An astonishing sight greeted the folk working on our bridge this Tuesday. Arriving at first light, we found work had already begun, but not on our construction. Clods of earth were flying through the air as excavation continued on the wrecked boat. Our own boys had given up when it became obvious that the ship might collapse. However, the workers on Tuesday morning knew no such fears.
We stood at a safe distance, watching in surprise as a dozen or more skeletal figures exhumed the boat. It was an eerie sight. They had clothed themselves strangely, although for what purpose I cannot imagine. Do those mobile remains feel the cold as we do? I can hardly believe it is so. They have no need for modesty either.
Work on the bridge is yet again delayed. No one, myself included, feels able to continue while that unnatural crew labours silently nearby. I wonder if the ship was theirs in distant times? What little of it remains is far from sound. Will there be more dead to release? As ever, we must be vigilant.
At this time of the year, gnii suffer from the cold and damp, although the action of frost breaking up stones benefits them in the longer term. While some have tried to claim that they are an ill omen, gnii are gentle creatures, their bobbing lights charming at night, and their presence an essential part of the Founders Day celebrations.
Make sure the gnii in your garden are thriving. Put out your candle stubs for them and check that there is exposed rock for them to feed on and play with.
Currently there are a flotilla of gnii feeding by the harbour. They appear to be using driftwood and seaweed, burning brightly and for short periods and falling dramatically from the sky like tiny shooting stars. I wonder if this is how the island looked before the advent of people, and candles.
Last week’s article brought in news of many more O’Stoat sightings. Some more credible than others. As three individuals claim to have seen Melisandra O’Stoat disapparate, it is possible that the two are deceased, and haunting us.
Greta Calder, employee of Pallid Rock Orphanage is reported missing, apparently having disappeared during the night, along with one of the orphans – a young girl. According to Reverend Davies, there were signs of a violent struggle. Citizens are asked to be vigilant. Volunteers for search parties should report to the Church or the Orphanage for guidance.
In the last week, there have been three separate sightings of the missing O’Stoats. Archibald Buckets claims to have seen them in the graveyard. Serendipity and Felicitations Jones both report seeing the pair walking at twilight on Hunger Hill. Jed Grimes tells me he woke in the night and saw Durosimi O’Stoat stood beneath his window, staring up at him.
Are these ghosts? Hauntings seem to be on the increase, so this is a possibility. Are they alive and in hiding? The weather has made any serious searching impossible. Given the horrific fate of their son Drustan, these two are not to be trusted, and if you see them, do not approach them on your own. They are very likely dangerous. Hopefully in time we will have opportunity to see justice served to this unnatural pair.
The evening was crisp with an unusually clear sky, which may be why we had one of the best 12th Night turnouts for many years. Torches and masks made a dramatic show as we paraded around the town centre, and the traditional dance was a great success. I know there are some who want to modernise the event with lively tunes, but the traditional, mournful dances and slow airs have a certain majesty that suits the dark time of the year.
It’s a sales extravaganza at Millet’s Fabric Store this week. Two gloves for the price of one! Recycled handkerchiefs at half price! By two shrouds, get a third for free! Experienced tailoring for all your needs. Stop by and see what we have on offer.
Work to lay the foundations for Balthazar Lemon’s bridge to the mainland hit a setback. The small headland to the south of the harbour had been determined as the best spot, facing where our brightest thinkers understand the mainland to be. However, this small headland turned out not to be rock, as first imagined. Excavations to put down support posts revealed wood. Work on the bridge has stopped because all of those involved were far more interested in finding out what this buried wood is from, than in building the bridge. Your humble editor is not a man of science, but feels the future should take precedent over the past.
Man hours have been lost in digging up the sandbank. This work has revealed the remains of a ship. A large one, as far as can be ascertained, although the vast majority remains buried. Already tales are flying around, filling the wreck with imagined treasures. I would like to assure readers that based on my observations, the ship is filled with mud, slime and old seaweed.
Plans to lay the bridge foundations are delayed, but I have been assured the work will continue.
I trust that you all enjoyed a merry Christmas. The midnight mass was especially atmospheric this year, the wind around the church producing a sound uncannily like a child crying. Twenty graves have been dug to see us through the winter – a conservative estimate I fear. For the wellbeing of your community, do not undertake to die before the thaw, if you can possibly help it!