish during the day. I was told he logged out, stood up, and left. And never returned. I never even saw him leave. I had a few tries at selling this, no-one wanted it, so I’m giving it away for free on the blog.

So this was Jan 2019

1 Feb

I’ve made 35 new submissions. 21 rejections. 2 acceptances.
Nothing withdrawn or not received as of yet.

Shots Of Repatriated Bastard & Sam, I Am both sold on Jan 21st to Jouth Vol 2.

There are currently 45 stories out in submission:-

I’ve got 2 stories awaiting publication in the very near future.
The Razors Edge will appear in issue 1 of The Weird And Whatnot.
How Have The Mighty Fallen? will appear in Insignia Vol 7.

I’m still hopeful that Tuck & Roll will be published this year, 2 yrs after it was sold.

I pitched the novel on twitter, no bites there.