So Jane Austen-y

by RebShang

It all started when Sanna contracted conjunctivitis (that crusty plague called “pinkeye”). She greeted me on that grey Monday morn with a cheery “hello”, and we (the royal we) gazed upon her perplexingly crimson, crunchy ocular orb and recoiled in terror, pointing and shrieking “unclean! unclean!”

We (once again, the royal we) immediately exiled her from campus, despite having no substitute teachers available, and took upon ourselves the duty to proctor six middle school classes and single-handedly lead the distinguished Ames’ Literary Society (or, colloquially, Writer’s Club).

To inform our members of the slight changes of the latter, the following email was sent:

Tomorrow, we shall convene as usual, but alas, without the usual presence of our illustrious Miss Gabrielsson (who is still down for the count with that wretched pinkeye.)

Let us gather promptly at 3:17pm, mourn a moment or two (or three) of silence for said Missing Presence, fill our bellies with delights and tea, and proceed with the festivities.

Dramatically yours,
Miss Shang

In the following minutes, from these 7th and 8th graders came a flood of responses.

Victor’s reply:

I shall most regretfully be unable to attend the aforementioned convention of my like-minded peers who have discovered the beauty of that God-given talent, writing. I am hampered by my practice for the very public performance of “What About Kate?” to which I hope you will all be able to come.

Celine’s reply:

Dear my most beloved acquaintances,

I shall certainly come to this formal meeting, and hope all is well for our infamous Missing Presence. I give her my unconditional sentiment and support, for this life is short and valuable. For now, my comrades, farewell until tomorrow rises.

Ellie’s reply:

To the honorable man and women of this club,

I regret that I, too, am unable to attend, though it is not only play practice that I am burdened with, but an appointment to win a basketball game that I must fulfill. Wish me luck, illustrious colleagues!

Danielle’s reply:

It is my greatest regret that a misfortune fell upon my life that I may be unable to attend the Meeting of Writers. May everyone have a blessed time without me.

Livia’s reply:

‘Tis a shame indeed, that our numbers have so diminished. I am one of those lonely souls who must bear the absence of our dear friends. Ah, sorrow.

(Fear not, though we suffered many absences, we had an intimate attendance of seven and had a splendid time.)

I, of course, read these replies aloud to Judy-tudy and laughed heartily as they came. She was dumbfounded. “I’m so glad Sanna founded this club for you all,” she started, “I didn’t think so many people still spoke so…Jane Austen-y.”