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Thursday, May 8, 2014

WHEELS, Excerpt #4

Natalie lay down and turned on her tablet to check her email. She made a habit of checking in every time she stopped to get gas or just stretch her legs, so she was fairly sure at this time of the day there was nothing vitally important, requiring a prompt answer.
"Wrongo," she murmured, when she opened up her office email account and saw the forwarded message in the subject line. There was no other mail to claim her attention, after she deleted the junk. Another invitation to sign up for a single Christians dating service. Another request for help from an alleged persecuted/dying Christian who wanted her help to pass on a fortune to people who needed it.

Dear Editorial Department:

I really hate pestering you like this, but it's urgent I get in contact with one of your reporters, Natalie Schaeffer. We were roommates at Southeastern Christian College in Iowa. Maybe if I explain why, you'll help me? I'm afraid that if you forward my letter to Natalie, once she sees my name she'll delete it, unread. I don't blame her. But I really need to get through to her. Can you maybe flag this email so she'll at least read it to the end?

"Huh?" Natalie took her finger off the delete button, poised to tap the moment she figured out what the latest scam was, disguised as a request.
         Usually the main office of America's Voice was very good at weeding out the crackpots and weirdos and didn't forward their emails or letters to her. Sometimes, though, the person screening emails didn't pay attention. Since her name started appearing in America's Voice, Natalie was used to people demanding she tell their story and put it in print. At least a third of them made the mistake of listing all the previous reporters who had turned them down because they couldn't provide a single verifiable fact. Then there were the people who wanted her to ghost write their book, and promised her a "very generous" twenty percent of all profits for her work on their behalf. Usually they made the mistake of admitting all they had were some ideas, and she had to do all the research as well as help them promote the book.

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