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The Novella
by Michael A. Kechula

“Professor Downs,” said the luscious female student, “would you kindly review my novella? Your approval would assure publication and thousands of sales. I’d be willing to make it worth your while.” She pointed to a motel.  

“Look, I’m an honorable man of impeccable character. Plus, I’m highly altruistic when it comes to helping beautiful female students with incredible, goddess-like bodies.”  Wiping his drooling lips, he added, “You don’t have to offer me your body in exchange for reading your manuscript. Especially since I was wounded in a most unfortunate way in the first Gulf War. Give me a quick verbal summary, and I’ll decide.”

She spoke of an orphaned zombie, and its horrendous struggles when trying to switch from being a brain-eater to a vegan.  And how it swam thousands of miles from Haiti to a vegetable-rich Arctic island. Title: “From Brains to Broccoli.”

Normally, Downs wouldn’t have wasted time on such tripe. However, he agreed when she articulated the plot summary with vigor, logic, and clarity. 

“Give me your email address,” he said, “so I know where to send my critique.”

That night, he read the opening paragraphs to see if it rated more than a cursory glance.  

Next day, he sent a note to the author:

Dear Miss Spumoni,

This is the worst piece of horse do-do I’ve ever seen. I had to stop reading on page 1. My brain was melting. The smoke rushing from my ears reeked of Eau de Loo.

However, I decided to give it a second chance. Perhaps, what seemed horribly incoherent might make a modicum of sense if read in a different environment. Consequently, I brought it along to a buffet breakfast. Still, I couldn’t get beyond page 1. I had to stop reading for fear of heaving my guts out. My brain went on strike. I began to see TILT everywhere I looked. I had to take a heavy sedative to restore my senses.

But, this is just one opinion. Others may think differently. I suggest you Google to see which editors in Upper Grabistan, Lower Zamboozia, and Mid-Slabovia might be willing to review zombie novellas. In your letters of inquiry, remember to include nude photos. Also mention compensatory motel trips.   

On the positive side, if citizens really want to purge illegal aliens from this nation, they ought to give each illegal a copy of “From Brains to Broccoli.” That’d eliminate them, forever.   Guaranteed.  

Perhaps you should take some copies to the nearest border town, distribute them, and see how well it works. Success in this endeavor could obtain the fame and fortune you desire.

Do you want me to mail it back? Or should I keep it for a national emergency, in case the nation runs out of wipes?   

A final thought: add a radical political twist and you might win a Nobel Prize— considering how easy it is to get one, these days.