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Some you hunt, some you gather. Some days you feast on plenty, some days you tell stories to take your mind off the hunger.

Hunger is.

Some you hunt, some you gather.
Food. Material. Ideas. Wisdom.

Some can't be hunted.
Friends, mates, family.

Let us gather.

Let us gather.

"Will I find love?"
The seer shook the bones and stones, cast them, and read out the answer. It was routine, the most common question.
The next client sat down and bowed.
"Must I find love?"
The seer shook the bones and stones, then stopped.
"Ah. No. You don't."
"Thank you."

"So, uh, you're an android, huh?"
The android looked at the man, then lifted a hand and studied it. "Wow, how about that."
"So, uh, what equipment do you have?"
"Pardon?"
"Down there."
The android looked at the man's pointing finger.
"The usual."
"Cool, cool. Which is?"
"Jaws."

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"So, uh, you're an android, huh?"
The android looked at the man, then lifted a hand and studied it. "Wow, how about that."
"So, uh, what equipment do you have?"
"Pardon?"
"Down there."
The android looked at the man's pointing finger."
"The usual."
"Cool, cool. Which is?"
"Jaws."

"One more test," the swordmaster said, "and you will have earned this sword."
The student bowed. "Test me."
"On the scabbard of this sword is a case for a letter. Write your farewells to friends and family, and tell them what you died for."
"Uh. How long do I have?"
"A lifetime."

"I hear you seek monster-slayers?"
"Yes. There's this centuries-old hoarder of gold, an amoral scourge of the people, with vast power, who even the king dares not challenge directly."
"A dragon?"
"A corporation."

"Do you have a potion that makes me immune to alcohol?"
"Why do you ask?" said the witch.
"I don't like being drunk, but my friends insist I drink when I'm with them."
"Have you told them?"
"Yes, they ignore it."
"I don't have such a potion. I can help you find better friends."

A spaceship landed
An alien emerged
It carried
A punnet of plums

It put them
In the icebox

Ready
For your breakfast

It waved before leaving
So cheerful
And warm

"You said 'Whoever defeats the dragon' your majesty."
"May marry my daughter, yes," said the king, "but I didn't expect you to defeat yourself."
The dragon tried, and failed, to look shameful.
"In that case," the princess said, "pick a number."
"Nine?"
"Wrong. I'll marry myself."

The human space armada had similar size as the aliens', similar armour and armaments. It should have been close.
But the aliens won convincingly, after human pilots hesitated before taking shots.
"Who," the admiral sighed, "told the aliens to put googly eyes on their ships?"

"This is your ancestor. If you go back in time and stop him from doing what made him famous, he won't have will marry the princess, and you will have never existed."
"It's worth it."
"What did he do, anyway?"
"He killed the last family of dragons."

The warlord bowed before the new emperor, and pledged his allegiance.
"Take your seat," the emperor said, gesturing to the side.
To the warlord's surprise, there were two seats where before there had been only one.
"Introducing," the master of ceremonies said, "the peacelord."

"Curses," Dr. Dastard said. "Foiled again."
"Well, you did break the law," Captain Clever said. He paused. "I like that about you, to be honest."
"That I break the law?"
"You are the only criminal mastermind who doesn't try to change the law."
"That would be immoral."
"I know."

In the hidden palace, the thirteen thrones built for the rulers of the world stand empty.
"Our mandate is from the gods," the chosen ones agreed, "not the people. Thus we cannot rule, only teach."
The gods still debate whether to punish or reward them for this.

Sometimes he rubbed the magic lamp just to have someone to talk to. Every time, the genie fought the urge to point out that wanting someone to talk to was, technically, a wish.
After all, the genie also appreciated having someone to talk to.

I felt the pull of a summoning, and was dragged to the depths of Hell again.
"What now?" I say as I appear in the mystic sigil.
"Hi, Bob," the demon says. "Our printer has stopped working."
"Release a soul."
"But-"
"You want my I.T support? You summon me from my sofa? You pay."

A spaceship landed. An alien emerged, carrying a large stylus, and drew an elaborate sigil on the ground. Another brought candles, a knife, and a small animal.
The candles were lit, the sacrifice made, and an incantation chanted.
A demon appeared.
"Take us to your leader."

We thought flying cars could be made safe for mass adoption if they were fully autonomous. This only revealed another hurdle.
"Come here!" I shout to the car doing rolls and loops over the garden.
"No! The winds are lovely!"
I must admit it looks fun. I sigh and call a road taxi.

The prince had a magic gift. By touching someone's hand he saw through their eyes. The invitation to the ball said as much, and gloves were allowed.
He danced with all the ladies. One, masked but ungloved, ran off when he started to cry.
"Who was she? She saw me as a person!"

"... and they lived happily ever after."
"And then?"
"What do you mean?"
"Where is the plot twist, the dark take that negates the whole story?"
"There isn't one. Some stories are just wholesome, with happy endings."
"Oh. Right. I forgot. Huh."
"Well. Try to remember."

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