STANLEY KAIJU AND THE SUBTERRANEAN BUNNY DEFENDERS GO UNDERGROUND BY ELISA SARGENT ILLUSTRATION BY DANIEL CROSIER | COLORING BY KEVIN WALTZ In recent years, as many of you may know, this reporter has settled down in Denver, and I have generally kept my stories in Denver and about Denver events, however, the story I have for my readers today expands a bit past the boundary of our city, into a small field. My story of course starts in our beloved hometown, where I live and write, but although the rumors of a new phenomenon started here, it took me on a quest through several states and through several months. I initially heard about the phenomenon in a café. A café where I go every day for a small coffee before going into the office. I was reaching across the counter to get my single-serving sugar packet when I noticed a man, frozen in place, with a dreamy look in his eyes standing across from me. When I casually inquired about his state, he told me the most amazing story. The night before last Saturday, or perhaps last Saturday, as far as he could remember, he attended a small circus, in a field, just outside of town. This of course piqued my curiosity. The traditional circus has all but disappeared. Lifelong performers of circus arts have been relegated to the corners of county fairs, or retired altogether, and the live animals from the circus have all found homes in zoos or sanctuaries. I asked him what he saw there, as it was clearly on his mind. The man quickly assured me that there were no live animals at the circus, but some type of mechanized creatures, none of which he could expressly identify. There were bright lights, projecting colors he could not explain, and of course food, which he could not remember. The one clear item he brought up in his strange ramblings was – fuzzy, pink performers. After hearing the strange story from the man in the café, I felt the fever to track down this new enigma. This is a fever which reporters often get which leads reporters such as myself to go to extreme steps to find and report strange stories to readers such as yourself. To start my investigation, I scoured the internet for several days and could not find a single promotion for this new circus, only vague firsthand personal accounts of a mysterious big top appearing randomly across the country. I packed my bags at this point and set forth to personally track this new event. I travelled through the summer to several towns, following the stories of dream-eyed, vague, firsthand personal accounts. I arrived at the described locations to find empty fields, without so much as a puff of popcorn left behind to prove the existence of the mysterious big top. As the days shortened and summer harvest was harvested from the sprawling rural fields, I felt my fever subside and admitted defeat. Returning to Denver to pursue more tangible stories, I turned my car back down the interstate at full speed only to stop short as the traffic halted due to a procession of cars pulling off the highway onto a small country road. As I sat waiting for the cars to clear, I looked across the dry, dying stalks of corn in the field next to the highway. The gleam of the setting sun reflected a yellowish ray of light onto a spired canvas of a colorful, old-fashioned circus tent poking up from behind the beige corn stalks. It was right there, the big top I had been looking for.

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