By Frampton Jones
Yesterday, at midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over one of my well thumbed volumes of forgotten island lore, while I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door — Micah Edwards, here once more.”
And it was a terrible habit. I don’t know why he did it and frankly it comes as little surprise to me that it caught up with him. Sane and sensible islanders do not go out at night and tap upon other people’s doors, or windows, or piping or chicken sheds… I let him in of course, chided him thoroughly for his antisocial behaviour, and reluctantly let him back out into the night an hour or so later – to what purpose I know not. Many of us have had such visits from Micah over the years. I assume he was not able to sleep soundly.
He was found a little after dawn, pale and still and very cold. The cause of death is itself a mystery. Doc Willoughby said, “You know, I’m not sure he is dead, I think we should keep the body around for a bit in case he’s only sleeping. I had this terrible nightmare recently about burying someone who wasn’t dead, so I’d like to be on the safe side.”
Micah Edwards was always a bit on the morbid side, and the described funeral arrangements he left for us bear this out. Gothic designs for a tomb by the sea – which I doubt anyone is going to go through with because a great deal of work would be called for. However, since this morning, ravens have been gathering outside the mortuary, in unusual numbers. I am not sure what this signifies.
As the weather is cold and the body will keep, the consensus is that Doc Willoughby may be right, and that the funeral should be delayed.
(And if you’d like to know what Micah Edwards has done to Edgar Allen Poe, aided and abetted by Tom Brown, check out Li’l Eddie – https://micahbedwards.wordpress.com/lil-eddie/ )