You were minding your own business down on the old family farmstead, darning things that need to be darned, or chamfering the chamferable, or whatever it is farmers do. But that life will soon be closed to you. Fate has something greater in store, something that has been foretold for many ages.

That’s right. The prophecy. Here are 20 signs it’s about to fall on your goddamned head.

#20. Someone Mentions The Prophecy

A prophecy can never come true unless someone mentions it unnecessarily. If you ever happen to be wandering a temple and looking at a statue or some stained glass, and someone explains the meaning of that art, casually mentioning the prophecy to you, punch them right in the face. They’re trying to spring the prophecy on you, and they know exactly what they’re doing.

#19. A Messenger Dies At Your Door

Being a messenger isn’t that tough of a job (sorry messengers). Sure, it’s sometimes physically strenuous, and the weather can be a pain, but it’s almost never fatal. Which means if a messenger dies on your doorstep, that’s not a coincidence. It’s probably related to the message they’re carrying for you. And death-worthy messages are rarely from the bank or grandma.

They’re from destiny.

#18. People Begin Reacting Pretty Strongly To Your Birthmark

If your birthmark — which you’ve had since birth — is accidentally revealed to a stranger while bathing, and they totally flip out about it, that’s because it was mentioned by the prophecy. As one “bemarked with the sign of Abraham Lincoln riding a jet ski,” you are required by fate to protect the world, apparently.

#17. It Turns Out Your Parents Aren’t Really Your Parents

If your loving mother and father, who have raised you since as long as you can remember, confess to you that you are not their child, and that they only just kind of like you, that’s another indication something funny is happening. It means you’re no longer restrained by familial obligations and are free to set out on whatever adventure the prophecy has in store — prophecies love loners/losers like you.

#16. Your Dreams Become More Vivid

If your dreams, normally of your loving parents and your unremarkable birthmark, suddenly become more vivid, that could be either a poor diet or the prophecy revealing itself. If you dream of a sword and a princess and the princess taking that sword from you and just annihilating you with it, that’s definitely the prophecy, though. But what could it mean?

#15. Your Real Parents Are Revealed To Be Royalty

If a series of improbable events reveals that your birth parents are the king and queen, and they also don’t care much for you, that’s a pretty sure sign that fate has chosen you for something more and also doesn’t like you very much.

#14. A Crazy Person Says Something That Doesn’t Make Any Sense

People that stink of shit and spoiled ham are always shrieking perfectly logical, reliable information. So when one of them shrieks something at you that doesn’t seem to make any sense, remember their words, because as crazy as they might now seem, they relate to the prophecy that’s currently charging straight at your crotch.

#13. Those Monks Seem Pretty Into You

You normally never attract the attention of monks. In fact, you can’t remember the last time you even saw a monk. But now there are a lot more of them around, bowing and scraping at your feet when you pass and ringing a gong whenever you do various things. Not things that you’d think are normally worthy of a gong, like telling a good joke, or leaping. It just seems to go off at random.

Anyways, that’s the prophecy creeping on you.

#12. Seriously, Knock It Off With The Gong, Fellas

If you have trouble sleeping because monks keep banging a gong outside your window, that’s the sound of the winds of fate sweeping you up. Or some kind of hazing. Maybe both.

#11. A Sword Practically Falls Out Of An Unlikely Container

What kind of maniac puts a sword in a stone? That’s a terrible idea — these things rust. This one couldn’t have been there for long, as it wasn’t rusty and also no one else took it. It practically fell out in your hands with a single pull.

Come to think of it, who even uses swords anymore? That guy in the knife store in the mall with a ponytail. But who else? You, apparently. Are you going to become a guy with a ponytail?

The prophecy says, “All Signs Point To Yes.”

#10. So Many Portents

If, over the course of a day, you observe several of the following:

– A comet
– Raining blood
– Animals fleeing
– Animals flocking
– A sky that changes color
– The stars going out
– Something aligning with something
– A mysterious turd

… you can be pretty sure that this prophecy is happening.

#9. Music Swells Whenever You Do Any Fucking Thing

Does everything you do seem to be accompanied by an orchestral score, which swells dramatically at pivotal moments? Whether it’s getting up in the morning, or practicing hitting chairs with your sword, or going to the bathroom, does everything feel more dramatic? That’ll be the prophecy, then.

Nice that it drowns out the gongs, though.

#8. You Meet A Princess

Well that practically never happens. This is almost certainly the prophecy at work.

#7. The Princess Just Annihilates You With Your Own Sword

This could be a coincidence, but let’s be safe and assume that it’s not. If a princess, dismayed at your inexpert swordsmanship, takes your sword from you and carves you all sorts of new holes, just like you dreamed, that’s probably the prophecy at work.

Also, if while bleeding on the grass, you hear a mournful gong ringing in the distance, that’s also the prophecy.

#6. Your Wound Will Not Heal

Wounds always heal, unless they don’t, in which case you’re dead. But that’s probably not the prophecy. If you are still alive, though, and have a wound that will not heal, that’s probably the prophecy foiling your body’s natural defenses. Or an aggressive infection.

#5. People Whisper When You Enter The Room

It was bad enough when it was just monks whispering and banging on a gong whenever you walked down the street. But if everyone seems to know you’re special in some way, perhaps because of the dripping piece of gore you call a leg that you’re dragging around, then that’s probably the prophecy.

Also, where have all the monks gone?

#4. Something Has A Terrible Price

Things almost always have reasonable prices. That’s just how the market works. If it’s valuable, it costs a lot, and vice-versa. So if something has a terrible price, that implies that the market has broken down, which is both grave (we need that for food and back-to-school shopping) and also probably the prophecy.

#3. People Keep Whispering “Ultimate Sacrifice” But Stop When You Enter The Room

Yeah, that’s definitely the prophecy.

#2. The Thing That Crazy Person Said Suddenly Makes More Sense

If, while monks bind you to the surface of an enormous gong and suspend a larger, heavier gong to be dropped on your naked form, you realize the true meaning of the thing the crazy person whispered to you earlier in the week, that’s a sign the prophecy is almost done. “The monks are crazy maniacs,” the man shrieked. It’s so obvious now.

#1. You Realize The Prophecy Itself Has A Second Meaning

Prophecies always have second meanings, but no one ever realizes them until the damned things have finished. If you realize that the prophecy of which your ancestors spoke actually has a second meaning, that means it’s definitely just about over. “Essence Of The Hero” doesn’t just mean you; it could also refer to your fluids. And “Protects” could mean in the manner of rust-coating. And “The World” could just mean a pretty important gong with a sort of globe motif.

Kind of a relief that it’s almost over now, isn’t it?

Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and foretold this happening. His first novel, Severance, is incredible and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Apex Books. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.

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