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.
Every year countless people suffer when they meddle with the occult and enlist the dangerous powers of witchcraft. Are you risking your soul as well as your health? Do you know what terrible dangers await you when you invite satanic influences into your life? Some prices are not worth paying. For honest, god-fearing medicine that won’t bring you eternal damnation and see your family in the fiery pits of hell, speak to Dr Willoughby.
As a result of the last few weeks being uncharacteristically dry, we’ve seen the usually moist soil hardening and cracking. Even our oldest residents cannot recall a summer like it. While the fog banks continue to surround the island, we’ve actually had a little sun! How long it lasts remains to be seen, but it is certainly not an entirely good thing.
The dry soil is now developing deep fissures, and creating a hazard for people and livestock alike. Yesterday, I viewed some of the worst holes. Dear readers, I have no wish to alarm you, but there are things in those holes. Large, shapeless things, wet with slime. Currently they are too far down to be reached, but they show signs of moving. Will they emerge? No one seems to know what they are, although they resemble giant slugs. I can only wonder how long they have lived beneath our feet, and what might happen should they emerge onto the surface. I advise you all to take great care, to avoid falling into these ominous holes, and to guard against an emergence of the sinister things living there.
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Rumours abound that Durosimi, Melisandra and Drustan O’Stoat are all missing. Concerns were first raised when Durosimi failed to attend the annual gathering of founding families at the beginning of the week. It’s not the prestigious event it used to be, but he’s not missed it before. After much following of leads, questioning of potential witnesses and banging on the front door of the O’Stoat house, I am inclined to think them not at home. Where they are, I cannot say.
Of the forty seven members of the O’Stoat family whose lives are documented in parish and journalistic records, only three have died quietly in their beds. No fewer than eleven are known to have been murdered, the rest either died by violent accident, went missing, or left Hopeless. As a family they seem plagued by ill fortune and misadventure. The mysterious disappearance of Durosimi’s father Vincent has never been explained, and many questions about his activities in life remain unanswered. This latest disappearance may mark the end of the O’Stoat line, as all other branches have long since died off.
The annual Church picnic takes place this Saturday, everyone welcome. Bring food to share. After last year’s unfortunate incident, Reverend Davies asks those attending to make sure that the food is either properly dead at the outset, or suitably restrained. No alcohol. Everyone welcome for a day of family fun in an atmosphere of spiritual communion.
Marriages: Petulant Jones and Armitage Chevin married on Tuesday afternoon, keeping up a long tradition of intermarriage between these two family lines. It was a charming ceremony. The bride wore a floral dress, the fabric for which had very likely been made with furniture coverings in mind.
Deaths: One child, unidentifiable, probably drowned. I’m not aware of any lost children this week, but if you are missing an infant, speak to Justus Frog, who found the body.
Last Friday, the evening tides carried in more debris than usual, including several dead bodies (unidentified and now buried). It appears that a small ship of unknown origin hit the rocks on our north coast. Various intrepid folk have been out to the wreck, bringing back all kinds of interesting goods. I remind all readers that scavenging rules are simple – finders keepers. Anything washed up on the beaches belongs to the person who manages to make off with it. Rumours of coffee and chocolate led to scenes of brawling over the weekend, but no lasting damage done. Mithra Stubbs at the Black Swann Bakery claims to have shipwreck coffee for sale, by the mug. Having sampled it myself, I can’t say that it tastes any different from the stuff she usually sells. Perhaps this means that Mithra’s ersatz coffee is especially convincing. I wouldn’t want to suggest outright that one of our fair citizens might be lying through her teeth, but there is scope for doubt here.
For those inclined to be democratic, it should be noted that the fruit throwers outvoted, and outpelted the pro-council contingent. Special mention should be made of Politeness Jones and his wheelbarrow full of dedication to self determination! There will be no council. Citizens, I was proud to be there!