Last night’s meeting at the Town Hall was a remarkable gathering, and I’ve not seen the place so crowded in years. Balthazar Lemon’s bridge plan has everyone talking. For anyone who wasn’t there, the man responsible for our island’s lighthouse plans to build a bridge connecting us to the mainland.
Unlike many of us, Mister Lemon was not born on Hopeless, and has seen something of the world. He is certain it can be done, and that science will defeat the currents where seamanship cannot. The bridge project calls for flotation devices, and a modest quantity of wood, which might be salvaged from derelict houses so save on work. On paper, it looks tremendously complicated to me, but one cannot help but be impressed by the sheer scale of Balthazar Lemon’s vision.
Imagine the possibilities, dear readers, if we are able to walk across the sea to the mainland! Think of the wonderful benefits, the opportunities for our younger people! We will be able to import coffee rather than depending on the odd shipment washing ashore! There might be proper whiskey on a regular basis rather than the eye watering stuff Doc Willoughby ferments – from what I dare not speculate! Balthazar Lemon needs your help, your spare timber, and whatever time you can donate to this most excellent cause. Let us build our way out of isolation and into a bright future!
It’s a tradition whose origins are lost, and a very fine piece of our local heritage. This Sunday’s Apple Procession begins at the Church at 10am after the Apple Blessing service. Following the green dancers in their foliage attire, and the drummers, the Procession will then make its way around the island’s farms. Hopefully this year’s drummers will have some sense of rhythm between them. (I shudder, recalling the horrors of trying to march to last year’s attempts).
We will be following the traditional route, but, after numerous requests, the wild apple tree at the end of Silver Street will be our first port of call. While each farmer will be providing buckets of blood for the traditional blessing, those attending are welcome to carry their own as well. As ever, bring gifts to hang in the trees – ribbons are good. Make sure whatever you bring is dead before you try and tie it to anything, or anyone. If the weather holds, it should be an excellent day out. The Crow will be supplying a range of apple themed dishes in the evening to round of the festivities.
Is your house a mess? Struggling to find things? Are you always late, harassed and unhappy? What you need are NAILS. Great for hanging things from, ideal for putting up shelves, nails can solve so many of those everyday problems. Drop by Grimes’ General Store to view our nearly new selection.
Our mysterious fish messenger is back. The word ‘Dig’ was left in assorted aquatic creatures and shells on the O’Stoat family vault some time before yesterday morning. I was alerted to the presence of the word by Master Owen Davies. It is a curious invitation. Was it made by the same person who left us the words ‘dead’ linked to the recent, unresolved murder at the O’Stoat mansion? What would be the use of digging up those long since deceased?
Doc Willoughby’s study of the gory remains leads him to think that the victim of the recent mansion murder was Drustan O’Stoat, son of Melisandra and Durosimi O’Stoat. One can only imagine what terrible circumstances led these two parents to murder their offspring.
Search parties on the island have yet to find any trace of the pair. I am not encouraging citizens to open the O’Stoat tomb. If whoever is leaving these messages actually knows something, will they please come forward and make their insight known.
There was a peculiar scene at the Church last Wednesday when Balthazar Lemon appeared with a very large and dead cod that he demanded to be formally married to. The union did not take place, Reverend Davies having carefully explained that the sacrament of marriage involves one man and one woman, not one man and one expired fish. Mister Lemon’s longstanding and well known fish obsession has caused some speculation as to whether he is the one using them as a writing medium.
Are the bones of our ancestor walking? A number of reliable witnesses report having seen a skeletal form wandering the shoreline at twilight. This may explain the disappearance of the recently discovered remains from the library, but we must ponder what strange enchantment has put life into the bones. Is there intelligence inside that hollow skull? And if so, what does it intend? Should we leave this be as yet another peculiar feature of our island life, or should the bones be stopped before they do something dire? Can we trust the undead remains of our ancestor? After all, no one has established who the body belonged to and we have no idea if the spirit that moves it is kindly disposed towards the rest of us. I would advise caution until we know more about this matter.
Births – Solidarity Jones, born to Cadence and Integrity Jones last Tuesday.
Deaths – The body of Vortigern Frog was discovered on the Library steps on Thursday morning. However, the ghost of Vortigern Frog remains very much a presence in the Memorial Library and will clearly be continuing as librarian. The fates of those returning books late may be too terrible to describe.
This Saturday, bring your carved pumpkins (or other sculpted garden produce) to the Town Hall for the annual lantern parade and fair. Elgar Frog is providing music, there will be hot food, and a prize for the best lantern.
This year’s lantern judges are Mistress Sophie Davies, Mister Jack Ephemery, and Mister Jed Grimes. They are looking for originality, craftsmanship and enthusiasm.
Proceeds go to the Pallid Rock Orphanage, and the Hunger Hill Establishment for the Weak and Confused.
Not only do we have a disturbing number of missing persons in Hopeless this autumn, we also have a most perplexing missing body. The recently exhumed remains, as displayed in the Memorial Library, have gone missing. Librarian Vortigern Frog claims to have seen nothing, and to have no idea how the bones disappeared. Thieves left the grave goods, making this look more like a joke than not. It depresses me that anyone might find such pointless things amusing. Dear citizens, can we not do better than this?
Reverend Davies tells me that vandalism has been a problem in the graveyard lately, with signs of digging and other disturbances. What is becoming of the young people of Hopeless? How have we let this come to pass? Each of us has a responsibility to install better morals into our young people, and to make sure they are kept busy and productive, rather than being left to run amok.
Normally I do little more than naming the dead. It is the end of a story and I would rather share interesting news, things we can do something about. This morning, the word ‘Dead’ appeared, crafted from fish just outside my house. From the word came a trail of debris – shells, fish, driftwood, stones, leading all the way across town to the O’Stoat house. Others had found and followed the trail and a crowd had gathered there before I arrived. As no one else seemed inclined to venture in, I did so myself. The house was entirely empty, aside from human remains. Doc Willoughby is investigating and hopes to identify the body. It would appear that one of the O’Stoats is dead, and the other two have fled. Another sad chapter in the life of this cursed family.