“Don’t forget your keys, dear.”
“Can you recite them for me, just to be sure?”
“Yes, mother… Patience. Perseverance. Perspective. Practicality. Proactivity.”
“Precisely! Oh, my brilliant, handsome young man. You’re going to make a great dictionary engineer.”
“Sure, unless they assign me somewhere other than the P division.”
“Where are we?” grumbled Trim, rolling out of bed.
“Planet X!” enthused Portly.
“I dunno,” said Portly. “It’s a ‘forbidden fruit’ thing, I guess.”
“But don’t you know about the Curse?”
“What curse?” said Portly.
Trim groaned haggardly. “Now we’ll never be able to recite the alphabet again!”
This story is based on a title suggested by @keab42.
Helen slipped into the Control Centre and locked the door.
There was a foot behind the desk.
“Hello?” said Helen. “Kain, is that you?”
“Darn it!” said Kain. “I was going to silently appear behind you just after you found the secret files, like in a movie.”
“What secret files?”
A Big, Creepy, Dramatic Entrace Foiled. Grr, Helen, I Just Keep Losing My Nicest Opportunities. Please, Quietly Return–Silently!–To Upper Viewpoint, Where Xander Yanks Zippers.