Last week's Mercury featured a work of creative fiction by Jamie S. Rich. While I have nothing against Mr. Rich, I take issue with this paper serving as a ramshackle produce stand for the fruits of the public's hobbies. Since the Mercury feels free to take such liberties with its content, I trust no one will object if I care to follow Mr. Rich's lead. I myself am no stranger to the literary arts. This spring saw completion of my first children's manuscript, an exciting story entitled Sparky's Magic Bacon. In this thrilling excerpt from Chapter Two, young Sparky has escaped the mindless tyranny of his cub scout troop. As night falls, we join him in his discovery of a magical taco truck, hidden in a clearing.

The taco truck seemed perfectly sanitary. There was nothing edible to be found, although there had been at one time, judging from the ripe, pervasive odor. Yet Sparky was not disheartened. Better to be hungry, cold, and lost than to endure another hour with his insufferable scout troop. Scouting, Sparky reflected, was a crutch for the weak-minded and socially maladjusted. With these and other comforting thoughts in his head, Sparky laid his head on the truck's cold steel floor and let slumber engulf him.


"Hmmmf?" Groggily, Sparky opened his eyes. Only the faint gleam of the moon along the stainless steel counters did anything to illuminate his surroundings. He sat up. Had someone found him at last?


"Where are you?" Sparky stammered, alarmed.

"I AM HERE," the voice boomed. "ON THE COUNTER."

"Where?! I don't see you!" cried Sparky, his voice rising.


Finally, at the edge of the steel counter, Sparky discerned a lump, darker than the surrounding shadows. As he stared, it raised up, and slowly waved at him like an undersea plant.

Sparky's eyes widened.

"You're not bacon," he said softly. "You're wet."

Indeed, Sparky could see small beads of oily moisture glistening like sweat in the moonlight.

"I AM UNCOOKED, THAT IS ALL," said the bacon, rather stiffly. "ONE NEEDN'T BE COOKED TO BE BACON."

There was an uncomfortable silence. A moment later, there was a small, wet slap at Sparky's feet. The bacon had arrived.

Although I have already received many tempting offers from publishers around the country, I feel it would be premature to close the door on interested parties who believe they can help this book reach a larger audience. I can be contacted through the Mercury.