The Bander

The range of plausibility is determined by societal consent. There's a hell of a starting sentence for a horror story. What does it mean? There are things you aren't allowed to believe in...

For the second time in living memory, granted though in only the longer living memories, the unbelievable stopped happening on June 18th. That is not to say that strange events stopped altogether, but merely the unbelievable ones. For instance, when the Calvary Baptist Church caught fire, it was strange that no one reported the blaze to the fire department until the building was burned to the ground. It was strange that not one townsperson gave a shred of evidence in the arson investigation afterwards. It was strange that no one could account for the bell, which should have at least partially survived the fire. But the town was known to be strangely affected, so people were not so utterly shocked, although there was no shortage of whispering about it.

The final unbelievable events of June 18th were the deaths of three comatose people, or, perhaps, it was unbelievable that they had been alive at all. They did not die in some ward in some hospital in the city or quietly in their beds at home. They passed on in a specially set up room in a cellar in town; for the people of the town knew that no wound could send them to their graves a minute early, nor any life support machine delay it a minute later. Their graves were dug before they died, and their funerals were not sorrowful, but thankful, their loved ones praising God that they had been freed from the constant fever and writhing and strange muttering that should not have been possible. Hardly a soul could long bear to watch these three suffer in the hands of demons for a year. They did not die in some hospital ward because these three unfortunate souls were caught in a cover-up. A cover-up of necessity. Because, when the unbelievable happens, a town can either keep it quiet or become a joke. They can suffer in silence or become labeled weak, gullible, half-witted people. These were good American people. They believed what they were supposed to. And to hide the contradicting evidence they saw, they emptied a room in one of the cellars in town.

Do you want the truth of the matter? The truth is the fiction. The facts are the story. In any case you have to go back one year, to the previous June 18th...