By Frampton Jones
Like many people who have washed up on the shores of Hopeless, Maine, Mark Hayes has told us many tales of his previous experiences. Some of those tales have been rather fanciful, and one always has the sense that he might be making things up. Which is, when you get down to it, probably why he is now dead.
This round of blood rain has brought us some unusual red plants – a rather cheering addition to our often drab and dreary landscape, I thought. Mark Hayes was the only one of us to react to them with absolute horror. He even suggested that we should set about destroying them at once on the grounds that they would take over everything. It reminded me (and no doubt others) of that time Ezekiel Marmalade tried to persuade us all that night potatoes are the seed of the devil and should be burned to ashes, rather than the better procedure of slightly charring them so they keep still while you eat them.
Mark Hayes went alone to try and wipe out what he called the menace of the red weeds. A few people went along to watch, but no one really took him seriously. I gather from them that the weeds resisted him strenuously. Some of them have gone so far as to develop faces, full of teeth. While horrified onlookers stood around and watched and made no effort to help, Mark was eaten by the plants.
The red weed appears to be expanding much as Mark said it would. Unfortunately, now that he’s dead we can’t find out anything useful from him about how to deal with it. Staying away from the teeth is clearly a good choice. Perhaps this is simply a natural extension of the natural cycle that brought us the blood rain, and thus we can expect something even more alarming to come along and eat the plants in the fullness of time.
In the meanwhile, we should all learn from the death of Mark Hayes – stay away from the red plants, and don’t do anything heroic. Just because a person turns out to be right about something being a problem, it doesn’t mean it is also advisable to leap into action. Apathy saves lives, but not all newcomers to the island always appreciate this.
Find out more about the kinds of stories Mark Hayes makes up over here – https://markhayesblog.com
While the kickstarter for which he so nobly died is over here – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/countrostov/tales-of-hopeless-maine