Digging for a new privy in his back garden this week, Jasper Fingle uncovered what may be the oldest grave on the island. Bones and artefacts found in the grave raise questions about who was here first and how long the island has been settled. Local historian and schoolteacher Arlingham Jones told me “It’s the most exciting find the island has ever seen. The body is very old. It predates all records of settlement here. The remains are being kept in the town’s library for further study, and the items with them will go on display there.”
Alongside the remains were found a copper mirror, a pot, and several items as yet unidentified. Reverend Davies said “Clearly this wasn’t a proper Christian burial. We should carry out a proper funeral at once.” Doc Willoughby has been asked to examine the remains and Jasper Fingle is proposing to dig over the rest of his garden in the hopes of finding more graves.
The following people have been reported missing during the last week: Malcolm Attila, Vespers Jones, Dimity Witherspoon. In all three instances there was no sign of a struggle, or a body. This is the highest count of missing adults we’ve had in one week, and so far there are no leads. Please get in touch if you hear anything.
‘Perhaps’ a single word formed out of the mortal remains of sea creatures, was this week found outside our Town Hall. No small amount of care and effort must have gone into dragging those fishy remains inland and arranging them – all in the dead of night.
What does it mean? It’s hardly a strong word. ‘No’ might have constituted a protest against the night of dancing held there and we could have looked to our religiously conservative citizens for an explanation. A word of anger or rebellion might have suggested the work of frustrated younger citizens. I can think of many powerful, meaningful words to have shared (although I would never employ the medium of rotting fish), but ‘perhaps’ is not one of them. The ambiguity is maddening! Why go to such effort in order to say so little?
By midday, wild birds had eaten most of the word. I kept watch there myself and can assure my readers that none of the word will make its way into any meals or food products.
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.