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The Short Form

“Rumour in the Court”

Ana María Shua

Full Story

It is said in the court of the czars that inside a bear of the forest of Y— there's a fox, and if you kill that fox and try to skin it you will see a duck come out of its belly, and inside of this duck, which is female, there's an egg, and if you break this egg you will find a silver brooch into the index finger of the czar's son, the empire will be destroyed and the court scattered and the czars will die and their elders and vassals and relatives will die. It's true that the forests of Y— are fenced off and guarded, but there are many hunters. It is suspected that these include members of the guard itself. In any case it's October and it's cold.

We read it in Quick Fiction: 10.