Welcome, Dear Reader, to Orphans Eleven. I am Father Michael Gulligan, your Editor and Host. My Patron and I have spared every expense to adorn these pages with only the most spare and basic design elements. Our purpose is to minimize visual distractions that might impede your fullest enjoyment of the words contained herein. Actually, you have Mr Ellison to thank for this, perhaps owing to his visits to early editions of McSweeney's. I might have preferred a more elaborate visual statement.

     I entreat you, however, not to be too hard on our Patron for these apparent paucities. He is, after all, providing this valuable web space and this reading matter at absolutely no charge. But why should you care about any of this? These are merely squabbles between a poor Editor and his Patron, and you should feel free to bypass all this dithering and jump to the stories. However....



One of my long-held goals as an Editor, is to be able to write one of those clever Submission Guidelines pieces that tells you not to be too clever, what to say about yourself in your cover letter (you must eschew mentioning any achievements beyond high school graduation so that the editors will not be influenced by your inevitable inflations as opposed to your story, which they wish to stand naked in the klieg lights of their judicial inquiry), whether to email or snailmail, how long you should expect to wait before getting your rejection slip, that you won't earn a dime for your efforts even if your submission is published, and to never even think of following up on your submission because editors are very busy and mercurial people who can become mean-spirited and "forgetful" at the drop of a hat. And so forth. But alas, I shall have to wait longer to achieve my long-held goal: I am currently handcuffed by my Patron's inflexible policy of publishing only his own material in Orphans Eleven. Such infamies we poor Editors must tolerate at the hands of Patrons!



As you might expect, I am obligated to inform you that anything you read in Orphans Eleven is copyrighted material that is the exclusive property of E T Ellison, our most generous Patron. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any way, shape or form without the express written permission of the Patron. But you can read whatever you find here without fear of further legal or extralegal intimidation.

     I am also obligated to mention the fact that the stories are fiction. If you are a diligent reader you will doubtless be able to identify (and catalog, if so inclined) the fictils (fiction filaments) woven into each tale. If you've just arrived from Elsewhere and are not familiar with the Earthly concept of fiction, it means (in this context) that all persons, places and incidents in the stories are either the products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, which seems a little like circular reasoning. In plain language, nothing you read here is real or true. Anything that sounds real or true must technically be considered pure coincidence, even though you might wish it were really real or even truly true. If you think this might be stretching the probabilities associated with the concept of "coincidence" beyond the breaking point, remind yourself that legalisms are subject only to their own internal truths. And that's the law.













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