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Cover Letter

Dani Atkinson keeps sitting down to try to write a brilliant novel but getting bored and then writing flashfic to "warm up."

From Janey Doherty, 212 First St. West, Claresbridge, AB, T7H 0T0
Phone: 403.555.0186 Email: jdoh@fauxmail.com
March 10, 2014.
To The Monster in my Closet, 212 First St. West, Claresbridge, AB, T7H 0T0
Dear M. Monster,
I am writing to inquire about possible openings at your company for an assistant or apprentice monster. I am interested in an entry level position that will grant me an opportunity for creative expression and potential for advancement into a full-time monstering career.
Though I have admittedly little experience with scaring others, I have a long history of being on the receiving end. I am as you know a lifelong recipient of monster originated frightenings. I also spend a great deal of time afraid of my three older sisters, who are all smarter and sweeter and prettier than me. So I am told. My mother wants me to cut my hair short like my sisters. They look good with short hair, and have smooth legs. My legs bleed from razors and itch from stubble that grows in only hours. My nails are never short enough. Mother makes me cut them again and again until they are bleeding too. I still cut them when she tells me. I am afraid of my mother.
Since entering junior high school and falling to the bottom rung of the social ladder, I also have been introduced to a wide variety of fears outside the home. The girls in class whisper about my nails and hair. They whisper very loudly. I have not dared log in to any of my online accounts in months. Last week I caught two ninth-grade boys lighting plastic crates on fire behind the gym. They held me to the wall, held the lighter to the hair on my legs. They laughed.
I am afraid all the time.
It is a relief to close my bedroom door, turn off the lights, and be frightened by a professional. When you creep out to the corners of my vision, and unfold limbs with too many joints to be possible according to everything taught me in either biology or geometry class, I am terrified. It is a terror deep and rich. It feels old. In the morning there are claw marks scarring the doorframe and the bedposts. I do not know how my family thinks I make them with my blunt and bloody fingers.
I stopped telling my mother and sisters about you long since. I gave my crayon drawings of impossible limbs and too many eyes to you, instead. I put them under the closet door. You always took them. I hope you liked them.
I give you this letter, and my attached résumé, the same way. My mother wants me to get a summer job this year. I don't want the ones she suggested in places where my sisters work that would help to make me small and blunt. I want a job that will let ME be the staring eyes and whispering voices. I want my nails to be long talons dripping someone else's blood. I would have all my dark hair about me, long and coarse and shaggy. I want many gaping mouths and bright sharp teeth. Let me be scary and not scared, fearsome and not afeared. I want to bite and burn.
I want to learn.
I am eager to contribute my abilities and experience to your organization. Given my natural aptitude and vast knowledge of terror, I believe that with training I will be of great help in meeting your goal of providing only the most high quality fear to your clients.
Feel free to call me any time outside of school hours at 403.555.0186, or send a return letter under the closet door. I look forward to hearing from you.
Janey Doherty
The End
This story was first published on Monday, August 11th, 2014

Author Comments

This story happened because job hunting was frustrating and made me want to lock myself in a closet, emerging only to eat people, pretty much. The story actually started as one of those cover letter templates you find online; the character's name is derived from the "John Doe" that originally filled in the sample letter provided.

- Dani Atkinson
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