The poet swallowed nervously. The idea had seemed such a good one, at the time. Now, as he sat before the man with the strange facial hair and the ominous glint in his eyes, he wondered if he'd done the right thing.
"Hwaet!" he began, desperately.
"You already got my attention," the man replied in a world-weary growl.
The poet blushed. "Sorry," he said, "I'm sorry - I've, uh, I've got a poem - "
"I guessed that," the man said.
"I think it could be big," the poet said. "Like, commercial. Successful. It's got everything - there's, uh, this hero, he fights a monster, and a dragon - "
The man drummed his fingers impatiently on his desk. "Sounds like same old, same old to me."
" - and there's, um, the monster's mother, he fights her, too - "
The drumming fingers stopped. The man's eyes narrowed. "The monster's mother?"
"Yes. She's, um, dangerous - could be kinda sexy in a way, too. I thought, in the movie, she could be played by Angelina Jolie - "
The man snorted. "Don't hold your breath waiting for that," he said. "But the monster's mother ... "
His voice trailed off. There was a long pause. The poet hardly dared to breathe.
"It's an interesting wrinkle," the man said at last. "Okay. Get me your manuscript by nine tomorrow morning, I'll read it. No promises, mind."
"Thank you." The poet's voice was faint with relief.
"Like I said, no promises," said the man. "Oh, and if we do it, what name do you use?"
The poet thought quickly. It had all seemed like such a brilliant idea - but that was before he had met this man -
"If you don't mind," he said, "could I be credited as 'anonymous'?"