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Authors: Margaret McHeyzer

Smoke and Mirrors

BOOK: Smoke and Mirrors
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Copyright 2014 Margaret McHeyzer

All rights reserved. This book is copyright. Apart from the fair purpose of private study, research or review as permitted by the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced without written permission.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

ISBN 978-0-9925621-6-8


Dear Jane

A Woman Torn

What If?

The Hired Help


Double Trouble

The Sub


It’s Harder Than You Think

The Rookie Cop

Mr Brody

The Good Doctor

The Man Who Ran


Sometimes Life Happens

From The Wrong Side

Agent Lewis

Dear Ms. McHeyzer

Some Words From Me

Also By Me

Dear Jane,

Thank you. I appreciate the feedback you’ve so kindly left for me in reference to the ARC (advanced reader copy) of my new book,
Smoke and Mirrors

I particularly love how you said you would rather burn your eyes out with Tabasco sauce than read another book by me. One of my favorite parts of your comment was, “This writer clearly lacks the talent to evoke emotion or create an interesting story line. I’d love to see all her work ripped from publication and burnt. Please, Ms. McHeyzer, if you have to write, choose your (hopefully unpublished) journal. And then once you’re finished with it, take it out the back yard and shit all over it, because you’re clearly incapable of stringing together a comprehensible sentence.”

Thank you for those lovely words. They’ll help me grow as a writer and my development in my chosen field of work. Although saying things like, “If I could, I’d take a gun and shoot the writer between the eyes,” is a bit harsh, even from someone like you.

Since you seemed to take pleasure in ripping me down and insulting me so publicly, I thought I’d respond to you in the same courteous manner and tell you my story.

Eighteen months ago my husband became terribly ill. After many tests, the doctors found he had stage two lung cancer. Because of that diagnosis he fell into a deep depression, finding it difficult to get up in the morning, even neglecting his own health and appearance.

There are days he can barely get out of bed to go to work, and although the company he works for has been incredibly supportive of him during his illness, there will come a time when they’ll have to do what’s best for their business and let him go. As it is, all his vacation time has been depleted, and when he doesn’t go to work, his pay gets docked. Our saving grace (at this stage) is that they allow him to come in and work when he can.

Our four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with autism when she was two. I’ve had do to whatever I can to help her. Which meant changing everything from our daily routines to her food, and balancing her needs against my husband’s, all to give her as normal a life as possible.

Four months ago, on the way to a pediatrician’s appointment for our daughter, I was T-boned by a drunk driver. Thankfully, neither my daughter nor I suffered anything major. I broke my arm and my daughter had whiplash. The insurance company for the driver of the other car refused to pay for our damages because he was well above the legal limit for drunken driving, and therefore, had committed a crime. His insurance policy included a waiver that the company was held harmless if their insured’s vehicle was used for the commission of a crime. And guess what? With all our medical expenses, I had to choose which to pay. Our car insurance (and the deductible for our car’s repair) or my child’s and husband’s medicines? You can guess which I opted for.

So now, we have no car in addition to everything else that has happened. This makes doing anything very difficult, as my daughter has a phobia about public transportation.

In addition, we’re three months behind on our mortgage. We’ve gotten our final disconnect warnings on our utilities and I’m pretty sure our foreclosure notice is already in the mail.

And to add to everything else, I’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure and need to take medication (which I can’t afford) in order to bring it down to avoid a stroke or a heart attack, because if I die, I’d leave both my husband and my daughter on their own.

“Family?” I hear you ask. Easy…I don’t have any.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a mother and a father, though I have nothing to do with them. My father sexually assaulted me when I turned twelve, telling me “it’s my job to teach you how to fuck.” When I told Mom what Dad had done, she dismissed it and said Dad wouldn’t do anything like that. One day, she came home from work early and found me tied naked to their bed while my father was doing things he shouldn’t. She screamed at me and told me I was a “slut who was asking for it.”

I’m sure you can see why I ran and never went back again.

My husband’s family helps when they can, but they’re far from wealthy. They take our daughter when she allows it, but her autism makes her skittish with others and she prefers to stay with me.

I work at the local grocery store as a cashier when my husband has good days and can care for our daughter. I’m blessed and fortunate that my boss is the most kindhearted and caring man that God could have given me as a supervisor.

Even though he’s not family, he’s helped us out so much. He accommodates me whenever he can. Everyone at the supermarket has been truly compassionate.

One of the young girls (this is her first “real” job) bought me a bag of groceries in her second week at work, because she said, “It’s my job as a person to help another out when they just need a break.” What sixteen-year-old does things like that? I held it together when she gave it to me, but broke down and sobbed as I cooked with the ingredients.

I try and write, and sell what I can to make just enough money to hopefully cover the cost of a couple more medications for my husband and daughter.

I only hope that I’ll never have to come to a point where I’ll have to choose who needs their medication more.

Now I come back to you. I had no intentions of airing my dirty laundry on social media, because frankly, it’s none of your damn business (or anybody else’s).

But you chose to make your public comment extremely personal, insulting, and vicious. So I wanted to tell you why I choose to write.

I truly hope you got what you wanted from your comment. I expect it made you feel important for a moment, superior, and I hope you felt that was satisfying.

Me? Well, I think you’re nasty. But hey, your opinion of me means nothing, because I don’t have the time to worry about you and besides, it’s not my business what you think of me.

I can just imagine how proud your parents would be to know they’ve raised a daughter like you, someone who delights in ripping people apart with little, if any, conscience regarding the words they use to attack, feeling safe to do so in the relative anonymity of the Internet.

Have you ever heard the term “cyber bully”? I think your picture should illustrate the definition.

Now that I’ve had my say, I’ll bet you can’t even be bothered to read it. And if you do, you probably won’t give a shit.

And that’s okay, because let’s face it – you’re by nature self-absorbed, narrow-minded, judgmental, and deliberately cruel.

I’m glad that I don’t know you because really, you’re not anyone I’d want to hang out with. I prefer my friends to have integrity, compassion, and positivity.

Again, thank you for your comments. I hope my response finds you.

Kind regards,


PS: Now tell the world I can’t spin a good tale!




BOOK: Smoke and Mirrors
9.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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