Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)
TITLE: Not A Clue
By Amanda Brogan
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There were six of us in the room. Mrs. Maroon, my secretary, sat fanning herself on the end the sofa. My publisher, Sky Blue, lounged on the other end next to his blonde tank-topped fiancée – the gorgeous Aqua Marine. I stood near the only window, and my faithful editor, Eddy Tore, had chosen an armchair next to the sofa.
Oh, and let’s not forget Kale Chalcocite. My best buddy from college with whom I aced our journalism class. He was leaning in the corner to my left, not far from the sofa.
They all looked at me.
“I suppose you’re wondering why I called you here today.”
“It is on a matter of utmost importance.” I paused, looking each person in the eye. “Turns out that someone is altering my stories before they are published.”
Gasps filled the room.
“Now, I could overreact and take somebody to court, but I’ve decided to settle it here.”
“Do you know who it is?” Kale inquired.
“No. But I thought maybe a little discussion would reveal the perpetrator.”
“Are you implying that someone here has done it?” Aqua gazed up with innocent eyes, glancing from her fiancé to me.
“I intend to find out. Would you each kindly affirm what contact you have had with my novel in its unpublished state?”
“Well,” Mrs. Maroon huffed, “I certainly haven’t done anything to it. I hardly have time to complete my desk work, let alone read, and certainly not change your silly book.”
“How about you, Sky? What was it like when you got a hold of it?”
“I thought it was brilliant, Green, or I wouldn’t have published it. You know how closely I worked with you through the process.”
“Yes,” Aqua added, “Sky would have never altered your novel. I was able to read it before its printing as well. I can’t imagine why anyone would want a single sentence rearranged! It was perfect.”
“Besides, what would be the benefit for me if I had changed it? No one would want a publisher who changes their stories before printing them. I’d go out of business for sure.”
Pondering the logic of his statement, I nodded slowly. “Eddy?”
“Of course, there are many things I edit before sending the final copy off to our friend, Sky.” He winked. “But I always check with you first.”
“In that case,” I paced the floor. “It must have been someone who had the manuscript after it was edited but before it was published.”
Mrs. Maroon squirmed slightly and fidgeted with her fan. Then with jerky movements, she lifted it in the air, “I ... believe I remember you telling me to be sure that Mr. Chalcocite received a copy of the edited manuscript for reviewing.”
All eyes turned to Kale.
“First of all, I must attest that Sky and Aqua are blameless.” He began. “If I am correct, they had not read the original copy and would be unaware of any changes."
“Mrs. Maroon is correct. She did indeed send me the manuscript and I found a few things out of place.” He nodded towards the armchair. “So I sent it back to the editor.”
Eyes again turned.
He continued, “I’m guessing that the only change was to the character of a mean editor in the story. Correct, Green?”
My eyes widened. “Yes, that was it. Nothing major, but it did change the character’s role in the story.”
“Well, what makes you think I would want to change a character?” Eddy wiped a bead of sweat from his brow.
Kale held his gaze. “Because maybe you couldn’t stand the idea of an editor being portrayed in a negative light.”
Eddy’s eyes darted from Kale to Sky and finally to me. “That’s ... that’s um ... how could you suggest ...”
“Mr. Eddy Tore.” My arms crossed my chest. “It looks like you have some explaining to do.”
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