We all witnessed the kidnappings. No one truly saw them take the children away, but we knew whom to blame. All our towns' children, ages ten to thirteen, vanished in a blink's time. No one had that power but the witches in the south. Those evil magicians manipulated the heavens rode down on us under cover of cloud.
Lightning struck our lands, and thunder crashed above us, shaking the earth. The clouds grew darker and heavier, but not one drop of water fell from them. We first watched in amazement. Never before had we witnessed a storm without rain. Then those despicable witches poured down from the clouds in effortless flight.
They returned our children to us, confirming our suspicions. We scooped up the returned and fled to our homes. Back to their clouds and to the south, the sorcerers left without a word. Celebrations consumed us until the food ran short and our rejoicing grew tiring. We returned to our homes once again and finally had a chance for a contented rest.
The next morning we woke to a horror. Our youngest had begun vanishing, fading away before our eyes. Laughter erupted from the skies, and clouds to the south roiled without rainfall. This time the sorcerers forced us to witness their thievery.
Constable Sprackett finished reading the statement. He chewed thoughtfully and swallowed. "Let's run through the facts one more time, shall we?" he said. "A mysterious gang, consisting of magicians, witches and sorcerers, descended from a -- let me see -- laughing sky, and took away all the children. Just like that?"
"Are you sure about this? Witches and all?"
"Sign at the bottom, Mrs. Todd; we'll be in touch." He brushed crumbs off the table and slid the papers across. "These are delicious pies by the way; what's in them?"
Opening: Xiexie.....Continuation: ril