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Deal 1077: Double Nonnet

gather your roses while you may but
avoid those luscious saw-toothed weeds
for when touched without care you
will pay for days I say
cut and slash you may
freely indeed
but touch not
or they
STING!
and yet
treated right
they are tasty
a traditional
herbal restorative
cut, cleaned, blanched and shocked with care
then steeped in boiling water makes
a hot pot of stinging nettle tea

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Deal 1076: Mystic Reborn

The mystic spread the cards before him, then became visibly troubled. He turned to a glossy black device, turned it this way and that, and seemed to be peering into its depths. Occasionally he turned back to the cards as he worked. Finally, he set the devices down and turned back to his client.

She was a typical client, young and unsure of her place in the world. It should be easy to craft a reading for her that covered the obvious topics of love both present and future. But while that might be what she asked for, he knew it wasn’t what she really needed.

He sensed in her an echo of his own gift.

She needed to be woke to her inner vision so she could help others. The number of workers with the true vision was dwindling in this age of reason.

So he picked up the black shiny disk and hung it in the air between them, and set it spinning.

She looked on in surprise. This was definitely not how these things normally proceeded. The black disk spun faster, then began to glow. Staring intently at it seemed unwise, and yet compelling. As she stared, she realized it was not simply glowing, but was painting with light inside the volume it swept out before her. She couldn’t quite make out what the lights were saying.

But they seemed to awaken something inside her.

Suddenly, she understood what was happening before her, and to her. And she smiled. She knew this was a gift she could never return. She also knew she had her work cut out for her.

The whole world of possibilities opened for her as her inner sight came to light.

And suddenly those minor romantic problems fell away as unimportant.

And the world gained a new, fledgling mystic.

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Deal 1075: Toady Typer

The old toad sat at his table, lost in thought.

Big and warty, and not so much green as a sick yellowish brown, he almost vanished into the woodwork around him. What fabulous woodwork it was, though. Fine walnut panels, stained clear grained red oak floor, and hand-floated plaster-work above the wainscoting on the walls and ceiling. Even the paint was exquisite, a base color rag rolled with several lighter tones gave the walls an interesting depth and left the eye unsure of its actual color. This was not the room of a poor frog. But then, the old toad was anything but poor.

He’d made a fortune twice over from his tales of an imagined faraway land filled with feuding families, warring tribes, magic, mischief, dragons, and thieves. But his readers always wanted more. More bloodshed. More treachery. More surprises. More chances for the lost to be discovered and reclaim their birthright. He had spent a lifetime on his stories, and he no longer knew how he had intended them to end. If he ever had intended them to end, even.

But the millions of fans demanded an ending.

And here he sat, an old toad at his typewriter, trying to find the knot that could tied up all his loose ends and put an end to it all.

The old toad sat at his table, lost in thought.