AND INJUSTICE FOR ALL
“I’ve had it!” Marie Antoinette screeched, entering the dilapidated apartment. The former queen of France pointed one manicured finger at the shrunken head perched on her dining table. “You! You did this to us! You lied to me!” She stamped a petite foot on the ruined carpet and glared at the bearded head.
“That could be construed as slanderous, you know,” the head of Rasputin the seer replied. His normally warm brown eyes were cold. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were accusing me of not fulfilling my duties.”
“You haven’t fulfilled a single thing, you egotist!” Marie stomped over to the table and grabbed the shrunken head, hoisting it up by its beard, letting it sway dangerously, upside down. “I did exactly what you told me to do. And now I’m going to have to move out of this dump –” she spat the word emphatically, “– and into Unwelfare housing!”
“We’re going to do what, now?” a familiar voice called from the other room. Henrietta Maria, once consort of England’s Charles the First, poked her head around the corner, concern etched upon her face: “We must move again?”
“Oui,” Marie snarled, glaring at the swaying shrunken head. “Our dear prophet has lied again!”
“I did not lie,” the shrunken head stated simply. “I only did as you asked.”
“I asked for a prophecy about how to move into a place befitting my status!” Marie shrieked. “And your ‘advice’ got us evicted from this dump and into Unwelfare housing, like common trash!”
“Then obviously my prophecy was correct….” Rasputin’s head muttered, exasperation lacing his tone.
“Oh, this is horrible!” Henrietta whined, looking back into her bedroom. “I only now just unpacked the final box! Dear Rasputin, please tell me this is a mistake!”
“Look lady, I don’t know how you survived in the real world, but here in hell you… well, you just aren’t cut out for this,” the shrunken head replied. “But Marie here demanded a prophecy and I gave her one, fulfilling my contract. Prophecy Dolls, LLC takes no responsibility for actions taken by a customer based on that customer’s interpretation of a prophecy. It says so on our liability waiver, which you automatically signed when you placed an order for one of the many thousands of miniature heads we offer.”
“Every single prophecy you have given me has ended up bringing me misery!” Marie complained and tossed the head back onto the table, where it rolled to a stop against the wooden perch whereon it normally resided. Marie began to pace, thinking of all the misfortune that had befallen her since her purchase of the shrunken head from the Perdition Broadcasting System. “First I asked how to move in a higher circle of company, and by following your prophecy I somehow ended up in the fifth circle of hell…”
“I’m rather proud of that one,” Rasputin smirked.
“Then I said I wanted to know the touch of a man, and I was changed into a doll for a weekend,” Marie moaned, shuddering at the memory. “I could not move an inch and the Undertaker’s breath was horrid.”
“Yeah, that was funny,” Rasputin agreed, before hastily adding “– and prophetic.”
“Oh, don’t forget about the cake incident,” Henrietta called from her bedroom.
“The cake,” Marie hissed dangerously, her eyes narrowing as she glared at the shrunken head. “I had to ask around, but I finally understand your ‘let them eat cake’ comment. I’m still digging cake out of every crevice of my… person. And none of those new dead will return any of my calls!”
“Hey, that was very pertinent to your prophecy request,” Rasputin protested, trying to roll so he could see Marie. After a few abortive attempts, he managed to roll onto one ear. He sighed and looked up at his owner. “You wanted to know how you would become popular. I prophesied how: ‘let them eat cake.’”
“I’m going to sue your makers,” Marie announced suddenly. She rubbed her hands together, a gleeful expression on her face. “I’m going to sue them for false advertisement and breach of contract!”
“Look lady, I know we don’t always see eye-to-eye on this whole ‘prophecy’ thingy,” Rasputin said with a chuckle.
“You’re a vile little head,” Marie growled, hands clenched tightly at her sides.
“Marie,” Rasputin sighed. “I know you may not have benefitted from my prophecies, but I can almost guarantee you that you will not win any lawsuit against Prophecy Dolls, LLC. The contracts are iron-clad and designed to be litigation-proof. Any claim will be summarily tossed out of court if the plaintiff cannot present clear, convincing evidence of intentional fraud.”
“Henrietta!” Marie called out in the direction of Henrietta’s bedroom. “Do you know any lawyers?”
“In hell?” Henrietta asked, peeking through the crack in her door. “Yes, one. But he’s a stinking rat.”
Coming Soon from Perseid Publishing