By Frampton Jones
It’s rare that we have thunder storms and lightning on the island. Tradition has it that when we do it is firstly a sign of unwholesome magical acts, and secondly, that it will always kill someone. I cannot speak to the first claim with any confidence, but our first lightning strike of the year has killed Gary Sanders.
What he was doing on the roof of the town hall is anyone’s guess. Helpfully, the lightning strike knocked him from the roof and into the street so there was no awkwardness about a body in such a public location or the difficulty of persuading anyone to retrieve it!
Doc Willoughby viewed the body in situ and pronounced the cause of death to have been “Jumping from a great height having set himself on fire.” When pressed about the lightning, he assured the assembled people that it is a myth and superstition that lightning can kill people and that he himself had been struck by lightning on several occasions and had never suffered any ill effects from it whatsoever.
Gary will be missed by his comrades at the Society of Technicians. A representative (Calista Fromage) told me, ‘we were totally shocked by this. We’ve always prided ourselves on having a very good survival rate, unlike the Scientific Society.’ She could not confirm whether Gary had been killed in pursuit of some technical aim, but said she sincerely hoped he hadn’t and that there are enough things round here trying to kill you without going looking for them.
Gary’s funeral will be held tomorrow, ahead of which his coffin will be carried through the streets by an automaton.
“It will be dignified, dramatic and totally safe,” Calista promised me.