“The Tangled Garden” by JEH MacDonald, 1915
“The Possibility of Evil” Shirley Jackson
Miss Adela Strangeworth stepped daintily along Main Street on her way to the grocery. The sun was shining, the air was fresh and clear after the night’s heavy rain, and everything in Miss Strangeworth’s little town looked washed and bright. Miss Strangeworth took deep breaths, and thought that there was nothing in the world like a fragrant summer day. She knew everyone in town, of course; she was fond of telling strangers – tourists who sometimes passed through the town and stopped to admire Miss Strangeworth’s roses – that she had never spent more than a day outside this town in all her long life. She was seventy-one, Miss Strangeworth told the tourists, with a pretty little dimple showing by her lip, and she sometimes found herself thinking that the town belonged to her. “My grandfather built the first house on Pleasant Street,” she would say, opening her blue eyes with the wonder of it. This house, right here. My family has lived here for better than a hundred years. My grandmother planted these roses, and my mother tended them, just as I do.”… Miss Strangeworth never gave away any of her roses, although the tourists often asked her. The roses belonged on Pleasant Street, and it bothered
Miss Strangeworth to think of people wanting to carry them away, to take them into strange towns and down strange streets…. Walking down Main Street on a summer morning, Miss Strangeworth had to stop every minute or so to say good morning to someone or to ask after someone’s health. When she came into the grocery, half a dozen people turned away from the shelves and counters to wave at her or call out good morning. “And good morning to you, Mr. Lewis,” Miss Strangeworth said at last… “Good morning,” Mr. Lewis said, and added politely, “lovely day.” “It is a very nice day,” Miss Strangeworth said as though she had only just decided that it would do after all. “I would like a chop,...