The pale light shines
Follow us to the Martins’ door, the warmth and lights, the smell of pine. Laughter. Crosby. Rose Martin carries the silver trays overburdened with clementines, with mincemeat pies, with profiteroles.
Midnight. Petrula Jarvis finishes her fifth glass of merlot. She’s having fun. She’s joking. “Rose, dear, why didn’t you invite the neighbors?”
Guests exchange looks. They do not believe the rumors, but they do; Mr. Harvey was always so mean to that poor girl.
Two doors down—a Christmas tradition—Widow Trimble on her porch, chest heaving, pale arm pointing at the bordering oak, ranting, “Dig there! See for yourself!”