If you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it! That would be good advice for any new and untried food stuff. (I’ve had seventeen claims that The Crow’s Windfall Pie was poisonous). Mushrooms are coming into season. Some are very good to eat. The little white ones with black undersides are fine, but do not mistake them for the little white ones with a rather unwholesome green underside. Not only will these make you sick, but they are guaranteed to give you at least a week of wishing you were dead. Make sure your children are not tempted by the big shiny red ones – remember what happened last year with the hallucinated demon scare? And the year before when young Jaime Boff set fire to the town’s library because he was convinced it was going to eat him.
If in doubt, don’t! And that goes for novelty foodstuffs offered by The Crow, as well. Windfall Pie is now off the menu, I am pleased to tell you, replaced by ‘Roots in Pastry’ which sounds a good deal safer.
I no longer have boils. Thank you to everyone who expressed concern.
Attractions to include the Squid and Spoon race, a selection of pious songs performed by the orphanage choir, and guess the weight of the bucket. Older orphans will be participating in a hiring fair. If you need extra hands on your farm, in your home or business, consider taking in one of our sixteen year old residents.
Last week, dear readers, you may recall I was rather strident about The Vendetta being a free press. As those copies return to me for pulping and re-use, I feel I am eating my words. Since the last publication, I have suffered the most vile outbreak of boils on every part of my body. I will spare you the details.
Annamarie Nightshade visited me as I was poised to compose this week’s paper. She tells me that the boils are of her own making, and that, if I cease printing Doc Willoughby’s adverts, my discomfort will cease. As a journalist, I feel troubled. But, my journalism has not benefited from not wanting to show my face, nor from being unable to sit down comfortably.
I have reached a compromise in that I will print no further articles from either party, at least on the subject of medicine. However, if I am still disfigured and suffering when the time comes to write next week’s news, you can be quite sure whose side I shall be taking henceforth. Equally, if Annamarie Nightshade proves to my satisfaction that she does indeed have the power to give, and remove such afflictions, I will be obliged to hold her skills in much higher esteem in the future.
Music lessons for young and old alike. Any level of ability considered, any instrument – although owning your own is pretty much essential as I don’t have that many to spare. Very reasonable rates, happy to teach you or your children in the comfort of your own home.
For days now there have been no crows, no shrieks. Somehow the silence is worse. Is it really over, or is it a matter of time before new horrors come? My mind invents fresh nightmares with each unfamiliar sound, sees danger in every shadow. I am not alone in this. I see the fear in people’s faces. On the streets, people tell me of their anxiety. The tales are dreadful and too numerous to repeat. There has been no other news. We wait, and we fear, and somehow ordinary life goes on. The Swann Bakery has a two for one offer on muffins this week.
Annamarie Nightshade is a liar and a fraud. I am the only formally trained medical man in Hopeless. If you want cures that consist of weeds, toenails and charcoal, then by all means go to her. This is just the kind of thing I meant when I said we needed a proper council to sort things out in this town. A proper council, proper laws, proper order and structure. That’s what we need, and an end to this kind of quackery.
Editor’s note: This is a free press. Anyone can pay to have their words published. I don’t agree with the Doc where councils are concerned, but he’s welcome to have his say. That’s one of the main differences between him and me, and why I don’t want a council.
Somewhere above us, hidden by the fog, strange and violent things are happening. The screams are enough to terrify the boldest man amongst us. The blood and feathers fall everywhere. Something in the clouds is killing the giant black birds that appeared last week. It doesn’t appear to be eating them, but pulling them apart and scattering their remains over the town.
What happens when there are no more birds? Will this latest fiend then unleash itself upon us, or will we be faced with something even worse? I dare not think.
The Crow offers a whole new menu this week. Windfall Pie. Avian Stew. Deep fried Corvid with seaweed. Bring the newssheet with you for a half price cup of our best ersatz coffee (new secret ingredients!)
The only kind of spirit Doc Willoughby knows anything about is the kind that comes in bottles. He knows rather more about them than is good for him! How many times do I have to say it? I AM NOT A SATANIST. I am a witch, there are a lot of differences. Doc Willoughby’s medicine might very well be god-fearing, if I was dishing out that kind of rubbish, I’d certainly be fearing the wrath of gods. Do not be duped by scaremongering tactics.
Last week I warned you of the giant slugs. They came up from beneath the ground, inevitably, eating everything in their path. To my certain knowledge, Mathias Smut, Dignity Possit and Lissa Gardens were all victims of these monstrosities. Witnesses say that they went too near the cracks, were smothered in slugs, and eaten alive. Nothing remained to be buried in any case. The good people of Hopeless armed themselves this week with clubs, pointed sticks and pitchforks, to good effect, keeping at bay these flesh eating nightmares.
At last the weather broke, ending this unnatural heat and returning us to familiar fogs and drizzle. Then the birds came. Black as crows, but much larger. They ate the slugs, and at first this seemed like a good thing. Then we ran out of slugs and now the hungry predators sate themselves on livestock. As yet, no human inhabitants have suffered a bird attack, but it’s just a matter of time. Be vigilant dear readers, and do not leave your home without a large stick.