From the author: As a fun promotional item, Jennifer wrote a flash story of how she dies for the conventions she attended. These were printed out on postcards and given out to fans and friends. This story was written for and given out during the SASQUAN / WORLDCON in 2015.
“Excuse me, please.”
Jennifer turned at the sound of the pleasant male voice. A handsome young man with tanned skin and brown hair smiled at her. She smiled back.
“I don’t mean to bother you, Miss Brozek, but I have something for you. My name’s Dylan and I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your comments on my story…”
Jennifer tilted her head. “Thank you. Which story was it?”
Dylan paused, his smile disappearing for a moment before reappearing in a dazzling display of white teeth. “It’s called ‘Birth of a Hunter.’ The story about the demon and the stolen sword.”
She bowed her head, thinking, then smiled at him. “Oh, Dylan. Yes. I remember that story. It was very close. I’m sure you’ll get it next time.”
Dylan kept his smile firmly in place as he offered Jennifer the envelope. “Yes, I’m sure. This is something I wrote you. You don’t need to read it now. I’d prefer you to read it when I’m not here. It’s always hard to watch an editor read something you’ve written.”
Jennifer nodded as she accepted the letter. “Of course. Thank you.”
He shifted from foot to foot couple of times before he gave her a little wave. “See you around.”
“You, too. Have a good convention.” Jennifer watched him go with small smile. She loved helping authors.
Jennifer found the envelope an hour later as she emptied her purse of the extra stuff conventions always generate. She sat down as she opened the envelope. The combination of both movements caused the poisonous powder within the envelope to puff up and around her. She coughed and half laughed with a sardonic shake of her head, “Appreciation, indeed.” She brushed at the powder on her cloths. “Bastard.”
Her mirth disappeared as she read the note within.
This is the last thing you will read. You’ll never break another author’s heart again.
Panic took over as Jennifer tried to get up but was unable to move. She gasped for breath as the weaponized strychnine took hold, locking her muscles in place. Death was quick as the neural pathways controlling her breathing shut down and she quietly, efficiently asphyxiated.
This story originally appeared in Apocalype Ink Productions.