On New Year’s Eve, you will recall, we published Old Key’s Almanacke, a set of eerily unerring prognostications for the coming twelvemonth plucked from the aether by Old Key. Now, in today’s Dabbler, Old Key’s Almanacke reappears … yet each and every prognostication is different! What in the name of heaven can this mean?
The best way to find out, of course, would be to question Old Key himself. But where to find this eldritch figure, shrouded in a moth-eaten black cape besplattered with stars, a pointy hat atop his potato-shaped head? Old Key is famously elusive, and indeed some say he does not actually exist.
Even if he does exist, I have to say that the appearance of two entirely different sets of prognostications casts doubt on the worth of Old Key’s scrying skills. It may be that, slumped over his fiendish diagrams in his mountaintop redoubt, he simply makes it all up.
ADDENDUM : Dear Mr Key, writes Poppy Nisbet, I confess myself befuddled. One minute you say you do not know where to find Old Key, and indeed question his very existence, and then in almost the same breath you describe his appearance and pinpoint his location to a mountaintop redoubt. If anybody is unreliable here, it is you! Please explain what is going on.
I would happily respond in excruciating detail to Ms Nisbet, but unfortunately I have been issued with a notice to cease and desist by Old Key’s legal representatives. They have not specified from what, precisely, I should cease and desist, and I am not taking any chances. Nor would you, if you saw the huge malevolent snorting and stamping trio of horses, Freeman Hardy & Willis, astride which the lawyers came thundering to my door.