Deal 1161 Preview

Root and Branch:
Roots: Fish, quill, and Puppet
Branches: Stagnation, Clumsiness, and Indoctrination


Deal 1108: Unwanted dinner.

“Fishsticks again?”

“Stop whining. At least you’re home and dry.”


“No. It’s hot out, but you are lucky enough to have a cool place to eat and sleep. Friends in other places are battling enormous amounts of water. You are lucky enough to not be flooded. So stop whining!”

“But mom, we’re fish! We shouldn’t be eating fish sticks!”

“We’re groupers, son. We’ll eat anything. Stop whining and eat your dinner.”


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.