"Yes, I am."
I was more than tired. I was mentally exhausted and physically fatigued. My eyes were too tired to focus on the objects around me.
"You know why you are here?"
The light on my face seemed intense. The big, burly types that dragged me in and shoved me into the chair moved behind the light, the glare making them as invisible as the voice addressing me angrily.
"I have a good idea."
"You have not made a post in your blog since March. We pay you good money for content. We want to know why you have not produced any."
"I'm sorry...umm...I didn't really have the time."
"You lie! We have seen your pseudonym on other sites with commentary, while you shirk your contractual obligations."
"Ok..uhm..well...I really didn't feel like blogging for awhile. Some of the nasty letters were scary and I thought I'd take a few months vacation."
"You still lie! We filter your mail and you haven't received any threats for over a year! Who do you think we are...the incompetent vote counters of Lake County, Indiana?"
"You do? You did? Hey that's an invasion of my privacy! Of my readers privacy! I protest!"
"You work for us. You abide by our rules. You public figure - you pay heavy price."
The Japanese Syndicate that backs me had before only interviewed me once by telephone. They seemed quite nice on the phone and their contracts and letterhead was perfumed with lotus flower scent. I never suspected they would treat their contracted talent in such a way. And they are all women. I thought it would be a win-win deal.
"My contract never stated a specific number of blog entries per year or per month."
I think I have them now. It's true. The contract I signed had nothing about quantity only that my contract would be reviewed every 6 months.
"Perhaps you didn't read the fine print! Page four, paragraph three, line 7: monthly generated content must exceed fifteen thousand words!"
"Where? Let me see that! I never read anything like that when I signed!"
She throws the contract in my face. I pick it up and my eyes adjust and try to read the page, paragraph and line in question.
"That whole paragraph is in Japanese! I assumed it repeated the paragraph above!"
"You assumed wrong. Ignorance is not an excuse."
"Ok. I screwed up. How can I get back in your good graces? How about if I produce a steady string of humorous content for a week or two? Every day! Two weeks! Whaddya say? Can't we put all this kidnapping in the middle of the night stuff behind us?"
She stood in front of the light and the light lit up her tight red silk gown. Her slender, golden legs reflected some of the glare accentuating her firm thigh muscles. She was a knock out. I never imagined my syndicate boss was this gorgeous and as she drew closer I could smell the lotus flower perfume which emanated from underneath her gown. She walks up to me and she sees the way I am ogling her. She bends down and looks into my eyes with her big honey colored eyes.
"Oh..you think you can make it up to me, huh. You think you can make up for lost readership, traffic and advertising dollars, huh? You lucky you so handsome, I'm going to give you one chance to make it up to me. You let me down though and you had it - I'll let you imagine your fate."
She strokes her graceful finger underneath my chin and her nail scratches me. I look up and she smiles in a way that betrays total innocence. I feel like I am suddenly in a Terry and the Pirates comic strip and the Dragon Lady has me at her mercy.
"I promise. You'll be happy with the results. You've already given me an idea for my next blog entry."
"Oh I have, have I?"
"Yes. You'll love it...and well if you don't love the readers and advertisers will and that's all that matters, right?"
"Yes. That's all that matters. You perform well I will reward you in ways you can't begin to imagine. You fail us and well..."
"I understand. May I leave now?"
"Yes. You best go to your computer and start typing."
"Oh, I will. I will!"