After the unusually interesting Physics lesson, it was odd to have one where the class did more than laugh at Hudson’s spotty tie, Simon’s thoughts had drifted considerably from creatures attacking citizens in the woods. Not even walking along the road with Johnson’s wood directly on his right didn’t make him think of the strange events that had started his day.
With the wonders of what lay amongst the trees temporarily out of his head, Simon had to conclude that it had been a fairly average day. Physics, Scrumpy Joe’s, dreaming up about fifty different ways to kill Justin, Simon had forgotten that anything mysterious had happened at all as he made his way back to Little Hallington that afternoon with Matt, Sasha, and Kirsten (Justin lived in Upper Hallington, which Simon was always glad about, as it at least gave him time with just his three closest friends, something he had got little off since Justin graced the scene, and besides, to him, anytime spent with Kirsten without Justin was time well spent).
Kirsten’s house lay directly over the road from Johnson’s wood, and before bidding farewell to her friends, Kirsten revealed that her Nan in Portsmouth had fallen ill unexpectedly, and she would have to visit her over the weekend, making her unable to attend Sasha’s party. Sasha hurriedly forgave her, and was relieved to hear that she would still be at the Hallington Winter Fair on Sunday.
The Hallington Winter Fair was one of the four annual events held on the Little Hallington green each season, no one from either Hallington ever dared miss one just for the reason that Quentin Hudson’s speeches about how he loved his village, usually made with a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand, where not to be missed.
Simon was feeling considerably normal as Kirsten left and her reminder that the three should be at her’s for seven to head up to Upper Hallington for the post-mortem reminded him that an unusual event had happened.
Simon did not look back at Johnson’s wood as he made his way home with Matt and Sasha, Sasha telling Matt to put the pans he had been messing with the other evening back in the cupboard like he had promised, and Matt telling Sasha in no uncertain terms where she could stick the pans (and it wasn’t in the cupboard). If he had, he may have spotted the mysterious, purple mist that crept slowly through the trees, very feint amongst the grey January darkness, but unsettling none-the-less.
Had he seen it, he would have been reminded, in very clear terms, that all was not well.