During this difficult time with so many folk being sick, young people have really been letting the side down. Vortigern Frog says that non-return of library books is at an all time high. He said ‘I understand its hard for people when they are ill, but I suspect some people of deliberately retaining books for their own nefarious purposes.’ Questioned further, he revealed that the worst offender is none other than Owen Davies, son of Reverend Davies. I caught up with the miscreant at his house, and challenged him about non-return of library books. Owen claimed he had intended to take them back and merely forgotten. I also note that that the young offender had a number of spoons in his possession and can only wonder if he is responsible for all these spoons going missing lately as well. Revered Davies told me he would look into the matter.
Miss Calder (we think) buried last Wednesday. The remains were impossible to identify, but her ghost is very much in residence at the Pallid Rock orphanage and she says this was her. Reverend Davies says its’ peculiar burying someone when you have only just been talking to them.
Now that the undead are no longer under foot, work on the bridge has leapt forward. We have two floating units built and ready for attachment to the onshore base. A third is in construction and an air of excited optimism surrounds the project.
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.
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 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.
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.
Last week I warned you of the giant slugs. They came up from beneath the ground, inevitably, eating everything in their path. To my certain knowledge, Mathias Smut, Dignity Possit and Lissa Gardens were all victims of these monstrosities. Witnesses say that they went too near the cracks, were smothered in slugs, and eaten alive. Nothing remained to be buried in any case. The good people of Hopeless armed themselves this week with clubs, pointed sticks and pitchforks, to good effect, keeping at bay these flesh eating nightmares.
At last the weather broke, ending this unnatural heat and returning us to familiar fogs and drizzle. Then the birds came. Black as crows, but much larger. They ate the slugs, and at first this seemed like a good thing. Then we ran out of slugs and now the hungry predators sate themselves on livestock. As yet, no human inhabitants have suffered a bird attack, but it’s just a matter of time. Be vigilant dear readers, and do not leave your home without a large stick.
As a result of the last few weeks being uncharacteristically dry, we’ve seen the usually moist soil hardening and cracking. Even our oldest residents cannot recall a summer like it. While the fog banks continue to surround the island, we’ve actually had a little sun! How long it lasts remains to be seen, but it is certainly not an entirely good thing.
The dry soil is now developing deep fissures, and creating a hazard for people and livestock alike. Yesterday, I viewed some of the worst holes. Dear readers, I have no wish to alarm you, but there are things in those holes. Large, shapeless things, wet with slime. Currently they are too far down to be reached, but they show signs of moving. Will they emerge? No one seems to know what they are, although they resemble giant slugs. I can only wonder how long they have lived beneath our feet, and what might happen should they emerge onto the surface. I advise you all to take great care, to avoid falling into these ominous holes, and to guard against an emergence of the sinister things living there.