(1941-12-21) Stranger and Stranger Still
Details for Stranger and Stranger Still
Summary: Norman's explorations of the Mysticked District continue
Date: 12 December, 1941
Related: Plausible Theories, Magical and Mundane

I have dared to enter the realm of the Strangers once again. I am hesitant to call them "wizards", as they seem to prefer. I have seen wondrous and impossible things that could certainly be considered magic. But if I acknowledge that, am I admitting truth? Or am I surrendering to madness?

Of course, I have to consider the possibility that this is all in my imagination. How many times have I been down this road? I question my sanity, and eventually I always dismiss the idea that I'm losing my mind. I've seen too much. The evidence is there. I just need to find something concrete to prove it.

I re-entered the secret borough of the Strangers, during the late afternoon this time. It was much more active than before, in part because the Strangers seemed to be out in droves…doing Christmas shopping! Given their belief in magic, I would have thought the Strangers would lean more toward pagan traditions. But never did I hear mention of Yule or other ancient holidays. Always, it was "Christmas". Are the Strangers Christian? I never heard mention of Jesus Christ or God. Then again, I didn't carry on any theological discussions with them, either. Perhaps I should find a way to do so in the future.

As I wandering along Diagon Alley, I saw many typical Christmas decorations: wreaths, candles, mistletoe. Naturally, many of them were a little strange, such as candles hovering in midair, seemingly unattached to any string or wire. The most stunning sight this time was, of all things, a gingerbread man. But this biscuit was enormous: the size of a living man, and it was moving! The confectionery fellow was handing out smaller versions of himself, also animate. I admit, I was unsettled at the sight, and I rushed away from the sweets shoppe so hurriedly that I quickly became lost again.

When I had my wits about me again, I was standing in front of a coffee shoppe; not a common sight in our country. I was intrigued, and in need of a warm beverage, so I slipped inside. The establishment, poetically christened The Sip and Sonder, was a bohemian paradise. People were lounging about on pillows and thick, plushy chairs, sipping coffee and soaking up the air of relaxation. It was quite enticing, but not quite so enticing as the angelic young lady that greeted me. She was of the Celestial persuasion, but she spoke with no accent that I could hear. I don't quite know why she approached me. She asked if I wanted a drink, but she clearly wasn't serving me. It was odd, but that is what I have come to expect from the Strangers.

Through this young beauty, who I learned is called Zoe, I was drawn into a conversation with two other youths about recent events in the secret borough. Apparently the gingerbread man (I should mention that the Sip and Sonder was also selling the little dancing gingerbread men) was not the only thing to come to life. Snowmen had become animated, and by the sound of it, they should not have done so. I would like to believe it was simply some kind of performance art with mechanical trickery, but I am forced to consider the magical angle. If it truly is magic, then this suggests that the magic is not always in the Strangers' control. That is most worrisome.

On a side note, I commented on the presence of the youths in London, but the Strangers were unconcerned. Zoe said something about most of the buildings being "charmed". That word seems to come up a lot with these people. I can only imagine she means that the structures are somehow ensorcelled to protect them from bombing. If the Strangers do possess such power, why have they not shared it with us? If they could have saved us from the Blitz and chose not to, it does not speak well to their benevolence.

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