Writers (in order): Eileen Hung, pasta, Sawyer McKenna, B. G. Howell, Emma Kochenderfer, Irene Tsen, Langston Wu, Eman Hussain, and Lindsey Segi. Editor: Ms. Wilson.

Prophets were famously unreliable. Prophecies were told centuries in advance, with vague enough wording that most people just ignored them. However, there were some people who still chased those overly-dramatic prose poems valiantly, trying to find the “chosen ones” before their time and make their journey easier, etc.

These people were usually dead wrong, and were referred to as “solicitors.”

Judging by the elderly man in blue, star-patterned robes standing in front of them, Lark suspected that one such solicitor was visiting them today.

The man shuffled forward in what was likely supposed to be a mysterious sort of way. “Child, it is time to fulfill your destiny—”

The irritated ex-hero held up their hand with a scowl. “With all due respect, that was twenty years ago. You’re a bit late. Now, kindly get off my lawn.”

“Hey wait, no, listen to m—” the man said, reaching towards Lark just before the door slammed in his face. Despite the setback, he persisted in attempting to recruit Lark.

“Just give me a minute, please.” He pressed his lips up against the small crack in the window on the side of Lark’s house. “Your destiny was prophesied!”

Lark heard his muffled shouts from their yard and saw the man practically kissing the window crack.

“You’re not gonna leave me alone, are you?” Lark sighed. “I’ll give you three minutes to spit out whatever you want to say, and then you’re gone from my sight. Forever. Deal?”

“Deal!” The man rushed around the house and through the door, almost tripping over his robes on the way. “Okay, here is your destiny that you must fulfill: you must go buy lemons and deliver them to this address,” he said, while handing Lark a very ancient and ominous-looking post-it note. Lark stood there, silently, bewildered at the man’s audacity.

“I’m not an errand boy here to buy your groceries,” they scoffed. “Get off my property. Now.” The man chuckled again, put up his hands in mocking surrender, and scurried away.

To Lark, this encounter was nothing more than an annoyance and slight offense, so they did their best to put it to the back of their mind. Not only was this “prophecy” too straightforward to be remotely believable, they knew their journey had ended twenty years ago with the Battle of Shadows. So when Lark was at the store the next day, the last thing they planned to do was buy a lemon—that is, until Lark saw the store empty save for the lemons. They looked around again, reluctant to believe it. How was this… possible? Such a simple and stupid prophecy…

A shopkeeper ran over to them, waving frantically at the shop’s (dearth of) wares.

In a high, whiny voice, he said, “I’m so sorry, it’s just all these blasted rainstorms, you know? Keep coming through town, like they’ve got nothing to do but rain all over my wares… Suppose that’s what rainstorms do, nothing to be done about it. Something to do with the time of year, I think.”

The fellow motioned as if he meant to continue indefinitely, so Lark moved to cut him off. No sense spending all day here if all they had was…

I suppose, they more sighed than thought, I might as well buy the lemons. Seeing as it’s “prophesied” and everything. I don’t believe fate is really setting me up again, but still, it’s an odd coincidence. Lark laid their hand on a yellow, sour, citrusy aspect of their destiny and forced themself to smile. They got three, grin pulling tighter, as the shopkeeper proceeded to walk them over to the cash register himself, chattering all the while.

To summarize that great adventure, the shopkeeper’s niece was getting married, his wife was planning it, and Lark would be leaving the store with fresh gossip and more lemons than they’d meant to.

As Lark drove home, they wondered what they were supposed to do with those lemons. Plant a lemon tree that would one day be cut down to fashion the ship of some not-yet hero making a transatlantic journey? Use the juice of those lemons to create a potion that would defeat some great villain?

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