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Mr. Canada

by mrbasslooper 

Posted: 27 September 2006
Word Count: 1041
Summary: A thriller/satire that looks at the process of revision.

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It was Autumn in New York: blustery blue days filled with the scattergun spray of red and yellow maples. The Twin Towers again cast looming shadows over the Financial district, business was booming, and even the Statue of Liberty had been restored to her former glory. The war of terror had finally been laid to rest, and Captain Jonn Stucker was happy to be home from a stint in Canada.

Long gone were the days of Canadian independence: American training of Canada’s militia, in spite of civilian protests, proved to be the right thing to do. Now Captain Jonn Strucker had nothing to do, nothing at all , but to enjoy his long deserved holiday in the suburbs.

He changed into his civies and left his uniform at his locker at JFK airport. He took a yellow cab in and by 430pm he found himself at his favorite New York hangout: The Saxophone.

“Hey Jonn, it’s Rita- Could you tell me when are you coming in?”
The voice on his cel sounded pleasant but stiff, more controlling than welcoming. Jonn didn’t bother to respond instead he ordered a second pint of Becks.

3 guys in identical musician’s garb: black on black with the simmering cool tattiness of Jazz, walked into the bar and headed towards the stage.

Within a few minutes, they were tweaking, tinkering, and tuning away at their instruments.

“Hey Jonn glad to have ya back. How was the weather up there?”
One of the musicians, the guitarist, recognized the lone figure sitting next to the bar.
“Not as cold as you guys. Have you learned anything new since I’ve been away?”
“Ya.. we changed our whole set list just on account of you!” The guitarist joked, then added,
“So when you gonna pick up your horn again?”
“Not sure –have to rid of the wife first.”
“Yeah, we knew she was trouble the first time she walked in. Did ya know Spidey used to have a crush on her?”

Jonn looked over to a bemused man combing his dreadlocks behind the drum kit.

He tilted his glass towards Spidey in mock congratulations, then again the unmistakable sound of a cel phone buzzed from inside Jonn’s coat pocket.

“Hey, I was just about to call you.” He lied.
“Jonn. Honey, listen very carefully. There’s someone inside the house.”

She spoke with a possessed hush, a hint of fear betrayed the sweetness of her voice.
Suddenly the beer in his gut took on extra weight, a familiar shock of fear choked Jonn by his vocal cords, then shoved itself expressionless upon his face.

“Where are you?” He whispered.
“I’m in the garden…. behind the shed.”
“What do you mean someone’s in the house?”
“I mean someone’s in the house, someone we don’t know….what don’t you believe me?!”
“O.K. o.k.,” he said as if he were stalling for time.
“Where’s Spike?
“I don’t know, I took him out for a walk this morning bu..”
She didn’t finish her sentence.
‘What is it? What’s going on?”
“Jonn…It’s Spike. He’s on the pavement, Oh my God… he’s dead. He’s lying on the pavement…”
Finally, years of police training kicked in. Jonn’s mind was no longer in the Jazz club. He was now there, on the scene and he knew exactly how to handle the situation.
‘O.k Rita,” he instructed, here’s what I want you to do.


On the 32nd floor of the Siemens Holdings and Loan building, Terrance Butler ignored the ringing of his desk phone and observed the mass of Manhattan rush hour traffic below his office window.

How often had he thought of simply jumping into one of hundreds of Yellow cabs that lined the tree-lined streets and leaving it all behind.

Like a child staring at a rainy day, he slowly ran his fingers along the tinted glass; sadly, ever since he had become the Chairman of the Writers in Touch publishing empire, any thoughts of a life outside of writing was the stuff of fantasy.

He picked up the phone; he instantly wished he hadn’t. His chief publicist, Don Kelly, was talking a mile a minute.
“Listen Ter, we got a problem: Dave and Gordon are divided over the beginnings of Nyberg’s new piece, seems Dave thinks its America bashing.
Get this- Nyberg’s offered to change the setting to Lithuania- but Gordon is really happy with it.
He thinks it’s got too much information in the first act for our readership to handle...seems like he wants to dumb it down, although Dave on the other hand wants to scrub it all together.
What should we do?”

A novice publisher could have seen it coming and Terrance Butcher was no novice, 30 years controlling the W.I.T. empire made this little tiff-up seem childish.
He reacted as he always had when dealing with temper-mental writers: he slowed his voice down to the primary school level making sure there was no chance of mis-communication.

“Don, as far as myself and the share-holders of WIT are concerned, Mr. Nyberg can do whatever he pleases -I’ve seen drafts of the next few chapters-they’re excellent.
He’s going to do a surprise reading at Carnegie Hall- it’s already booked, and quite frankly, Dave should be delighted that Derek would offer to change the setting of such a potentially monumental book.
Having said that, the one problem we have is that Derek has been away from Canada so long he hardly knows the place. ‘Gee it would be good to get back home” he told me.
So I would be delighted if you could make the arrangements...taking into account that he has a terrible fear of flying…oh , and Don? The one change I would like to see in the book is the dog character, Spike. Tell Mr. Nyberg under no circumstances should he kill off that character and we would like to see the dog possess some interesting characteristics-perhaps telepathic abilities…”

He put down the phone, softly squelching the protesting sounds emancipating from the receiver.


Rita put the cel phone back in her pocket, then took one last look around the corner- a pool of blood was all that remained. Somehow, as if divine intervention, her beloved poodle of 15 years, Spike, had vanished!

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