Free story #1
“That’s not a riddle, or even a curse. It’s a fortune cookie!”
“Oh, rubbish,” said one of the other partners. “So it’s not eight verses long, it’s still as opaque as a vampire’s glasses. A nice Riddle, with ominous undertones, is what I call it.”
This made the chairman happier, but it wasn’t enough. He turned at last to the final partner, lying on the floor. “Your take, Mycroft?”
Mycroft ran his antennae across the document in front of him, contemplated it for a moment. Or perhaps he was asleep, his chitinous face gave nothing away. Then he chattered into his vocoder, ”No one-ish statement, future possibles there are being.”
The first speaker scoffed. “That’s the problem with multi-lens optics, mate,” he said to the second. “Look at a tree, they see a forest!”
“Oh, muzzle it, Gasbag.” Mate tilted his head towards the Chairman’s place. “I will, reluctantly, concur with Mycroft in this case, sir.”
The chairman smiled at his misgivings. He loved misgivings. Agreement among his lieutenants meant nothing to print. He curled up his document, stuck it in a tube, and dropped it in a hole in the floor, for the editors to wrangle over. The others lay their copies before Mycroft to consume. Waste not, want not, and besides, he was pregnant.
“I remember when Interworld Publishing had standards,” groused Gasbag.
“Have to grow with the times, Gassy,” said the chairman amiably. “Just oceans of new species out there to prophesy for, can’t please everyone. Let’s move on to Curses, shall we—?”