May 28, 2008

Capital City / Hell (Capital News) -- Concerns were rising across Fredonia after a mysterious explosion shook the south of County Hell yesterday night. As several shepherds on the southern Ouiskie plain reported, a bright flash of light could be seen just beyond the Helluvan border at precisely 2:17 AM, followed by a loud rumbling sound, a hot wind and a shaking of the ground. The quake was also felt beyond the Cordon Sanitaire. "Several of my perfume flasks fell from my nightstand and shattered", complained Fragrantine, a young girl from Lavender. Even in Oxfat, the seismographic institute recorded a slight tremor, though this might have been caused as well by Prof. Horus Engels stomping around in an adjacent lecture hall.

The Helluvan official press remained quiet about the incident this morning. But as the day progressed, pressure from other Fredonian fiefs increased to look into this affair. Capital City news channels were the first to speculate that the government of Hell might have tested a nuclear weapon. "It would fit into the picture of their continued military buildup", said a worried broker at the Capital City stock exchange. The government of Hell immediately rejected such speculations as "despicable slander" and blamed the explosion on an accident. According to spokesman Burph Sossytch-Meetboll, a careless collector of fantasy novels had put a Tolkien book and a Pullman book on the same shelf, which caused an immediate combustion. The Helluvan officials admitted there was a slight increase of the level of radioactivity in the area, but blamed it on the elves. "Who knows what they've been spraying in the Cordon again", said Sossytch-Meetboll.