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.
Some bright spark left the word ‘Why’ outside my front door the day after last week’s Vendetta came out. Once again, the word was formed out of sea life, although this time there were several crabs and a starfish. At least I assume the word was ‘why’ as what may have been part of the central bar of the ‘h’ was still alive and some distance down the road. I beleive this to have been a childish prank.
No big news story this week, dear readers. The excitement with the new grave has led to much speculation, but as yet no answers. Science is slow, I am told. Anyone wishing to view the bones and grave goods can do so at the library.
No definite updates on last week’s missing persons, although there have been a few suspected sightings. This week Regan Higsbottom and Endora Frog-Jones have also been reported missing. This is the second time Regan has been announced as lost this year. How we can have lost so many people on an island this small, I do not know. Search parties will be out this Saturday. Please help if you can.
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.