The network’s lawyer sharpens his sword. I see nothing through this black hood. Hands bound behind my back, bent on my knees.
Two dozen witnesses surround me in the conference room: the showrunners, department heads, the rest of the cast.
At a restaurant last night, I told my wife I won the part of Cherry-Dingle in the upcoming television adaptation of the Realms of the Withertop Dragon Guild novels. I whispered to her the names of the actors cast to play Turkle-Dink the Grim and Lady Snorcrungle. Convinced no one could hear, I told her the series was making some changes from the source material, including the addition of a new swine-goblin character named Porky-Winkle the Stout, and that the battle between Lundle-Bink the Brown and Wise Witch Goofenpiss would now take place in the Trundle-Nutt Forest. I told her that I was most excited for the climactic reveal that Old Wizard Bingle-Smoke is not, in fact, a member of the Bibble-Dee-Gum-Gum Order, but is secretly working for Skimcrug Brandysnot of the Crumdungle Brigade.
My wife told me the show sounded like an unbearable embarrassment and I should try to back out. But before I knew it, the network’s men were on me, punching my ribs and tying my hands and taping my mouth shut.
The lawyer raises his blade over my neck. My wife, in the room, wails. “Shame on you. Shame on you all.”
In a neat blow, the lawyer severs my head.
The witnesses gasp. They have learned their lesson. Cherry-Dingle will be recast, and they will not speak the news. For you can never be certain who among the cast and crew of the Realms of the Withertop Dragon Guild may be secretly working for Skimcrug Brandysnot of the Crumdungle Brigade.