And now for the epilogue, or rather, the punchline of this story.
It turns out I’ve won the mystery prize from The Rotten Peach’s crossword puzzle contest after all.
Because, at eight in the morning one lazy Sunday, I get a few very loud knocks at the front door to my apartment. Being Sunday, I’m barely conscious and still in my underwear, so I hastily slip on some pants and a t-shirt from my hamper and try to answer whoever’s there. Karina, wearing an oversized hoodie, comes stumbling out after me.
I open the door, and there’s a gruff-looking guy in a blue baseball cap holding out a few pieces of paper. “Sign at the bottom of each page,” he says.
“Huh?” I’m signing the papers anyway, but I’m really confused about what’s going on.
He beckons back behind him, to the sidewalk in front of my apartment complex. There is a dump truck, and it’s filled with… magazines.
I only realize what’s going on as I finish signing the last piece of paper, which is promptly yanked away from me by the delivery man.
Karina reaches the front door and puts a hand on my back to hold herself up. “What’s going on, Morgan…?” she mutters.
“I think I won the mystery prize,” I say.
The delivery man checks his watch, looks at the paper I signed, and then says, “You, Morgan Harding, now own the complete assets of Rotten Peach, LLC, including the IP rights to the trademark, its catalog and contents, and all materials from its warehouses.”
The dump truck has literally thousands of magazines piled up waiting for me.
“Huh. Well then.”
“So where do you want me to unload the truck?” he asks.
“Morgan,” Karina says. “You’re fucked.”