Hi there, person I may or may not know. My, you're looking handsome / beautiful / androgynously attractive today. Have you done something with your hair? No? Your teeth, maybe? Well, whatever it is, trust me, it's working.
Anyway ... funny thing you should happen by. You remember that story I had out in Lightspeed the month before last ... I think it was called something like Jenny's Sick? You know, the one you really loved / quite enjoyed / barely tolerated? Well, it just so happens that Lightspeed are having a reader's poll to pick the best story of their inaugural year. So, since you happen to be passing by, why not head over to this here link and cast your vote? Jenny's Sick is the one right at the bottom. Which is kind of the new top, am I right?
Not that I'm suggesting you should vote for Jenny's Sick if it wasn't your favourite. Or if, heavens forbid, you haven't read it. That would be just plain wrong. It's perfectly possible that you didn't enjoy my story at all. Maybe you hated it. Maybe it made you want to go out and garrote a badger. And that's completely understandable. In that case, obviously I wouldn't expect you to vote for my lovingly and time-consumingly manufactured tale just because I asked you nicely.
And I have asked nicely. Haven't I?
All things considered, though, since you're here, and presumably with nothing better to be doing, wouldn't it kind of make sense to just click on that link and hurl your precious vote into the electric void? I mean, ultimately, what does it matter if you thought Jenny's Sick's sucked like the world's biggest hoover? We're talking about a few seconds of your life here. More if you move really quickly. We're all adults here. Why not just do the reasonable thing?
But maybe you're not the reasonable type. Heck, some people aren't. There are people in the world who like to talk in cinemas, condone genocide and think boy bands are the future of modern music. And those people are entitled to their opinions, just like everyone else. So ... if you didn't enjoy Jenny's Sick ... and if you think seal-clubbing should be made an Olympic event ... then it's safe to say that no-one, let alone I, would criticise you in any shape or form for not voting for my delicately hand-crafted labour of love.
I did mention how nice your teeth are looking, right?
Not, you understand, that I'm just asking for my benefit. Because if you not only vote for Jenny's Sick but also leave a comment as to why you liked it so goddamned much you'll be elligible for the $50 prize that Lightspeed are offering. Fifty shiny, glistening, dollars ... just imagine them sitting in your moistened palm. It's almost too good to be true.
Which might lead you to think I'd just made it up to get you to say nice things about my story. I didn't. Really. Check it if you don't believe me.
Anyway, we could stand around here all day talking about how damn shiny your teeth are, but some of us have got polls to go vote in. Personally, I'm going for Ted Kosmatka's brilliant In Fall.
Which isn't to say you should.