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Fast Fiction: Headline

Richard Mallinson's tale reminds us of the first law of tabloid journalism: Never let the facts stand in the way of a good headline.

To read More of Richard's fast fiction please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/fast_fiction/

'You must be the poet,' she said.

'No,' I said, 'I'm the publisher. .. That's the poet over there - the one with the short hair.'

'Ha,' she said, 'all you men have long hair except the poet... By the way, I'm doing a piece on him for the Daily Blare. My name is -'

'Any publicity's welcome,' I said.

'Any? . . . Well, it'll only be a short piece - like his hair. Now, will you introduce me? My name is -'

'Yes, Clarice, I know who you are,' I said, taking her to him.

'Another drink?' I asked when she'd talked to him.

'Another? I haven't had the first one yet.'

'And what do you think of the poet?' I asked as we left.

'Oh, he's just a boor and a bore.'

'That's only an act,' I said.

'Well, he must be a pretty good actor.'

'That's because he's from Liverpool.'

She began to laugh. Thanks for telling me,' she said. 'The short-haired actor from Liverpool - that'll be the headline.'

'But, Clarice, he's a poet, not an actor.'

'Hey,' she said, 'don't be such a flaming spoilsport.'

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