Dragon(e) Baby Gone
Reports from the Department of Intangible Assets, #1
by Robert Gainey
Genre: Detective Fantasy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: June 28, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-5092-3659-6 Digital
Number of pages: 254
Word Count: 69,377
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
I guess there’s always been a Department of Intangible Assets, in some way or another, since humanity first banded together against the dark. Ancient orders of knights, sects of religions, monasteries and their like had been the first real organizations determined to hold off the things that bled into our world from other realities. Great and epic individuals did a lot of work in the past, though more often than not mere pawns as one ultra-powerful being played against another. Gilgamesh. Solomon. Miyamoto Musashi for a while even worked as a kind of Japanese defender against the supernatural. Things must have been easier back then. If somebody had a problem with a corpse rising from the ground and eating people, or with creatures slinking out of the mountains and taking children, they could talk openly about it, and people would fit it neatly into whatever cultural narrative they had. No press releases concerning carbon monoxide leaks, no awkward local police trying to stutter their way through an ogre rampage by blaming gang violence and drugs. If you were a 17th Century farmer in the Tajima Province of Japan and tengu started picking off your village one by one, Musashi would come by one day, cut down all those dark spirits, and then leave. You’d replant your fields, mourn your losses, and tell warning stories about warding off evil. And, probably, pay him whatever he wanted.
Modern times gave way to a general idea that reason and logic were enough to stop something from dragging you into the sewers and wearing your skin to protect itself from daylight. It’s easy to see why: it doesn’t happen to a lot of people, therefore it must not happen. I see it all the time, people who say things like “I’ve never seen a ghost, so they must not exist.”
Oh yeah? Because if spirits did exist, they’d all be tripping over their ghost dicks to haunt you? Do you understand the preternatural forces that conspire, the circumstances that line up, to create any kind of ghost? Let alone one that shows up in your room at night and moans about revenge or betrayal or rattles some chains and teaches you a valuable lesson about being selfish?
“Well, there’s no such thing as Bigfoot. All those pictures are super blurry and grainy,” they say, their voices nasally and snobby, like all the knowledge of the world is pumped directly into their tiny brains through their tiny phones. I don’t care to get into whether or not any of the literally thousands of kinds of entities that flit in and out of forests would like to be called “Bigfoot,” but just because you haven’t left your couch in twenty years doesn’t mean there’s not something out there you don’t understand. Go stand out in a remote Colorado forest one night.
Turn off your phone, open your eyes and ears, and wait. When you feel those eyes watching, and when you know, deep in that primitive monkey brain, way, way down inside, that there’s more than just the animals you have names for sharing that clearing with you, then you can call me to tell me that there’s no such thing as Bigfoot.
That is, if you live to turn your phone back on again.