Department of Gutters Critical to Bear Creek’s Future
by Matt Hiebert, 3.24am November 10th 2021

“It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it,” said Ray Eely, superintendent of the Bear Creek Department of Gutters. “When it gets disgusting, just remember, you’re helping society.”

The Department of Gutters is one of the oldest divisions under the Bear Creek Administrative Office and remains vital to the city’s continued prosperity, despite its reputation for repugnancy.

“Sure, things can get nasty -- depending on what a person might’ve ate that day -- but it provides a valuable public service,” Eely said. “We keep the town safe and ready for the future.”

Gutters have a long tradition of maintaining order at the more esoteric levels of Bear Creek society. Alchemists, sorcerers and necromancers occasionally stray into practices that could jeopardize the balance of the town’s “otherworldly” relationships. Such imbalances could quickly become apocalyptic. Violators must be addressed decisively. 

“When one of those guys gets out of line, you got to take action, lickety-split,” Eely continued. “This isn’t an HR issue. You can’t just write them up.  They gotta be handled…In a certain way. That’s where us gutters come in.”

For various, rather obscure, reasons, the only way to safely dispatch a wayward magick user is by disemboweling them with a cursed blade made from the shin bone of a mature basilisk. The process takes skill, training and a special temperament.

“You can’t just shoot these guys,” Eely explained. “They have spells of protection that can stop a silver bullet. But a good, old bone knife will do the trick. Zip, zip!”

Eely said employees of the Bear Creek Department of Gutters are dedicated to protecting the town from overambitious sorcerers and witches.

“About five years ago we had to gut ten of them in less than a month,” he recalled. “Buggers went nuts. I think there was an eclipse or something. They were conjuring demons, raising the dead, writing bad checks. Me and the crew logged a lot of overtime that month.”

Aside from maintaining interdimensional stability, Eely said there are other benefits to disemboweling violators of the city’s mystic ordinances.  Mainly, foretelling the future.

Many citizens don’t realize the spilled intestines of these culprits can be used for divination. In fact, several employees of the department are experts in the field of telling the future via the examination of strewn guts.

“It’s called anthropomancy,” Eely said. “I don’t know how these guys do it, but they can look at a pile of shit-packed intestines laying on the floor and tell you if it’s gonna rain next Tuesday. I kid you not!”

Beyond weather forecasting, the interpretation of displaced innards can predict major disruptions in the fabric of reality, natural or manufactured. Such portance allows the community of Bear Creek to take advantage of certain circumstances before they even happen.

“Gut reading has put us at the right place, at the right time, more than once,” Eely said. “It’s also helped us avoid cosmic-level bullshit waiting down the road.”

Eely admitted that the standards for disembowelment have a tendency to fluctuant depending on the need for divination.

“It’s kind of a sliding scale,” he said. “If we haven’t got any predictions for a while, the rules can get tricky. I once gutted a warlock for an unpaid parking ticket. But it was for the greater good, you know? We needed to see what his liver thought about the stock market.”

Several positions in the Department of Gutters are currently open.  For more information on becoming either a Gutter or an Intestinal Divinator, contact Ray Eely in the city hall basement.

No phone number or email address are available. Applicants must apply in person.

“We’ll supply the bone knives, but if you have your own leather apron, that’s a plus,” Eely noted.