Misty made sure she was strategically positioned on the ladder upon Septimius’ approach. She also liked to face away from him as often as possible because of the scars she was so self conscious about. Misty hoped that they weren’t a deal breaker in the end, but she doubted it. All signs point to the tree.
“Afternoon, Mrs. Dorn.” Again with the appellation, Misty thought. My husband has been dead in his grave for over 3 years now (she’s learned) and still I’ll remain a Mrs. until remarried. Not fair!
He studied both her and the tree while still standing safely in the road. “That’s not an apple tree you’re picking from, Mrs. Dorn. Those are behind your neighbor Mrs. Dabbs, remember? Seems like your picking, er, barking up the wrong tree.” He laughed good-naturedly with this attempted joke.
I seriously doubt it, Misty thought. “Oh, I’m actually picking leaves,” she said aloud. “For a decoration in my house, a garland I think it is called.”
“Oh,” a puzzled Septimius Felton responded. “Well, do you need any help? Can I… do you want to hand them down to me as you pick them?” What’s this with leaf decorations, he thought to himself. Is this more future witchery? I don’t recall other neighbors engaging in such activity. I must ask Horace Wise at the next town meeting. He’ll probably know. He’s an expert in 1880-1920 history. Post-R.B. Hayes.
“No, I have enough now, I believe. Just help me down off this ladder if you don’t mind and we’ll go inside.”
“Swindon’s starts jumping after dark,” Septimus says while walking over. “But I see you’re already dressed for the occasion.” That dress, he thinks. In truth, he’s already wondering if Swindon’s is the actual destination point tonight.
Misty jumps down the last several rugs. “Thank you.” She attempts to tip her hat as low as possible while motioning toward the house. Those darn face wounds. “Shall we?”