You were shooting with a hand in each gun, while Vee attacked with several spells. The people from Bloody Christmas 1999 were everywhere, surrounding you, not fully themselves, somehow unaffected by the pain. Blowing up their heads did not solve the problem, either, as they kept going at it. Ba’al was holding them in place and restraining their movements using plants and several spells.

“This doesn’t look good, Vee” you said.

“I know, there’s no easy way to stop them”.

Ba’al approached. “I’ve restrained a lot of them. It should hold them for a while, but…”. A bang interrupted his words. “Yes, you’ve heard that. They are ready to self mutilate to free themselves from their restraints”.

Mamma, Erin and I came from the other side of the town. Mamma spoke first. “We need to destroy them. These people have been in the ice for too long, there’s no way we can recover them”.

“Could you that, Mamma?” Vee asked.

“You ask me? You are the expert in Dark Magic here” she responded.

Vee though about it. “I could do something, but I need you to protect the other citizens, and bring the ones that we need to… dispose of near me”.

“We can do that” Erin answered, shooting a magic arrow against one of them. The arrow went through his left eye, and the left side of his head burst open.

“Boom! Headshot!” I cheered her.

Mamma laughed. “Come on, children, stop playing around. Let’s get this done as quickly as possible”.

Vee stayed in place while the rest of us left in different directions. Ba’al took the restrained people to Vee, and waited. Vee’s eyes went from brown to onyx black, and a dark energy surrounded him. All of the people 50 metres around him started to scream, and were slowly devoured by his magic.

Meanwhile, Mamma forced all of the sane citizen to stay in place, and made it so that the insane ones moved towards Vee. You manipulated their magic energies to bring them towards Vee, while Erin and I hurled them flying towards Vee. In no time, we had cleaned up the whole town.

Vee took a while to go back to normal. His eyes turned back to brown, and the dark aura disappeared. You examined his power and understood why he seemed more powerful now: he had absorbed their life forces, their powers, and had added them to his own. He explained, however, that he had freed their souls – they could be exploited for power, but they usually were more of a burden, with all of their whining and complaining and resisting, and they did not make a stable power source.

Mamma destroyed the site of Bloody Christmas 1999, making sure that there were no survivors. It had all been solved pretty quickly, so you all decided to go to the Parallel Reality Cafeteria for a drink. You were drinking and laughing for a while when Vee took a look at Main Square. It was calmer than usual.

“I don’t think I can see anyone from the Parallel Reality on the other side of Main Square” he commented.

“That’s weird” I said.

“Oh, no, I forgot to tell you, John” Erin said, hurriedly. “The café on the other side has been closed for a few days now. No clients, apparently”.

Mamma raised an eyebrow. “That’s weird. Maybe we should look into that”.

“Yes, it’s just been extremely busy at the Library after the Apocalypse and the heatwave, so I hadn’t had the chance to tell you. Also, the asphyxiating plant that protects Town Hall has overgrown and is soon going to become a huge problem to the town” Erin announced, pointing in the general direction where the building was.

“Actually, I can solve that right now” Vee commented. “I ‘acquired’ this from a recovering addict, thought I would give it a better use” he said, producing a brilliant and elegant red feather.

“Is that a phoenix feather?” I asked.


“Acquired?” you asked, in a tone that denoted disappointment.

Vee blushed. “Well… I’m not proud of everything that I’ve done… But I’m going to use it for the wellbeing of the town” he tried to defend himself.

“I know, I know” you kissed him in the cheek.

Mamma took a sip of her tea – she never drinks coffee outside her home, unless she is going to a true Italian café or restaurant – while she examined the feather. “I think we could do a lot more than that, if you let me help you” she said.

Vee seemed interested. “What do you mean?”

“We could protect this town from monsters. We would end most of the problems” she explained.

“Let’s do it!” Vee said, standing up.

Mamma seemed surprised. “Right now?”

“Yes!” Vee was excited.

We all went to the fountain of the Sacred Lemon Tree, and drank a glass of lemon juice each. I had to make an effort to swallow the thing, and was quite to see how the rest of you were not doing all that bad. In fact, it looked like you were drinking the juice with ease. You all looked at me while you waited.

“Some of us need more time! Don’t look at me like that!” I said.

You all laughed. “It’s OK, John, take it easy” Erin said with a smile.

When I was done, Mamma and Vee both held the phoenix feather and their magic started to concentrate. The red power of the feather was being extracted, and it was dancing like a ribbon all around Main Square. The Orchard seemed to be involved in the whole process, too, as its feathers became bright with power. The sight was beautiful.

The feather’s energy was like fire, and the Orchard was brimming with light, a power that surrounded them all. Eventually, the fire and the light turned into a single thing, and the wave of magic power traveled through the houses of Fiery Creek, cleansing them from the monsters that had been hiding in the town.

The overgrown asphyxiating plant in Town Hall was destroyed, and, for an instant, you looked up towards the Caliph’s Palace, visible in a tower-like hill in which it had been standing ever since the Kitties’ attack. Something seemed to be there for a moment, and was then destroyed.

We all looked around as the magic seemed to dissipate. The Orchard seemed a bit livelier than usual, but otherwise everything seemed normal.

“Is that is?” you asked.

“Yes” Mamma answered.

“So, no more monsters?” you asked once more.


“Convenient, I guess”.

A voice spoke right from behind us. “Ms Erin Pyp?”

We all turned towards the Police Officer right behind us. Erin answered. “Yes?”

“You are under arrest for copyright infringement” the officer said.


We were all quite confused. “Officer, this seems to be a mistake” you said.

“Are you Anne Black?” he asked you.

“You are also under arrest, accused of involuntary homicide”.

Vee did not like that. “What do you mean?”

“Vitor Vico, you are also under arrest, and Mamma Luca, you too. Please, come with me. My colleague is going to read your rights to you”.

I looked in awe as you were all arrested.


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