cut and cut again
1. She fixed her eyes on Dr. Kiniston’s face, which was a teacher’s face, but nice nonetheless. He was speaking in his droning classroom voice about the History of Logan festivals that had been held in the past, and the possibility of having one in the future, if enough money could be raised. All along the table, his listeners nodded their heads and made little mmhmm noises as encouragement, except for Mr. Six, who had fallen asleep. Augusta White gestured discreetly at him from across the table, plainly meaning for Isabel to poke him awake, but Isabel ignored her. Let him sleep, she thought. He’s happy at least. She set her lips in a closed half smile, willing her face to stay that way, and folded her hands attentively. I am interested, her face said. I am fascinated by the possibilities. Under this cover, she let her mind drift and slip away from the crowded room.
2. Dr. Kiniston was coming up in the ‘90s now. “As you all know, the festival was discontinued in, I believe, nineteen and ninety-three.”
“Are you sure?” Mrs. Mock asked. “I recollect that we had one that year.”
“I don’t think so,” Dr. Kiniston said.
“I put it together in my mind with my youngest daughter getting married—I’m sure it was the same year."
The woman next to her put up her hand, as if they were in school. “I thought Jeannette got married in ’92. I remember I wore a green dress I had that year.”
“I’m sure I’m right,” Mrs. Mock said. “And I don’t think you got that dress until much later, because I said to my husband when you bought it how it was so much like one I had, except for the stitching on the front.”
3. There was a story about a ghost there, but it was one of the less creditable ones, the kind of story that high school kids might make up to scare themselves on Halloween, about a warlock’s grave, with an iron fence around it to keep him in. There was a flat stone slab which supposedly was marked by a large crack that would suck you into hell if you stood on it incautiously. But it was only a group marker with several family members buried under it, the fence a common adornment to graveyards, a family boundary inside the larger community of the dead.