Sea Monkey Division
P.O. Box 809
Bryans Rd., MD 20616
INRE: Sea Monkey Miscarriage
Dear Sir or Madam:
Not two days ago, I experienced a devastating loss and the promise of microbial joy has slipped from my fingers like so many golden leaves fallen from an oak during autumn, nature's death rattle before the onset of winter. I fastidiously followed your fine company's competent directions to hatch my precious aquatic monkeys: treating the water with the solution provided in packet #1, waiting for that magic temporal window between twenty-four and thirty hours after the treatment (although it seemed like an eternity, it was actually twenty-six hours, thirty-eight minutes), and finally gently stirring my precious monkey eggs (packet #2) into the loving, watery wonderland I had created for them.
Alas—nothing. No Proustian burst of animation upon the hydration of those tender freeze-dried lives, instead—nothing. They held promise, those monkeys—pure potentiality possessed on the tip of a pin, for naught—for nothing.
Instead of woefully racking my brain for the reasons as to why this morose miscarriage of monkey life occurred, I turn to you, Transcience Corporation, for an answer—why? I fear that my motivations may have been impure—perhaps there was a part of me that wanted to hatch them merely to name so many little juniors after myself and parade the aquatic joy I knew I would experience in front of my monkeyless friends—but I cannot bear the solitary weight of blame any longer.
I anxiously await your reply and I am happy to send in the soulless water and debris resting sadly in its final sleep at the bottom of my monkey pen if your company requires an autopsy. If only I could be given another chance to experience the joy of creating life.
Included below is the signature of an associate of mine, [NAME REDACTED], who functioned as a midwife of sorts during the unfortunate events. Although he is not a notary public, he can attest to our procedural propriety during those unfortunate moments, when the entire world seemed to sound a knell for the loss.
Martha A. Webber
Martha Webber is an assistant professor at California State University Fullerton where she teaches writing for the Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics. Her nonfiction has appeared on Paper Darts online before in 2011. She is currently working on a memoir that explores questions of materiality and knowledge-production, which is just a highfalutin way to say she's writing about her past as a Wikipedia vandal.
Illustration by Meher Khan.