Chapter I-1: Butterfly Effect

Sleepy darkness began to flee from a hint of light peeking through curtained windows of a cute little house on the corner of Avondale and Stratford as the sun outside began to crest the horizon. “Goooood Morning, Swapton!” An excited voice boomed, followed by a brief, catchy jingle and the quiet chatter of conversation. It was coming from the television set, nestled in a wooden stand, bathing the couch and the wall behind it in colorful light.

The television continued to entertain the empty room with its conversation about weather, crime, sports, and politics, attempting to draw in viewers with a colorful, constantly shifting display of video and sleek graphic design.   “And get this, Miranda!” a professionally dressed man with a combover and blindingly white teeth exclaimed from his stool of a perch.  He was speaking with the woman next to him, who wore dark red lipstick. “The Swapton Swapper struck again last night!”

She gasped dramatically, “Really?”

“Yes!” he answered enthusiastically. “But we can see for ourselves! Let’s go to Kathy Greenwald, live, on the scene.” The screen switched to a woman standing in the dim shadow of a large building.

“Hello everyone!” she trilled into the oversized microphone in her hand. “I’m here outside the Swapton Museum with police investigating the scene. It appears that last night someone broke into the museum and stole away with Lycaon’s Cloak, replacing it with an ordinary black cape. The Cloak was among five centerpieces of the museum’s most successful exhibit. Police are still investigating but no other artifacts have been reported missing yet. Seeing as there was almost no evidence left behind by the thief, many are already suspecting it is another case of the infamous Swapton Swapper...”

A floorboard creaked as a young man walked drowsily into the dark room, lit up by the bright screen of the television and Kathy giving her report. He paused, toothbrush still in his mouth, to listen.

“... and that is all we know so far. I’ll be back with updates at noon. Kathy Greenwald, Live, Swapton Morning News, signing off.”

The screen switched back to the man and woman seated on their stools. “Wow!” the man exclaimed. “There you have it! The Swapton Swapper surely struck again, wouldn’t you say?  I can’t imagine what his aims could possibly be!”

“Well Bill,” the red-lipped woman began to start a conversation that would surely please the masses. “It’s believed that the Swapper is a vampire from this most recent theft. Lycaon’s cloak is a magical artifact that werewolves had zealously protected until the recent series of local peace treaties. Each race that participated donated an artifact to our museum, which Swapton proudly displayed until this outrageous thievery!”

“So you think that the werewolves and vampires are still feuding after all these years, and that the Swapper is one of them?” Bill inquired, eyebrows raised.

“No one can make official statements yet, but the local vampire coterie’s press has claimed they will release a statement just before noon today….”

The End

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