Tilebury Events - What's going on and how'd it go?
Film or real life?
Maybe I have been watching too many films. This is crazy. We have a hostage situation. How exactly has that happened?
Well its all quite weird. First I heard of it was when I smelled it. And I bet you did too if you live anywhere down in the centre of the village. I woke up thinking of warm fires and crackling wood (which I do a lot at this time of year). But this time there was definitely smoke in the room.
Well I am a sensible girl whose mother told her always to know where the nearest fire-escape is. So I was out on it within seconds wrapping myself in silk dressing gowns and big wooly slippers. And only out on the stairs I realised that the smoke was come from outside and was really dense all through the market place. I could even see a glow over the other side.
So, dauntless (and slightly relieved that it was not my flat so couldn't be my fault) I padded out to find out what was going on. And what was going on was a big inferno in the upper windows of the Harbinger offices. Within seconds there were firemen all around (I resisted the temptation to collapse in a faint and demand to be rescued, mostly because all the firemen were rather fat) and all sort of people were hovering about offering to fill pots of water from their bathtubs.
Cold night for it
Well, there was a sudden movement in the crowd and someone started calling for help on the far side of the market place. So inevitably (and mostly propelled by a sense of inquiry (or nosey-ness if you prefer) I flapped on over. And guess what - okay you know, so there is no need to guess: There were two people (all pink and blue and shivering) tied to the big lamp-post by that scorched bit of the market cobbles. You know - the one that doesn't work and looks like its been there since gas lighting was invented.
Not to put too fine a point on it they were a bit naked. I am going to resist making any comments on their appearance because it is not fair, most of the village was there so you probably saw it yourself and anyway there are pictures on the internet. It is no news now to say it was Reverend Everrett and Heather Reedman who had been having a passionate cuddle in the vicarage when they were interruptus by a marauder who is good with a screwdriver. The same marauder is believed to have used the same or similar screwdriver to gain entry for herself and a petrol can to the Harbinger offices.
Invevitably our entwined lovers were very cold and it took a long time to free them with a kitchen knife someone liverated from their kitchen. I thought firemen were supposed to be brimming with cutting equipment etc, but nothing was forthcoming so it took a lot of sawing and a lot of helpful comments from the milling crowd.
At the centre of some of those helpful comments was our recent enemy and now common fixture Lissy Nuttal wearing only a rather provoking pink neglige and hanging onto the arm of big Jimmy K. I noticed at one point that more of the rubber necking crowd were sizing her up than looking at the more complete nudity on the lamp-post. I hear Jimmy and Lissy are off to the US in the new year (after the fireworks no doubt) for his big tour. I hope it goes well for them, even if it reduces the overall average sex-appeal in the village while they're gone.
In Akelare Castle
Anyway the crowd dispersed asking itself where Fran Lennier was when her office was burning down, only to find in the morning that her door was ajar and she had been replaced by a note.
I can't say who rumour says wrote the note or whether or not rumour suggests that the note explained that Fran had been kidnapped until she apologised and promised to mend her ways.
However, by coincidence, Kim King has retreated to her newly fortified cottage-castle on Akelare road and the police have sealed it off. I can also report without comment, that when the Reverend and Ms Reedman went to speak to Kim, on the basis they were her best friends and wanted to let her know they'd forgiven her for tying them up in the market, she sprayed them with a hosepipe she'd somehow rigged up to her sceptic tank.
As we go to press Fran has not appeared and the Police maintain their siege. I can say no more for legal reasons.
The Compassion of the Church
One side-effect of all this I should mention is that it seems our Reverend has been suspended by the church while they investigate her involvement with (a) the lamp-post, and (b) Heather Reedman.
As far as I can see it, personally, the former was not her fault and the latter is (although old Ms HR wouldn't be my type even if I was that way inclined) not a fault at all. Not sure what the Bish can object to really, although it seems they're more worried about the lezzing around than the nakedness. Fingers crossed for Rev. Ev.
Ubi Vadis, Harbinger?
So the Harbinger is without a head. Stepping boldly into the breach for one month is Dr D-B. She's agreed to hold the fort for one month only because we agreed that is what Fran would want. I've tried to help out and together we're getting this printed in Gloucester. Should be with you in time. However, who knows whether Fran will be freed before you read this?
And assuming we get her back - (hang in there FL), what will she come back to? The offices are a pile of ash. Is there insurance? I doubt it. And who is left to write for the Harbinger next year. I know Alia is having second thoughts and others are quitting. I'll carry on as long as anyone wants me - provided of course they don't kidnap me or try to set fire to my flat - but you need more than one contributor to write a paper.
Is this the doom of the Harbinger? Is all the fun over? Has direct action finally achieved what Doreen with all her conspiracy couldn't?
I don't like to be the prophet of disaster. But without Fran, it is hard to see that we will be here in the new year. Even with her, its hard to see any future for the Tilebury Newspaper other than a sale of land and a big party to spend the proceed.
Although that would be fun, I think we will be losing something if we just drink away the inheritance of our predecessors.
Fingers crossed - but if this is the last time I get to write to you: Its been fun.
Love you all!
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