's 2015 Horror Write-off:

The behaviour of raccoons will change

Submitted by Anonymous

I love my job.

LOVE it.

When everything goes to hell, that's my finest hour.

For I'm the one who gets to say “I told you so”.

I suppose that makes me a bit of a jerk. Of course it does. I talk about chaos, and when it arrives, I celebrate. I start dancing around like some renegade Christmas elf, cackling manically to myself as pundits and critics and all these other people propped up on what they thought to be iron-clad certitudes are pulling their hair out in despair. I bask in the joyful pinging sounds of the fan mail rolling in, all these loyal clients and subscribers singing my praise.

All the while, thousands, even millions of innocent people lose their jobs, their health coverage, their civil rights and, of course, their lives.

You say that ain't nice, you say that ain't fair? Well guess what. The C.A.T.S. don't care.

And lest we forget, I got a subscribe button, right there on my website.

You see, I'm a forecaster.

Oh, please spare me your delightful quips about crystal balls and reading entrails, and whether or not I get drool on my fancy suits every time I'm experiencing my visions. The people you are thinking about when you make that sort of jokes? The ostrich-heads of common sense and the headless chicken what balance tinfoil hats where their brain should be?

That's not me. They're the ones who get things WRONG. Those are the sort people who said, at the height of that last colossal bubble, that we would never experience another financial crisis EVER again. For SURE. According to some, because reptiles are good at finance.

You know why they get things wrong? Because they don't understand the future. They don't understand time. Change. They only extrapolate from what they know, from what they want, from what those silly enough to listen to them want to hear. Sadly, that's most people.

Not me. I study the things that matter even though they're not fashionable. I observe. I listen for those distant rumbling sounds, way off in the distance. The storm clouds gathering on the horizon. I can weigh the seemingly unbreakable power of inertia and the status quo against the movements of the continental plates shifting right under our feet.

I get the job done. Remember the last time a preposterous monstrosity got elected into office, seemingly against all odds? Well I knew. The last depression? The last civil war? Way ahead of you, hun.

And now I'm scared.

Excited, yes, but scared.

That's not a new feeling for me, mind you. It comes with the territory. You spend your life anticipating disasters hardly anyone else sees coming, it does a number on you. I'm a wreck. A joyful wreck in a fancy suit, but a wreck none the less. I'm not kidding you, I'm actually giggling right now, as I'm about to board up my windows.


I started noticing it several years ago. Of course, back then I didn't know what to make of it. That's how it usually goes: as I'm doing my research, looking into a lot of different things at once, I'm starting to discover something completely unexpected. It's like a thread sticking out, and I start pulling that thread. A lot of times, it doesn't actually lead anywhere. But sometimes, there is a pattern. It starts making sense.

I don't even remember where it first caught my attention, exactly. Maybe it was an old map, showing population densities from some bygone era. Maybe it was the exhibit in that small-town museum, the mummy of the lumberjack. I just know that when I came across that taxidermy, the thing had already started taking shape inside my mind.

On impulse, I reached deep inside its mouth. When I pulled my fingers out again, I was holding a single human tooth. Oh dear.


Now to be clear, I'm pretty sure this has never happened before, this thing. Not like that. History does not repeat itself. You know what History does? It rhymes.

Under the right conditions, things can get a lot worse.

I started connecting the pattern with that horrible thing in Israel a few years back, with the elephants. Nasty stuff, remember?

I spoke to historians, zoologists, veterinarians, mathematicians, high-profile economists, lobbyists, elected officials, ordinary people I met at the grocery store. They were looking at the same things I was, all the different pieces. They just weren't really paying attention. Like, REALLY paying attention. Even when things started getting weiiiird. They were joking about it. We all were. In my case, it's because I'm a jerk.

The Japanese at least should have known better. They have TANUKI, for crying out loud. Different animal, same principle. Lots of trouble in the 1990ies. A fair warning, is what I'm calling it.

I spoke to the C.A.T.S., of course (they don't care).


I've just climbed up on my roof. I suppose my behavior is even more erratic than usual, at this point. Everything is quiet. For now. But it won't be long.

Already, I'm starting to see them lurk around in the shadows, behind the bushes and the garbage cans. All over the neighborhood. There is more of them by the minute. Streaming out of their underground breeding chambers. Yeah, they got those now.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I suppose I should mention that thing in the park. When I walked by the lake the other day, I saw them gathering at a little pond. Lots of them. I have been anticipating this for a while, but it still comes as a shock when you're seeing it with your own eyes.

That was the first time I saw so many of them in one spot. It was preposterous.

Oh, they weren't exactly doing anything. Just sitting around, I suppose. Staring. That's right, all eyes on me. I pretended not to notice as I walked past them.

I was almost out of sight when they started screaming. Hundreds of tiny, sharp-toothed mouths, screaming as one, a high-pitched scream unlike anything I've ever heard before. When I turned around, they immediately fell silent again. Staring, as if nothing had happened.

Then, they slowly started to leave the clearing, spreading out into the underbrush, forming neat little conga lines. I suppose if you looked at it from above, you would have seen sort of a giant, furry starfish.

On a related note, I don't remember when I last saw a duck in that general area. Or a squirrel, for that matter. Huh.

When I got back home, I checked some notes I had scribbled down a few years back, and it send shivers down my spine.

“The behavior of raccoons will change.”

Oh, will it ever.


Down below, things are getting interesting. They are gathering in the streets. Forming ranks.

My neighbors are starting to notice. I'm sure some of them are uploading videos of it as I type this. Just another silly thing that's gonna be on the internet. Or so they think.

There is a collective snapping sound as the raccoons are throwing their heads back, opening their mouths as wide as they can and dislocating their lower jaws. Their tongues are probing the air like blind, pink slugs raising featureless heads.

Then they start hopping. Slowly at first, but with increasing gusto as they are homing in on their targets, who are only now starting to realize that they should have moved somewhere safe several minutes ago. Or years. Well, now it's too late.

I'd like to stress out that this isn't the only way it could have happened. As I said in my last forecast, there was a whole range of possible scenarios. Still, I put my money on this one - not literally, of course, I doubt I will have much use for money now.

I'm proven right once again. Yay for me.

Did I mention I got a subscribe button? Not sure when's the next time I'm gonna upload an analysis, though.