Why Have You Not Yet Gone to War

On that day, I was supposed to go to the festival and trade my knife in. I was supposed to meet the old man at his table and hand it over. This was a promise I made to him, after a long and serious discussion. He was the kind of dignified old man who did not become angry, only disappointed. The kind where silence became its own condemnation, not from him, necessarily, but because you were reminded of every good thing you were letting down. Something fine and noble in the universe reflected off him, bounced from some unknown source beyond my own access. So the promise had some weight to me.

The festival was to be held at the high school, on the lawn and parking lot, with all kinds of tables and booths. There was even supposed to be an animal of some kind there, for entertainment.

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