By Frampton Jones
It feels like every year now I have to write the same reminder. Most demons do not like the cold. When the temperature drops, demons seek warm places to roost. This may seem endearing when the demon looks mostly like a cat and alternates between purring and trying to eat your soul. Less so when the demon is only trying to eat your soul and has infested some part of your household.
This is your sadly regular reminder to check warm places for signs of demon activity, and be ready to flee if there are eyes where no eyes have been before.
Being new to the island, of course Amanda Reith knew nothing of this. She went ahead and moved into the shattered remains of Herr Doktor’s lab at just the moment when we were all feeling the awkwardness of not having a proper scientist of morally suspect intent at work in our community. And like several of our previous scientists, she made the fatal mistake of not allowing for demons. It’s all well and good being clever and rational, and not wanting to dabble with superstitions, but let me remind newcomers, our superstitions are exceedingly well founded.
Amanda Reith’s experiments glowed, steamed and bubbled into the night. Some of us tried to warn her. We said ‘you’ll attract demons’ but she laughed and said she was a woman of science and that she had no truck with demons. It’s not usually the science that excites them, but the heat. In the normal scheme of things, a lab, kitchen or workshop is unlikely to attract more than one demon at a time – they seem to be territorial. For some reason, whatever Amanda was up to, the demons found it intensely attractive. Who amongst us did not see their alarming forms peering from the windows at night?
And being used to such things, we all made the entirely sensible choice not to get further involved. Community spirit only goes so far, and it does not go into demon infested laboratories. Of course, get that many demons into one place, and conflict is inevitable.
We could, in all fairness have been much more supportive when Amanda finally emerged, screaming with all the horror we are used to witnessing when people encounter demons. We could have been more sympathetic and less willing to go ‘I told you so’ and it probably wasn’t tactful to have a cake stall and a hot pie stand as the lab did what labs seem to do best here, and exploded behind her. I don’t know that it would have saved her life, but perhaps we should have tried. It was a horrible way to go.