He could feel it coming. Like a shadow stalking behind every wall, a portent in every darkness. He could see through the Veil, through fate, and knew that his beloved great-uncle was doomed even as the old man heartily chopped wood.

But it wasn’t until that dreadful phone call, crackling in his ear during a thunderstorm, that he could put words to what he had felt in his soul. It had haunted every waking hour, and here it was again.

We are all of us mortal, but his great-uncle was more mortal than most. The doodles of grim portents in the margins of all those failed engineering papers were tea leaves, and this was the final, fatal, reading.

I am sorry I did so poorly in school this semester, and for the previous seven semesters. My great-uncle just died and we were really close. Please readmit me, I have no further great-uncles to lose.

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