Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Insincere Apology - Letter to Leon Czolgosz (Planned Novel Excerpt)
(This is an assignment I completed for Professor Heather Varnadore for the class: ENGL 461 - Creative Fiction Writing at Kansas State University on November 14, 2009. The assignment was "Formal Writing 3: The Insincere Apology." This letter is intended to be an excerpt of "Perfecting the Past" - an alternate-history novel I have been planning.)
From the desk of:
Chairman Taka Shinohara
1 Shinohara Parkway, Top Floor chamber suite
Lincoln, NE 68521
April 1, 1901
Dear Mr. Leon Czolgosz,
As I had a crate specially sprayed gold, with the label “To Be Opened by Leon Himself,” I hope that in this crate, this letter finds you well, along with the other precious items I and my workers have left for you at your villa. As you may have noticed by now, by the time that you read this letter, all of my movers will have finished their duties and moved off your island while you slept, on what is most likely the scheduled date of May 31, 1901.
I humbly apologize, but I have left you without a boat. You however, have been left with 10 years’ supplies worth of nonperishable food, plus a garden and a crate full of seeds for you to grow your own food from. For companionship, I have provided you with a pair of dogs, cats, and parrots. For activities, I have provided you with stacks of empty journals, crates of pencils and pens, easels and art supplies, numerous literary works, and many other hobby items. I sincerely hope that they and these will all help you cope in this most difficult isolating time.
Now you see, you must realize that leaving you on this island was a national necessity for the good of the United States government. I have studied your life, and known you as a man with a tendency to attempt disorder in government, other sectors of politics and the overall public good.
After my agents studied your journals, we have learned of your anarchist interests and plans, and it was decided amongst us that in order to prevent you from causing a national tragedy on our soil, we would move you to a private mansion and island off the coast of Jamaica.
I realize that this letter will deeply trouble you and leave you in emotional agony, but as you have also demonstrated reclusive tendencies, I trust that you will quickly learn to adapt to your isolation and thrive with the resources we have brought to this island before settling you here.
In this remote region of the Caribbean, I have given consideration to the possibility of adverse weather in the area, and had my workers dig five floors of cellars for you below ground, so that you would stay completely safe in case any inclement storms arrive at your island. I would advise you to place your most precious works in these cellars, so that they are less subject to the elements than they would be above ground.
In the event that you somehow learn to craft a boat out of crate and other materials, and wend your way back to civilization, by the time you re-enter the United States, I will have arranged for the Secret Service to be more thoroughly secure in how they coordinate security between the President and visiting public. This was made possible by paying off the entire National Debt, giving the United States a Surplus, and gaining considerable influence with the U.S. Government as a result. I will also have bankrolled the research and development of more effective methods of personal security so that any high-powered figure will be safer from would-be assassins. Therefore, if you still have plans to commit an assassination, those will become more likely to fail as the intended targets will be too thoroughly secured by their security details at that point.
From your learning this, I hold out high hopes that you will focus your energies on more productive pursuits (of which the penning of literary journalism would be a great example thereof) and gain numerous inspirations during your isolation. From this, if you somehow wend your way back to society, you will have hopefully abandoned your anarchic ways and undertake pursuits that are helpful to society.
Once again, I humbly apologize for leaving you on a deserted island, but this was so that society and the government would remain safe while your isolation transforms you into the man that society will embrace instead of loathe.
As a footnote, I cordially invite you to read the velvet Bible I have also left for you in the golden crate. I hope that it provides you with mounds of inspiration, and makes you a better person than you are now.
With the utmost sincerity,
- Taka Shinohara,
Chairman of Shinohara Group