“Under New Management,” by David Cook

Jun 10th, 2020 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Dear Reader,

First, thank you for your continued support of David Cook, flash fiction author.

You may have noticed a steady decline in the quantity and quality of output published by David in the last year.

However, David Cook is now under new management! He has quit his day job and is ready to FLY!

My name is Carter Townsend, motivator, management guru, teacher, friend. I have now taken over David’s affairs. My revolutionary management style will, I guarantee, double the quantity AND quality of his work over the next 12 months.

It’s going to be a BLAST!

All the very best,

Carter Townsend

Dream Realiser



Dear Mr Townsend,

I notice that David Cook, author of mediocre flash fiction, has yet to publish anything since your initial email, despite your promise to double his output.

Please don’t take this as a message of concern. I’m not that bothered if David has chosen to abandon his keyboard and, say, run away to live in the jungle. He may well be better suited to a life among the gorillas. He certainly looks like one. However, he has my fancy electric tin opener and I would like it back. He has yet to respond to my text messages about this.


Anastasia Cook (David’s Mum)



Dear Mrs Cook,

Please don’t worry – oh, you aren’t – about David’s work. His output, once so puny and ineffectual, is now thick and creamy and ready to EXPLODE all over the greedy faces of the literary community. In fact, he has written so much goddamn flaming hot new material that we have decided to put it all into a collection. There is merely a teeny bit of editing to be done to this earth-shattering, revolutionary book of prose. Then his word cannon will be unleashed. The world will NEVER be the same AGAIN.

Carter Townsend

Dream Realiser



Dear Carter,

You certainly have a way with words – far more so than my son, in fact, who up until a few years ago thought a dipthong was something women wore beneath their skirts. Perhaps you should consider unleashing your own word cannon one day? I for one would enjoy that.

I am intrigued by the idea of a collection. May I ask what your methods are? It certainly sounds as if they worked after all.

I have yet to receive the tin opener, by the way. Please could you check that it was definitely posted? My dog is hungry.

Fond wishes,



Dear Annie – may I call you that?

Regarding my methods: each day myself and David undertake a deep-dive programme of thought showers to help further develop a vision framework with the aim of aligning intentionality with ideation output.

I hope that makes things clearer.

Rest assured, David’s collection of work, THE SURREALITY AND INJUSTICE OF SPANISH ECHIDNAS, will be ERUPTING into the inboxes of unsuspecting literary head honchos and honchesses imminently. Awards and glory will surely follow!

Thank you for your complimentary words about my prose. I enjoy your way with a preposition too. Have you ever considered publishing some stories? Perhaps we should meet for a drink sometime to discuss how I can help? I would LOVE to take a closer look at your conjunctions.

Yours hungrily,

Carter Townsend

Boyfriend Material



Dear Carter,

Invitation accepted!

Shall we say 8pm at the Thirsty Parsnip?

(Please bring the tin opener with you!)





I was appalled by your lascivious behaviour last night. If this is how you try to seduce women old enough to be your mother, I have no idea how you plan to woo the respectable folk of the literary magazine community into publishing my son’s debut collection.

That’s an awful title for a book, by the way. ‘The Surreality of Spanish Echidnas’? It means nothing. It’s entirely vacuous. I assume it was your idea.

The only reason I accepted your invitation was in the hope that you might bring my damn tin opener. But you didn’t. So after the police had escorted you away, I went round to my son’s house. I now have it back. I’ve half a mind to stick it up your bottom sideways. Also, I am now taking control of David’s affairs. FYI, the collection is terrible. No editor would take it in its current state. I have ordered David to completely rewrite it. Also, I have come up with a theme for the collection that will be impossible for any publisher to resist.

You’re fired.

Anastasia Cook


Dear Editor,

Please find attached the debut flash fiction collection by up-and-coming flash fiction author David Cook, titled SWEDISH FURNITURE SUPERSTORE FEVER DREAMS.

It comprises 181 tiny tales about erecting flat-pack furniture and the nightmares that can ensue, both literal and metaphorical.

Please send your acceptance forthwith.

Anastasia Cook

(David’s Mum)


Dear Anastasia,

Are you serious? Thanks but no thanks.

Kind regards,

The Editor



No-one wants your collection.

Sorry, I tried. C’est la vie!



Dear Mr Cruickshank,

I am emailing to request my job back as Junior Dishwasher at the Thirsty Parsnip.

Your were right, I was never talented enough to publish a collection of stories, nor, as you said, would it be my ticket to fame and fortune if I, by some miracle, actually found some sucker dumb enough to print it. I apologise for chasing my dreams and leaving you short-handed in the pan-scrubbing department, all at the behest of that ‘dickhead of a brother-in-law’ of yours, Carter.

My mother will return the electric tin opener she stole from your kitchen. I did not know until recently she had done that. She gave it to me for my birthday. Carter may have told you she threatened to stick it up his rear end sideways, but I do not believe she did so.

Please let me know if you will accept my apology and allow me to return, at reduced wages if needs be.

Thank you.

David Cook

Author Dishwasher?


David Cook is not under new management, but he does look like a gorilla. Say hi on Twitter @davidcook100.




Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.