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It is frustrating, and has been for quite some time. It makes me chew my lip and grind my teeth to witness the constant bombardment of substandard submissions. Quality work is so rare now; nobody seems to put in the same effort as they used to. One or two submissions a week used to be the standard, but now it is dozens, at the expense of their quality. People used to pour their heart and soul into the work they submitted for my perusing, but now they seem intent on gaining 15 minutes of attention by flooding me with mindless drivel. Un-original, repetitive and poorly executed drivel that makes me begin to detest what it is I do.

They copy the works of others, and sometimes even have the stomach to claim it as an ‘homage’. It is laziness, pure and simple, and I will not tolerate it. I set down standards and guidelines, and have done for quite some time. They are easy to understand, if anyone wanting to make a submission cared to look. I make it clear what I expect, and like spitting in my face, my expectations are ignored. Day after day after day they ignore me, which serves only to magnify my displeasure. To compound my issues, they have even begun to dispute me and my decisions. They protest when I indicate that their submission does not meet the standards. They bicker and they argue and they claim they did everything correctly and with the utmost of care. They claim that they read my guidelines repetitively and I am unjust to sweep their submission aside. Sometimes they even cry and beg for my acceptance of their shit-heap of an offering. But I know that quality is out there, and yearn for someone worthy to demonstrate it to me.

I gaze upon the latest submission and once again roll my eyes in disapproval. The submitter hasn’t even waited for the right time of night! He hastily butchers the words he is meant to say, and with little precision or care slices the woman’s throat. The knife he is using is all wrong, a bone-china hilt is nothing like a hilt of bone. Fucking idiot. He doesn’t drink nearly enough of her blood to interest me, and he lets her die so fast. No suffering, no primal fear in her eyes besides the split second that cold metal opened her arteries. What has happened to people? No flaying or breaking of bones one by one? Ritualistic sacrifice is a dying art, it would appear.

He holds the now dead woman up by her hair, and screams my name at the cold night’s sky, begging my acceptance and my rewards. It’s Ae’zeroth you moron, not “Aziroth”. My gifts to him are not forthcoming, and I leave him alone in that cemetery to contemplate his failings. Maybe the next submission will be more appealing.