Please Enjoy the Rebranded Harvest Festival as We Pivot From Our Island’s Long History of Human Sacrifice

Tim Sniffen
4 min readOct 14, 2022
Photo: Darko Kriznik / Unsplash

Welcome to Stone Island, stranger! Put down your worries, step through the arch of woven corn silk into the town square, and join the annual harvest festival — a time of abundance, community, and in no way whatsoever a facade through which we lure strangers onto the island and kill them. We cannot stress that last part enough. That whole thing is over and this is not that.

There’s so much to do on the island, all of which will leave you alive. Start by checking out some local crafts: dried flower wreaths, seashell sculptures and quilts galore, and we want to be really clear when we say the quilts DO NOT contain hidden illustrations of the various, rustically creative ways in which visitors to the island will be murdered. Those quilts are now evidence in the investigation. These are new quilts, sewn in the last four months, which was a huge undertaking but also a welcome break from the police interviews.

Remember to sample our world-famous baked goods, especially the gooseberry pie and honeycomb toffee! Yes, they are “world-famous” for inducing a state of waking paralysis, rendering visitors immobile as they were woven in a giant ball of briars to be rolled into the ocean, or placed at the bottom of a massive fermentation tank being filled with boiling cider. Those things happened. No one is denying it! But please know, the roots and herbs used to create that effect are banned from ever being grown on this island again; the most dangerous ingredient we use now is Sarah Miller’s praline walnuts — they might be addictive! (They are not addictive.)

We see you looking in the direction of the corn maze. We’ll get to that in a moment.

If you’re fatigued from the ferry ride — a ferry that now departs on the hour, every hour, no exceptions, never abruptly discontinuing service at any level of storm, thanks to the newly fitted hydro-electric engines — you can sit and enjoy the children’s choir! They’ve rehearsed night and day to bring you a variety of classic American folk tunes, and if you’re concerned about them singing and holding the single high-pitched note that began our ceremony known as The Traveler’s Offering, the children are well aware that’s not cool anymore. They also…

Tim Sniffen

Writing: Work In Progress on Showtime, The New Yorker, NPR’s Live From Here, Hello From The Magic Tavern, McSweeney’s, Jackbox Games | Twitter @MisterSniffen