A Fete worse than Death – story update 1

The Story So Far…
Arthur, the janitor and Mr White, ex-acting head for Sunnyside School meet with Ms Less (“Ruth when we’re off duty”) the Ministry-approved new Head Mistress at the end of the school fete.

The new vicar, Father Malcolm comes at the tail end of the festivities, and Ms Less asks him to join her on stage and in prayer for the future of the school. Malcolm is only mildly dented by Arthur’s taunts over the violent deaths if his two predecessors. His faith, it seems, is rather strong.

After the short staff meeting the various teachers are left to enjoy their weekend, prepared for 1to1 meetings with their new boss on Monday. Some attempt to put it off, but most are scheduled by Mr White for their “15 minutes of fame” while Less asks Arthur to fit an old mirror, a family heirloom, in her office on Monday.

After a handy bit of handy work Arthur pops home as usual for a break with his wife. They discuss folk music and a sudden cheerfulness among the staff. The “new broom” is certainly sweeping clean! Addy asks him to deliver their son’s lunch, which doesn’t quite arrive at school intact.

Albus White oversees several staff come and go from their “meet and greets” with Ruth, also noticing a change in attitude and motivation among the staff, with the possible exception of the bully Leaf Carterton. Pursuing one or two leads, his suspicions are raised when people seem confused over the fete.

White and Arthur meet in the refectory, where Mr Sanderson approaches them with an observation that all is not right at Sunnyside School. Addy texts an odd story about the history of Sunnyside, but that hardly seems relevant right now. More important things are happening, but what they are seems vague.

Meanwhile…
Father Malcolm receives an invitation to tea from Ms Less, Monday at 4pm. However, as he spends the morning after a rather disappointingly quiet inaugural Sunday evening service the day before, he wanders the village square introducing himself.

Rudge, Sunnyside’s fourth oldest inhabitant (by all accounts) confronts him conspiratorially, but later regrets his rashness. Pursuing the fleeing pensioner, Malcolm is directed to “read up about the town.” He buys a copy of Rudge’s History of the Town from Mrs Spencer, the shop’s oddly prescient keeper, and sets off for his study at the chapel.

Pausing to admire (?) or worry about the curved steeple that only faith is keeping aloft (or so it seems…) Malcolm enters his office, thrusts partly written sermons aside, and proceeds to read about Sunnyside’s distant past.

The Story continues…
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