This is going to be one of the weirdest episodes in this series. Why, you might ask? Well, the reason for that is that there are no banks in Fiery Creek. Thus we are not talking about a place in Fiery Creek, but about a non-place. This might sound a bit pedantic, but it is important to understand why banks have to be called non-places in Fiery Creek, which explains the change in the title of the series, because this is not a real place, and titling it as ‘Important Sites of Fiery Creek 19’ would have been inappropriate.
One of the first things that people look for when they come to Fiery Creek is a bank where they can get some money to spend to obtain goods and services. There is no such thing as a bank in Fiery Creek, which is one of the first things that weirds people out when they get here – even though there is a Town Hall worker that reads the minds of every single being who comes to visit and reminds them that there are no banks and they have to bring cash with them (this probably weirds them out even more, now that we think about it) -, but this is hardly a problem, they think. There’s always ATMs.
Now, here comes the problem with that way of thinking: natural selection, which, in a very rough definition, states that reproduction and survival will be different inside a species according to their phenotypic differences, which will allow them to adapt in different ways to the situation. Natural selection works in two different ways against the usage of ATMs in Fiery Creek:
- Some years ago, some citizens brought a couple of toyols with them from southeast Asia. These spirits that steal money and jewellery had their own problems in Fiery Creek, a town full of paranoid magic users, and thus, through natural selection, those who could transform into ATM machines and earn the citizens’ trust had the best chances of survival. This, at the same time, made the people of Fiery Creek extremely paranoid about ATM machines, but the evolutionary process of these toyols has not advanced enough to obtain any observable modifications in their behaviour.
- If you were to find an actual ATM (there is one locked in position right next to John Fier’s bar), you should proceed with the utmost care. ATMs are extremely territorial beings, and they can be suspicious and aggressive towards anyone. Sometimes, however, they will not show this, but they will then grab the arm of the ATM user with their powerful jaws and lock it, hack at it and eventually tear it from the shoulder. This has made for quite a few bloody shows, and quite obviously, few of the ATMs victims have survived the blood loss of having their arms torn away. This means that only powerful people can use ATMs.
Seeing this, the need of a bank in Fiery Creek would seem obvious. The reason why there are no banks in Fiery Creek is that they are all doomed from the start because of a hex placed in town over a century ago. This makes all banks that try to settle into town go bankrupt and close business before they even start their businesses here. Thus, the buildings in which these banks were to settle turn into hollow carcasses, and as time goes by these instances turn into ‘flower buds’ that have been infested by a parasite that has laid thousands of eggs. After 50 or so years have passed, the eggs hatch and the carcass gets destroyed, and thousands of monsters come out of the building. There have been four instances in which this has happened, and two non-banks are ‘maturing’ right now and will eventually send a spawn of monsters into town.
We are not proud of this, and not only because it creates ticking time bombs every time a bank considers coming to town. The origin of such hex is also quite controversial. It all started as an anti-semitic thing. Some anti-semitic people assumed that the Jewish owned money and banks, and thus felt the need to stop their businesses. They were not very cultured or intelligent, and thus failed miserably at producing that hex, so instead of cursing Jewish people, they cursed banks and created an inconvenience for all citizens for generations to come.
I guess stupid people in large crowds are to be feared.