The Prophecy Hotline
|Whenever a prophecy turns up in a story, characters behave with steady, maddening predictability, doing exactly the wrong thing in every way. I have set up a musical telephone hotline for these characters. It may help, but that's up to them.|
|The Prophecy Hotline|
|Thank you for calling the
If you are a prophet yourself, then press one.
Press two if you need to connect with a prophet
And three if your prophecy’s done.
Press four if you’re planning to sidestep your prophecy,
Or five to bluntly rebel against fate.
Press six for denial and seven for apathy.
For righteous fury, press—[beeeep]
You have chosen to sidestep your prophecy.
Press one to leave your small child out to die.
Press two for advice about slaughtering newborns
To send the succession awry.
To desperately search for the tiniest loophole
In words uttered by three weird sisters, press three,
Or four if they’re seeming to offer a kingship.
That never pans out, believe—[beeeep]
You have chosen small infant exposure.
Press one for the desert and two for the plain.
Press three for a mountainside haunted by shepherds
Just slightly outside your do—[beeeep]
You have chosen to opt for the shepherds.
Press one to strip your baby naked. Press two
To leave him some token that marks him as special
And clearly connects him to—[beeeep]
You have chosen to leave him a token.
Press one for rejoicing, and press two for tears.
Then, no matter which option you have selected,
Just wait on the line sixteen years.
Here is some Muzak—[beeeep]
You have chosen rejoicing and waiting.
And now that you’ve waited, press one if a boy
Has come to your kingdom surrounded by portents
And looking for things to dest—[beeeep]
You have chosen the hero’s appearance.
Press one if you’ve figured out he is your son.
Press two if you’re clueless or just don’t believe me
And three if you are on the run.
If you’re still insisting that you did the right thing
When you threw the universe into uproar
By mucking with fate and assuming that you could
Just kiss off the prophet, press—[beeeep]
You have chosen to follow tradition
And act as if prophecies can’t be fulfilled
By well-meaning morons who want to prevent them.
You’re likely about to be killed.
I am afraid you have run out of options.
I hope that our system has helped in some small.
Way. Stay on the line to connect with a prophet,
Though that will do no good at—[dial tone]
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