During the early 1990s, single-use magic wands began appearing in dollar stores throughout America. For the most part, these were simply hollow, black tubes of polystyrene filled with a light dusting of powdered aether. Each contained just enough mystical potency to help with a single household task, whether that be washing the dishes, grilling burgers, or cleaning stains from the carpet. No incantations or prior initiation were required; after a few seconds of vigorous shaking, the wand’s plastic tip would pop off, allowing the pressurized magic to escape as a jet of violet smoke.

Despite their remarkable impact on the quality of life in the neighborhoods in which they were sold, these wands disappeared from shelves almost as quickly as they arrived due to public safety concerns. There were around forty-eight varieties of these wands available, and of these, thirty-four proved to be viable as weapons. Those used for cooking were the most popular among criminals, though none were deadlier than the laundry wand, which could wring out a human brain like a towel. Imports ceased, causing the factories which produced them to vanish in a matter of months, along with the engineers who designed them.

Of all the convenience spells available, however, none were so mysterious as the “chicken dinner wand.” When pointed at a generic, store-bought egg, a complete rotisserie chicken would burst forth from its shell, hot and freshly steaming. The roast was anatomically correct, with wings, legs, and bones manifesting in all of their expected places. There was just one problem- there seemed to have been no live chicken, nor could there ever possibly have been. Cartons of eggs from the grocery store were sterile, and thus lacked the essential ingredients to produce a complete organism. Even so, the presence of the roast brought with it a great deal of philosophical baggage; did the presence of a dead creature imply the existence of one that once lived? Which came first: the chicken, or its corpse?

This mystery has never been solved. Whatever secret allowed for this transmutation to take place disappeared along with the industry that made it possible, and any and all records regarding the matter went missing from patent offices. While most just remember this spell as a fun party trick, some who witnessed it firsthand are still losing sleep over having watched death emerge directly from an egg.

Is the Nihilopteryx a distant ancestor of the chicken? At the very least, it is an ancestor of the rotisserie.

Clues to the method used may exist in documentation surrounding the chicken's cousin, the parrot.

The shadow of the false chicken still tastes like a chicken's shadow, according to umbratarians.