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Inboxed by Matt McHugh

A common office drone reads his spam.

The full text of the story is available free online for individuals to read and share.

"Inboxed" was originally published in the Winter 2003 issue of The First Line, a magazine specializing in short fiction where all stories in the issue must begin with the same opening line. Reprinted here by permission.


     I opened my e-mail with a mix of apprehension and excitement. And there it was again today.

     Re: >>WANT? A B\IG\GER ~~P**E**N**I**S>> ???

     Yes. As a matter of fact, I do.

     Every day I get something like this. A different message for different pills to give you a bigger P**E**N**I**S. I wonder why they spell it like that? I suppose because it's supposed to be bigger. There's lots of them. Generic \/iagr@. L3v!tra substitute. Chinese herbal supplements. All all-natural. For fraction of the price. So, why not try one. I mean, just to see if it worked, you know. You never know.

     It's not like I'm teeny or something, but bigger would be nice. Like porn star big. Imagine how much more confident I'd be. Then, I'd be able to go up to Betty and be all like Hey, and she'd be like Hi, and we'd have a cool little talk like that. I can see Betty now. Across the aisle, near the end of the row, over her cube wall, past the printer, through the slots in the sorting tray. I can see her better in the reflection from the window when the sun's right. She's talking on the phone and laughing, quiet so no one hears. But I can almost hear. And I can see. I can always see, but she doesn't know.

     I click.


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"Inboxed" Copyright © 2003 The First Line. Reprinted here by permission.
Individuals may distribute this story freely for private, non-commercial use provided all author and copyright information remain intact on each copy.