Unrequited Novel…

Ruby: I’m not kidding, there’s a lock on it. All you have to do is unlock the scanner and it’ll work.

Ginger: Well, how was I supposed to know that?

Ruby: I gave you the directions.

Ginger: Like I read directions!

Ruby: Aren’t you going to pick up your mail?

Ginger: Unless you see some obvious bills or junk mail in there, it’s probably Elle’s.

Ruby: This package is Elle’s? You’re sure?

Ginger: She usually gets the fun stuff and I have my fun stuff delivered to your place. It’s easier than having to drive out to BFE to pick up my own packages.

Ruby: But, you’re absolutely sure this package is for Elle?

Ginger: Not as absolutely sure as I was before you started repeating the question…

Ruby: I only mention it because it’s addressed to Ginger Blaze.

Ginger: Well…they…do get…tricky when sending things to Elle.

Ruby: Do you read anything anymore?

Ginger: Shut up. Well, let’s see what it is. I’m not expecting anything…

Ruby: Who’s it from?

Ginger: I don’t know, I don’t recognize the return address…wait…I’ve seen this address somewhere before.

Ruby: I thought you didn’t recognize it.

Ginger: I don’t…but I’ve seen it somewhere…

Ruby: Well, open it. The suspense is killing me!

Ginger: Okay. It’s…it’s…I don’t believe it.

Ruby: What is it?

Ginger: Remember that manuscript I asked you to read over for grammatical and content critique?

Ruby: Vaguely…

Ginger: I gave a copy to Ben for a critique, as well.

Ruby: Ben the Pyromaniac?

Ginger: Yes.

Ruby: He sent you the ashes?

Ginger: No, he sent me his critique…

Ruby: You’re kidding.

Ginger: I knew I’d seen the address before!

Ruby: His prison cell address?

Ginger: Close, it’s his therapist’s! He must have asked his therapist to send it for him!

Ruby: Well, that explains why it’s not burned to a crisp…

Ginger: And I know he looked at it because of this!

Ruby: Ah. Yes. The traditional mark of an editor: blackened corners with an apology scribbled in red ink.

Ginger: Oh, and don’t forget the smell!

Ruby: Yes, what author doesn’t want a manuscript returned smelling like gasoline and stale cigarettes?

Ginger: Hey, you know what we should do?

Ruby: Burn it?

Ginger: Okay, Little Miss Negative-Attitude-Despite-The-Fact-My-Name-Can-Start-A-Fire…

Ruby: That is one really long ‘Little Miss’ name.

Ginger: I got a little carried away.

Ruby: Must be the fumes resurrecting some long-forgotten tryst.

Ginger: Actually, they kinda do…

Ruby: Ginger!

Ginger: Right. Know what we should do?

Ruby: Burn it?

Ginger: Oh, I’m feeling a little déjà vu-ish. But, really, know what we should do?

Ruby: Burn it?

Ginger: One track mind, lately?

Ruby: Okay, fine. Gee, Ginger, what should we do?

Ginger: BURN IT!

Ruby: You just wanted to be the one to say it, didn’t you?

Ginger: You betcha!

Ruby: You’re really okay with this, right? You’re not going to watch it go up in flames–well, considering the fumes, go up in ‘Vwoomph!’ is more accurate–and then suddenly cry out that you didn’t read his notes first, are you?

Ginger: No, of course not.

Ruby: Good. Let’s make it go ‘Vwoomph!’

Ginger: Yeah! Would you mind getting the tin trash can ready? I’ll be there in two seconds.

Ruby: You’re going to read his notes, aren’t you?

Ginger: …maybe… You’re the one who complained I wasn’t reading enough!

Ruby: Ginger…Ginger, look at his note here: ‘Needs More Fire.’ Do you think that is a truly helpful comment?

Ginger: You can’t just choose one random note by itself and use that as a standard. Maybe he had a bad day and was just…what are you doing?

Ruby: This fell out of the envelope. It has your name on it.

Ginger: Oh. Huh. “Dear Miss Blaze, I am sending this to you before Ben burns it. He is still very, very, very, very, very sick. His actions have no bearing on the work you put into this. I took the liberty of reading some of it and enjoyed what I read. Unfortunately, Ben soaked it in gasoline when he found out I was reading it, so I am returning it to you. Please send me a copy of the complete work so that I may find out what happens next. I would be extremely grateful. Yours, Dr. Z. Rhett.”

Ruby: So…what do we want to do now?

Ginger: Vwoomph. And then I’ll mail Dr. Rhett the copy he requested.

Ruby: Are therapists supposed to use the word ‘very’ 5 times in a sentence?

Ginger: You’ve never met Ben, have you?

Ruby: I met him once…

Ginger: And your conclusion?

Ruby: I don’t think Dr. Rhett used enough ‘very’s.

Ginger: Let’s go make something go ‘Vwoomph!’

Ruby: Are you going to read his notes first?

Ginger: Are you kidding? He’s very, very, very, very, very sick. His therapist, Dr. Ziggy Rhett told me so!

Ruby: Ziggy…Rhett?

Ginger: What?

Ruby: …Nothing. Let’s go.

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