I opened the door. My mistake, but he told me the pizza had extra mushrooms. Then he backed me up against the wall.
“Editorevil Scrooge, this is your life!” he sang. The worst thing was the way the guy smiled. I could see his shiny white veneers. “I'm the Ghost of Christmas Future.” He beamed.
I squinted against the dazzle. He looked a little offended, then leaned in close. “Have you ever seen Ghost of Christmas Past's teeth?”
“Get to the point, please. You've seen my slushpile...”
He touched my sleeve. More blinding lights.
“Shush,” said the GOCF. ”Look! There.”
And I saw me. Older, yet not older, my face stretched like a leather balloon, my glorious mutton chops Grecian Formula Forty-foured beyond all sanity, and the worst, the horrible truth, sat next to me. Paris Hilton had her own talk-show, with me for a sidekick.
“...and it was all thanks to EE,” she told the cameras. “He and his minions really whipped my query letter into shape so the publishers took my autobiography seriously. The bidding frenzied to 380 million, just for the advance! When word reached the public that EE was involved, the book zoomed to number one, then the talk-show deal, and I made me so much money, I was able to buy up all networks. Isn't that fantastic?” Her minions nodded, puppet like.
I was shaken, I'll admit. “GOCF, where's Oprah?”
“You won't like it.” He fidgeted his robes.
“Where is she!?”
“After Paris sacked her, she bought your publishing house and took your job.”
“Aiiiigh!” Fortunately, no one in the future could hear me scream... “Tell me- Tell me! How do I avoid this future?”
I'm not sure if it was the twitch in the cameraman's eye, the fleeting moment when future EE seemed to see me, or the three inch thick manuscript that GOCF pulled out of his robes, but I smelled a scam.