by Johannes Punkt
She had brewed the tea not for fortune-telling, but because she liked the taste. She let it stand to cool, the whole pot, and forgot about it until that evening, when she had to throw the whole overbrewed thing out into the sink. In the sink the leaves looked like the viscera of something sloppily butchered, and in the language of vague shapes and omens that she and the tea spoke, it spelled out: “You cannot tell the future by boiling water and pouring it over leaves, lady.”
The robed man was trembling. He picked up a balloon-like organ from the slab and let it splat down again. He tried to look contemplative.
The suited man tapping his foot impatiently said: “Well, what does it say? I’ve got a board meeting in twenty.”
The guts of a perfectly healthy pig – healthy up until the moment the guts were outside the pig, at least – had spilled out over the stone slab dramatically. The robed man was still holding the knife. His face had paled.
Over the pig’s mouth was a gag, because the suited man had not been able to stand its squealing.
“It says, ‘augury isn’t real.’”
Ten million magic eight-balls jam halfway from “yes” to “no”. A hundred thousand stock market bots stop buying, stop selling. A thousand satellites send their last messages to Earth’s surface and become hermits.