Mrs Brown’s handbag has been recovered! Or rather, not recovered precisely, but defended from a force which was trying to use the bag for its own ends. The release of the bag occurred after a daring joint operation between American and Canadian members of the community, as well as help from an unexpected quarter.
After the recent sighting the handbag was tracked by a researcher affiliated with the Surreal Institute*. A small force of centipede cultists had indeed managed to capture the handbag and was attempting to cross the border into the USA, from where they apparently intended to return to Germany, avoiding the watchers in Canadian airports. Curiously their Mrs Brown equivalent was a kind of fake. Their Mrs Brown occasionally flickered, so that she was partially a cardiganned old lady with grey hair and a prominent nose, and partially a man with straight blond hair, a beard and a steam-powered machine pistol.
After J-T- had shown admirable community spirit by notifying the local communities the surface forces had managed to intercept the cultists outside a lakeside holiday town, but were being pushed back quickly, owing to the essentially bulletproof (as well as hex-, impellation-, bear-, dropbear- and fire-proof) nature of activated Mrs Browns. At this point, there was an event which astounded me, even after all these years of studying the paranormal events of our world. The radio controlled aeroplane hobbyists arrived.
My dear subhistorians, there are more of them than we had realised, more than we could have known. A torrent, a swarm of uncanny human figures poured into the standoff like a kicked nest of army ants. They had no weapons, they weren’t particularly fast and the strange, steam-powered weapons of the cultists were hideously effective against them, but as a radio controlled figure fell the next stepped over it and kept coming. Had there been any blood, it would have been a blood bath, but before long the cultists were pinned-in and then pinned, unharmed, each held by tens of human-like figures. The downed android figures were already gone, removed by their fellows before the flow of bodies had passed enough for us to see. The cultists were likewise carried away back to wherever it is the aeroplane hobbyists came from, presumably wherever it is they always disappear to when their normal activities are done. One of the figures reached out to the Mrs Brown and crushed a small object on his/her belt, destroying whatever illusion had manipulated the handbag into being carried by him. He looked down at his hand holding the bag and howled with terror and pain, before crumpling in on himself like a piece of waste paper. His final end was not witnessed, but we can assume Mrs Brown’s Handbag took the ultimate price for this deception.
One of the radio controlled aeroplane hobbyists remained behind to speak to the team who had tracked the cultists. She said that Mrs Brown’s Handbag would be imprisoned no longer, that the Archive’s custodianship of it had come to a permanent end. Indeed, the handbag was already gone, although none of the hobbyists had picked it up. Then, soon, she was gone too.
This is dissatisfying, but not apocalyptic. Mrs Brown’s Handbag is sometimes a dangerous force in the world, but mostly a petty one. The main victims are often the recipients’ own families (who can receive a brutal emotional battering, rarely a physical one), but there are much worse forces out there that we have never even attempted to control. With the exception of the time they were seen observing a UFO, this is the first interest the radio controlled aeroplane hobbyists have shown in anything more paranormal than themselves. Their motives are opaque, but in this case at least their actions were helpful to the goal of a safer mundane world. The fate of their captives remains unknown and unfindable by even our best astral projectors.
*The research used a fascinating new method which combines the breadcrumbs from urban legends with latent orphic residues. See the forthcoming paper in J- T-‘s Surreal Journal – marking the first and possibly only time I recommend that publication.
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