Jed Grimes runs the Hopeless Maine hardware store. However, sourcing on Hopeless is a bit haphazard. People who make stuff tend to want to sell or trade it themselves. Mostly what Jed sells is stuff he has scavenged, and he’s a really good scavenger. He also plays the long game. When a ship flounders off the Hopeless coast, most people are out there looking for exciting things they can use or eat straight away. Jed takes home bits of wood, and nails.
He’s really into nails.
Jed is also the sort of person to take a length of heavy ship’s rope and pick it apart for usable threads. He’s almost as much into string as he is nails.
If you’ve read Hopeless Maine: Victims, you’ll already know a few other things about Jed. His life is complicated, but, no spoilers for the people who haven’t got that far.
Edward always used to say that he was quite a normal chap before he came to the island. He had no supernatural powers worth mentioning. What it was about the island that changed him, we may never know. Edward became curiously attractive to small pieces of metal. In the few years he lived here, it was a mostly funny, sometimes annoying trait that he learned to live with. In the end, it killed him.
Jed Grimes’ biggest ever nail sale happened this week. It was, it is true, the biggest sale of nails he has ever undertaken. There were so many nails, that many of them were on display outside the shop, in boxes.
The rest, it may be as well not to dwell upon. I am told that it all happened fairly quickly and that the speed at which Edward could draw metal to him had increased quite dramatically.
Jed Grimes told me, “It’s a tragic waste of nails. We’ll have to bury him like he is, and then I’ll have to dig him back up in a year or so to get the nails back. It’s a lot of work, and nails are important. No one ever has enough nails. And I’d only just got those nails back from last time.”
Which leads to the question – is being attractive to metal something inherent in the person, the island, or the metal objects themselves? Anyone finding they have become attractive is advised to keep well away from Jed Grimes’ store.
Edward’s funeral will be held on Monday next, the matter of a coffin having become problematic due to the sudden shortage of available nails.
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.
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.
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.