Mayor Garver cocked his head at Ms. Welch and Elise had to stifle her laughter.
“That’s odd.” Cage leaned down and whispered in her ear. “I can’t imagine poor Ms. Welch being too hot. Half the folks in here are wearing sweaters.”
“All those in favor of a party?” stated the mayor and a chorus of yeas flooded the meeting room. “That’s settled, we’ll have it one week from today on Halloween night!”
“Well look at that,” said Cage, “a party in our honor. Although I have a feeling it’s not really a goodbye.”
Elise’s eyebrow rose. “I assure you it is.”
“You’re far too young to retire.”
“You’re far too young to assume things,” state Elise. “Now, hush, I’m trying to listen.”
Honestly she couldn’t have cared less what the mayor was talking about, something about retrieving the recycling bins that had blown into the thorn bushes the night before. She hated that her gale had affected the recycling, but it could’ve been worse. So a few of the town’s people got a little scraped up retrieving them. That was hardly life threatening.
The door to the town hall burst open as a young woman wearing a scarf around her head let out a wail as she entered. “Something must be done!”
“What on Earth is going on?” stated the mayor as he slammed his gavel on the podium. “Pammy Nelson explain yourself this instant.”
Mr. King’s granddaughter Heather came running in right behind Pammy. “I don’t know what happened. I used the same color I always use. I’ve been doing Pammy’s hair for years and this has never happened before.”
“Someone explain,” demanded Mayor Garver as Elise tried to look concerned. By the way Cage was glaring at her, she didn’t think she was pulling off a very convincing look.
Pammy let out another sob as she took off the scarf exposing a mound of fried, frayed, neon orange hair. The town hall gasped and Elise fought hard to control her laughter, but this time she was far from alone.
“It’s the curse!” Mrs. Welch cried out. “Mark my words this is just the beginning!”
Everyone gasped as Mrs. Welch fought to stand. “And it’s too danged hot in here. That’s also the curse!”
“There is no curse,” stated Mayor Garver.
“There is,” snapped Mrs. Welch, “it’s time and you know it. The Garvers, Welches, Myers, Kings, and Nelsons all had windows blown out during that gale last night. Anyone not related to the founding families have damage?”
No one answered, confirming Mrs. Welch’s suspecisions.
“Exactly,” she stated, “yesterday, I had to go swimming. I mean I had to. The only time I’m not burning up is when I’m in the pool.”
“But you enjoyed it,” countered Mr. King.
“Not the point,” said Mrs. Welch, “I admit I did enjoy it, but I don’t want to do it every waking moment and until yesterday I had no inclination to do it at all. And you,” she pointed to Mr. King. “Your palms started itching yesterday and haven’t stopped have they?”
Mr. King shrugged as he scratched his palm. “I’m sure I just got into some late season poison ivy or have an allergy to something.”
“Right,” said Mrs. Welch, not sounding a bit convinced. She looked toward Mr. King’s granddaughter. “Heather, how many colors have you done today?”
“Four,” stated Heather, “and they all turned out perfectly, except for Pammy’s. I must have gotten a tainted tube of coloring.”
“Tainted or not,” cried Pammy, “how am I supposed to compete in the Miss. Apple Hill beauty pageant with this burnt out orange hair. It’s not only a god-awful color, but it’s fried.”
“Were any of the other ladies who got a new color today descendants of the founding families?” asked Mrs. Welch.
“No,” Heather answered weakly.
Mrs. Welch folded her hands and said matter-of-factly. “It’s the curse.”
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