FYI: I am not fluent in English, I’m trying to be at least. Sorry for the potentials mistakes. Feel free to correct me in the comment section.
« Dear Thomas and all of the Espire’s redaction;
You’re maybe wondering why I did that to the Perish redaction.
Let me explain myself before being judge, rightfully so, by the public.
I was a writer for that paper for two decades.
The begining here was delightfull. I was able to write whatever I wanted to write about. My work was never disputed by the former boss, M. Anthelm.
I wrote story about everything I wanted to. This was also a great time to learn about story telling and the craft of creating shorts fictions for a wide audience.
My relations with the staff was ideal for a writer. They were open, respectful and dedicated to help me and my work evolve. Nothing was out of bundary, no subject was banished, I had the opportunity to broaden my horizon and my audience. And the pay was decent.
Those years passed by fast, as all the years happen to do when you have a lot of work.
M. Anthelm was a mentor, a friend, a confident. Always up to publish new things. As I said, they was no bundaries.
Freedom. That was the magazine was all about. That was what America was all about. That’s the way we all saw it back in those days. Freedom of speech. A real free press.
Old boss, like I loved to call him, had to retire, cancer. Fucking lung cancer. I told him many times : Anthelm, good ol’ boss, stop smoking, that’s not healthy, tobacco isn’t a medecine ! They have been lying to us, it destroy your lungs and all ». But of course, being a old man, and a boss of a successful newspaper/magazine, he told me, very politely, to focus on my work instead of focusing on him. Fair.
The next week of that conversation, I had writed a short story about a man dying of cancer because of the cigarette. He was dying, leaving his family not only with a painfull grieving to do but also with greats difficulties. The man died, and the family was torn apart because they faced problems they could not overcome. The used-to-be stable and perfect family ended up being splitted into clans and it finished with all members facing theirs demons.
A writer have to be a little bit of a prophet sometimes.
M. Anthelm died, we all grieved, we stayed united and strong until the new boss came around.
Here is the start of my demise.
M. Catheren took the place of my good ol’ boss. Right at the begining, things have gone down south with him.
To be honest, I didn’t liked his face, his nonchalant and arrogant attitude. I think he had the same feelings for me.
He hated the first story I gaved to him. And the second, and all the others. I wasn’t able to have a single story publish during three months !
I asked to talk with him, it wasn’t like with the good ol’ boss, I had to pass trought is assistant, who had to communicate to him my desire to have a meeting. It took three days to finaly have hold of him.
I took the opportunity to ask him what was is problem with my stories and what does he really wanted from me and my writing.
He started by telling me that the time had changed, and that, all of us, had to adapt to that new world.
The time didn’t changed since he became the boss, he was so vain that he thought that just by becoming the head of the magazine, everyone working for him had to change, change in his direction. For a boss, this could be seen as normal but he was far, far from being a man, a leader, like M. Anthelm.
That was something, being told that when I worked here for decades. But he finally told me, what he really wanted from my writing :
« They want blood John ! Make some cow-boy, outlaws, gangster, cops stories, those stories that’s spill blood at every words ! The people Johnny, they want to be entertained ! Bring out the guns ! Violence ! That’s what’s sell now ! And you better be good at it ! You have to prove your worth toward me ! This is America Johnny, we work hard, harder than our neighboor, and we work well ! We make sacrifices so we can all succeed in our collective project which is, like I’ve said the day I became the boss, to be the number one magazine in America ! Fuck the others ! Especially Espire ! Esquire is managed by M. Thomas, a prick, a coward, someone that call himself a intellectual ! Ah ! Fuck ‘em Johnny ! I don’t want my magazine to be a den of intelectuals ! I want it to be the fast food of the magazine industry ! You can do that John right ? You’re with me right ? Ah ! You old cunt, you better be if you don’t wanna finish unemployed. A unemployed writer life is a life heading for the gutter ! Johnny, you don’t want to finish like that. Now, write me some bloody stories. No more talk, we need content, and the content that our everchanging audience really want. Out now ! Let’s get to work will ya’! »
Yes, those where is words. This men, coming from nowhere, that nobody in the industry knew, had the nerves to gave me lessons about how our magazine worked.
I had to do something but he said one true thing : I would have ended up in the gutter if I didn’t followed his directions.
This is why a write this letter to you, M. Anthelm. You and your magazine have been our fierce rival. We can never be good without a great rival. And God know you were a great opponent.
Why do I wrote those last lines like it was over ?
This letter will be my testimony, explaining why I did this.
Hopefully, when you’ll receive this letter, my plan would have come to term, successfully.
Yes, I have killed M. Catheren. He wanted me to spill blood, he got served.
I ended my life after my killing. Didn’t wanted to finish in prison for a young arrogant piece of shit.
Publish that letter, or do whatever you want with it. Make some money from that tragedy, scrap it to the last dollar you could produce with it.
Hopefully you will resume your outstanding work. The work of a real litterature’s magazine !
Long live the free writers ! Long live freedom. Long live America !
Johnny V. Covack.