It was as follows:
1 It has been said that those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. This is patently untrue. A child in a mask became a bear before his mother’s very eyes. Where was the crawling-cooing thing that held its arms up to her with a blazing smile? Untouched by questions of past injustice, all it knew was ‘Mommy.’
2 One may be forgiven for thinking this a cheap diversion into the poetic. Mary Klien was found in her home, mauled to bits. The kitchen in disarray, all the cupboards torn from their hinges. Open packets of crushed powder giving clear pattern to the giant claw prints and slimy snout trails along the floor.
3 The kitchen itself was clear of blood, as if the bear was interrupted by something. A woman, peeking around the corner, wondering what the ruckus was. Her suburban neighborhood was so quiet on a weekday afternoon that some of her retired neighbors heard the crashes several houses down. Peeking their heads out in caution - anyone seen outside not behind the wheel of a car or pushing a lawnmower was viewed with suspicion.
4 The crashes continued, unavoidable eye-contact was acknowledged, and retirees shuffled back inside to give her a call. No response. Some called her husband at work. He asked the neighbors why they hadn’t knocked on the door. ‘It’s a long walk.’ The husband called 911 while driving home and nearly beat the police. He gave them permission to enter the premises when Mary continued refusing to answer. On the outside of the house, nothing seemed amiss. But as soon as they opened the living room door . . .
5 Mary’s head was still connected, but just barely. The spinal cord being the only part left of her neck. Her stomach was slashed open and bore the wandering patterns of a searching snout, much like the gluten-free unsweetened cereal in the kitchen. No sign of forced entry.
6 The child was found, crying, underneath its crib. Full diaper. Change the baby as if nothing had happened.
7 In cases like these, the husband is initially a suspect, but since he placed the call, security card swipes at his work and camera footage all confirmed that he had left the house at 8:15am that morning and not returned. All signs pointed to a wild animal attack, but in the dead-center of suburbia, this was extremely unlikely. The nearest bears were all accounted for at the zoo, over thirty miles away.
8 Operating under the assumption that it was the work of a lone psycho, neighbors were questioned, but no one had seen any strange people or cars.
9 Stories like these fall under the file heading DBIM (pronounced, de-him) or Don’t Believe In Magic.
10 Most dictionaries define magic as being under some sort of human control. But people who experience magic tend to feel like puppets.
11 On the morning of great legislative importance in the city of Stratwall, the mayor was set to veto a budget bill proposed by the ideologically-differing councils beneath him. Everyone knew it was going to happen and would plunge the administrations into an even deeper morass of non-action and delays. And their predictions came true, but not in the way they anticipated.
12 Upon unlocking the federal building that morning, the caretakers were overcome by a stench so repugnant that blisters formed along the throat of a man who threw up his morning coffee which he drank while still too hot. People on the streets fled as soon as the doors were opened. The morning breeze didn’t help matters either and the day was already warming up. Three entire city blocks were shut down in less than an hour. When the HazMat team arrived, they found, locked within several chambers, a large blooming specimen of amorphophallus titanium, the corpse flower, sitting in the governor’s chair. Littering the floor like mousetraps were opened tins of surstromming, a type if fermented baltic herring with such a strong odor that the tins are usually opened submerged in a bucket of water. Birds will fall out of the sky.
13 Budget talks were postponed, and the building was sealed and eventually demolished. All sorts of sales and import records were traced, with no link as to where the fish or plant came from. Unable to explain such a breach in security, the media immediately turns to the salacious headlines of ‘why’? Why such a large bomb for such a small target? Other radical groups lauded the attack as being either perfect, for shutting down a government institution without hurting anyone, or cowardly, for shutting down a government institution without hurting anyone. And once radical politics gets on the news, all relevant discussion of the actual event is dropped.
14 And when relevant discussion is dropped, the subject falls into the DBIM.