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Excerpt of the personal journal of Myra George, state prosecutor.

Well, here I am. Writing this down like a narrative because I’m not sure I’m going to make sense of it any other way. It worked for all those political science courses I never use now. It shouldn’t even be my job to figure this out, I’m the youngest of three lawyers on this case. But I can’t leave anything unfinished.

I’m not faint of heart. This week I had a child pornographer that’s probably going to get off to look forward to. I also grew up on a Cree reserve in the middle of nowhere where the goings-on would shock any white man. But this tops it all.

So, here goes my fourth glass of wine and my best shot.

Joan Travis was keeping the dairy that’s now in front of me because she believed her daughter’s biological father, Jonathon Grant, was molesting her four-year-old daughter Mary. She got this idea when Mary came home a little different around the end of August. Her husband, George Travis, urged her to follow these suspicions.

She also came home with a felt dog. One of those cheaper ones that looked handmade. I had a teddy bear like it. Kind of realistic plastic eyes, strong stitches, off white in colour I guess. Anyway, suddenly Mary was attached to this dog.

Didn’t name it, just called it her felt puppy. Whispered to it sometimes.

September 14th. Mary gets sent home from daycare for sexually explicit language with the recommendation to see a therapist. Red flag for sexual abuse. Joan gets her to a therapist, who can’t get anything out of the kid. Joan told us she asked the woman to get the stuffed dog away from her. Didn’t want her using it as a crutch. The shrink either couldn’t or wouldn’t. Can’t interview her, more trouble than it’s worth.

In the next few days, Mary much leave her dog alone for a moment because her mother locks it in her safe. The two row it out, as much as a toddler can row, anyway. Joan is holding it hostage for a confession, which she doesn’t get.

Around this point, I think Joan starts to fall apart. She’d been out for the night with friends and came home a little drunk, because she said she heard noises from the safe. She opens it with her husband’s pistol in hand and shoots the toy dog through the head. Satisfied, she goes upstairs and falls asleep.

The next morning her husband is found dead on her daughter’s bedroom floor. His throat is torn open, and I mean open. Autopsy says it could have been a serrated knife; there were plenty in the house. I’ve seen people chewed by wolves, though, and sometimes there isn’t much difference.

Joan calls the cops. They remove the body, find Mary undisputed in the closet. She said her felt puppy told her to wait there until it was safe.

Mary is examined, evidence of both long-term and recent sexual abuse is apparent. They get DNA; it’s George’s. Joan goes to jail after nearly shooting a cop with her deceased husband’s pistol, then to a hospital when it’s obvious she’s mentally ill. She claims she didn’t know about the abuse, but it’s here in her diary. She found a dried but bloody pair of her daughter’s panties, nearly beat the shit out of her before her daughter would tell anyone who asked it was chocolate ice cream instead of blood. She was happy to keep up the charade.

Sick bitch. Why did she even write this down? Not that the journal matters legally. Any good lawyer would get it thrown out.

The state sends us to talk to her. We tell her no jury would convict her for killing her husband, she just needs to claim guilt by insanity. But she denies it. Says she loves her husband, that her four-year-old daughter is a Lolita whore.

She kept mentioning the dog. The felt puppy.

The night after we saw her, she managed to hang herself with her supposedly suicide-proof bed sheets. Apparently it’s easier when they’re soaked in blood. Staff still doesn’t know how she gnawed her wrists open so quickly without them hearing.

Mary spent two nights in my condo. I hated to see her in foster care. I know how bad that can mess a kid up. Hell, I lived it for four years. She was a sweet kid. Smart as hell. She kept carrying her felt puppy around, though I never saw her talk to it. It was kind of dirty, especially around the mouth.

I asked her what happened to him. She smiled and said she’d tried to feed it chocolate ice cream.

Met her real father, Grant, when he came to pick her up. I had some questions for him. He was a skinny white guy, but I’d Googled him. He was a professor of the occult and ancient magiks, hired to research the spooky doings of coloured people and teach other skinny white kids about it. But I knew there was something a little deeper in him. He took the felt puppy from his daughter, told her to get her bag. She listened.

I asked him what he’d given up for this animal’s life. He just grinned. He was missing his left eye tooth. He admitted he borrowed a friend’s gun and killed a coyote under a waning moon for some other ingredients. The eyes were his own touch; they’d come from a toy bear that had belonged to a girl who was killed by a child rapist. He thinks that it really helped.

He left with Mary. She’ll be okay, I think. She looked tough as nails. Grant left the felt puppy, though. He said he could take away its life as easily as he gave it, but he’d been reading the papers and knew of some of my trials coming up.

I don’t think some of these trials will be coming up, after all. I won’t talk ethics. I know what it’s like to be Mary. I know rape. I know what evil is. Evil isn’t in magic and shadows. Evil is in human beings like George Travis, and sometimes the law just can’t contain it.

I didn’t tell my new felt puppy anything. I just left the window open for him.