By Frampton Jones.
Jasper Horace Ganache should, it turns out, have paid more attention to this year’s horrorscopes. Granted, it’s never easy to tell who exactly will die from these readings of the night sky, but paranoia is your friend. We now know that Jasper was the person for whom the warning about bagpipes were intended all along.
The bagpipes washed ashore all by themselves. I am told that numerous beachcombers saw them, but, mindful of this year’s predictions, did not approach the sodden instrument as it lay at the high tide line. A wise decision for which you can feel rightfully smug.
Jasper not only approached the washed up bagpipes, but went so far as to pick them up and take them home. No one claims to have tried to stop him. And while the horrorscope itself predicted that the squealing of bagpipes would presage death, no one thought to rush in and slash the bag before any harm could occur. Who knows how many people might have suffered if Jasper had made his home in a busier part of town? It has not been a noble day for us.
The noise that came from the bagpipes caused nose and ear bleeds amongst residents in the Silver Street area. There was a great deal of spontaneous wailing as well, but no additional deaths that anyone has noticed. Did Jasper attempt to inflate the unwholesome bag? Or was there something inside the instrument all along, waiting to find a suitable victim.
Having observed the body, Doc Willoughby noted that there is an odd resemblance between the deceased’s skin and the fabric of the bagpipe. “The body often expresses sympathy with the mode of death,” he told me. “I’ve seen this myself when marks in the shape of my own hands have appeared on the bodies of people I was trying to save.”
As there is some concern that Jasper is becoming a set of bagpipes himself, he has been carefully bound ahead of burial and will be weighted down with a substantial cairn just to be on the safe side. There will be no music of any sort at the funeral.