Letter to an evil agent recalling a death threat

Dear (esteemed agent),
It has come to my attention that some of what I wrote
to you might actually be considered a real threat, and I
want you to know that of course as a writer of satire
and noir I was only practicing my trade.
Of course I would never want you to be looking
over your shoulder wondering whether a disgruntled
writer would crack your skull with a baseball bat or
stick a knife in your spine to disable you before cutting
your throat in the elevator of your building. That
would truly be awful, for we are both fathers, and, as I
know, you made every effort to do right by my son and
just could not manage. I would not deprive your chil327
dren of a father. I simply take a joke too far. Sorry
about that, and please do not fear my coming at you
with a baseball bat to your skull or a knife to your
spine (before slitting your throat). I am not that type of
man, and in fact some of the violence my characters engage
in sickens me – I cannot stand when they take a
bat to a skull or a knife to a spine prefatory to slitting a
In fact, though I know you have officially, and tenderly
at that, resigned as my agent, I still would love
for you to read my novel “Kramberger with Monkey, or
Still Life,” for despite the lack of baseball bats and
knives to spines, there is much blood and humor, which
I know to be to your taste.
If you are interested, please let me know, and I will
send you that novel – it’s all about assassination, but
only as satire, and there is no glee or satisfaction taken
in the manner of deaths. Plus none happen in New
York, none with a baseball bat to the back of your head
or any other head, and no knives to your spine or any
other spine.
I hope this puts you at ease. You do know, of
course, from your experience with fiction writers, that
we have a hard time turning off the imagination, and so
if I seem to imagine bashing in your skull with a baseball
bat or catching you in your elevator and knifing
you in the spine prefatory to slitting your throat, it is
only that fictional part of me, that irrepressible free fictional
spirit in me, giving you the blood and tension
that I have come to know you enjoy in a novel.
All the best,
Rick Harsch

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