So say that when the US was testing nuclear bombs just outside Las Vegas, something went wrong and a bomb ripped an interdimensional hole in reality. On the other side of the hole was another reality. Weird supernatural creatures poured forth and destroyed the city.
The military was eventually able to cordon off the city and (mostly) contain these threats. But the area near the portal is now full of unpredictable magical effects.
She handed the tail to you, you suppose for your help distracting the Todd and the Marrok, and then everybody clapped and cheered for some reason and you went back to your parents (whose breath now smelled like they'd had a drink in your absence) and walked home and fired up the playstation and wondered `iwhat the blithering fuck was that all about.`i
You looked around for Trisha but couldn't find her, until she was revealed as you all rounded a corner, her brown face paint now enhanced with white and red, holding up a neon orange synthetic fox's tail that had `iclearly`i come from the pound shop on Marbury road. She thrust it proudly towards you and haltingly recited something that sounded vaguely Welsh, occasionally helped out with a whispered syllable here and there by a teacher lurking nearby.
Sometimes hinting at the right answer, sometimes the wrong.
After the pie, you'd all put your masks back on and do the holding-hands walk to the nearby woods (assisted at roads by the lollipop lady, who looked very different in her badger mask), where whoever found a penny underneath their paper plate (it used to be in the pie, but we all knew the story of the little boy who swallowed his and had to go to hospital) had to say the names of the trees while the deceitful Nelda (Miss Tinkerson) tried to confuse them.
Nurse would covertly correct plasters and check their work here and there while the kids were eating, because tradition is tradition but they're only kids after all.
One grandparent grumbled about back-in-my-day, and a parent replied with a sighing health-and-safety, but there was still something very special and exciting about the one day of the year that the kids tended each other's scratches, even if the school nurse was watching like a hawk the entire time, even if it was no longer the done thing to carry the injured kids off into the woods and tend to them there, without grownups.
Naturally these events were a bit rough-and-tumble and there'd be a few superficial injuries, knee scrapes and such.
(you suspected the teachers let them win every year, at least at your school. But they always made sure to give you all a run for your money.)
Then all she had to do was wake up the Daegal (represented somewhat controversially this year by Miss Fleming, the year 3 teacher - and by controversially, you mean a couple of the grandparents were grumbling about it for reasons you didn't understand) and win the first slice of pie. The feather went into Miss Fleming's armpits and nose and the backs of her knees and within seconds she could no longer perform her fake snoring because she was laughing too hard, and that year the kids won.
You remember young Trisha wearing Swift Harleen's face paint beneath her mask, catching her eye with a wink, peeling off in a sprint from the crowd towards one of the seven (plastic, sadly) tunnels to make the Todd and the Marrok think you were Swift Harleen trying to make a getaway in the chaos. Of course, it worked like a charm, and Trisha squirmed through the tunnel at the other end of the field and grabbed Branwyn's Feather while the teachers were distracted chasing you.
The taste brings back vivid sense-memories of primary-school festivals as you ran, laughing, from teachers dressed up as the Todd and the Marrok, whose job was to chase everyone down and unmask them in the hopes of catching Swift Harleen. Of course by then health and safety had taken over and you had to use quick-release velcro masks, because we all knew the story of the little boy who tied the knot wrong and fell and broke his nose when the Marrok grabbed his mask.
You know, for example, that the tradition of wearing green is a more modern one, being only six or seven hundred years old, and the modern image of Swift Harleen as a friendly little bunny in a feathered cap and green waistcoat came about because of Sherwyn's Carrot Pie's advertising campaign from when your parents were your age, but her modern representation more or less counts as traditional by now.
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