The Little Manuscript Girl by Raine Weaver

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From Raine….who wrote this three or four years ago and EVERY DAMN YEAR I ask her to repost it so here we go!

matchgirl

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved to write.  It was only when she was writing that she felt happy, for her life had been hard and brutally led.

Despite her kind heart and loving nature, the girl could find no comfort.  She lived in a starving artist’s loft during this most bitter of winters with no heat, surviving on ramen noodles and rice.  During the icy days she took to the streets, trying to sell her matches, dime bags, and maryjanes.  But with cluckers lurking in the alleys and undercover cops sniffing up her skirt, it was becoming ever so hard to make a simple sale, and the girl grew poorer and poorer as the weeks marched on.

Only during the frigid nights did she truly feel alive, when she could work on the romantic tales that made her happy—Hot with Heart.  Stories of studs on steeds, and jeweled nipple rings, and heroines sitting on rough, bearded faces until they came so hard they squealed for joy.

But her meager pennies were spent on stamps for submissions that disappeared in the dark maws of slush piles, and no one seemed to hear her cries.

Finally, upon this night, the coldest in recorded history, her little fingers were too numb to hold her nib of a quill.  Her stomach cramped with a terrible gnawing need that chewed away at her hope, and even her small drink of water had turned to ice.  Every now and then she moved her dainty, dimpled bum around in the seat to keep from freezing.  Even her wee coochie, as yet untouched by man, clenched and wept for warmth, distracting her from her work.

She could not even feel her feet beneath her shabby wooden chair, and the last ember of her poor fire gasped on the hearth.

“There is no help for it.”  She whispered to herself between chattering teeth.  “It is my best hope, my dearest love, my last existing manuscript…but I fear I must burn it or die.”

Twisting her last chapter into a roll, she lit it with the sharp flick of a match and tossed it into the fireplace.  Oh, how brightly it burned for a moment or two!  And in its light she imagined she saw a smiling publisher, contract in hand.

“Oh, my.  What a beautiful vision!  That must be what heaven looks like.”  Determinedly gritting her teeth, she sacrificed another chapter to the hearth.  And behold, in its golden light she saw an agent wielding a six-figured sword.

“There it is!” she cried.  “That’s it!  My dream, my dream!”

The poor urchin was so excited, she sacrificed her complete manuscript to the magic flames, basking in the short-lived warmth.  It was there in the vision before her, everything she’d ever wanted.
So overwhelmed was she by the revelation that she ran downstairs to Hans, her crackhead landlord, and shared her vision.

“Trippin’ off burning paper, eh?” he twitched.  “Well, you might as well add this to the bunch.  Here, this letter that came for you just before the weather turned.  Something about an acceptance.  I been holdin’ all your mail until you payed your freaking rent, but…”

It was The End.

The Little Manuscript Girl never wrote another romance.

For many years afterward, if anyone ever asked how such a fragile little thing could write the murder mysteries that made her famous, she would give them a shy, mysterious smile.
For many years afterward, her readers would remember that she was the only witness to the horrible fire that claimed her landlord’s life and home, and cluck their tongues in sympathy.

The Queen of Murder Mysteries rode in carriages with the handsomest horses, was rumored to have a penchant for jewels, used only the finest quills available, and always traveled in the company of rough-bearded men.

And always got a curious gleam in her eye whenever she found herself in the company of any man named Hans…

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