"My hair was at least tidy, which was all my ambition." — Jane Austen
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February 9, 2019

April Gale and the Endless Rain – Part 4

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: 1. consternation, 2. tourist, 3. attached, 4. fresh, 5. specific, 6. memory And/or: 1. advantages, 2. amount, 3. spray, 4. reef, 5. ouch, 6. living

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Read Part 1 here >
Read Part 2 here >
Read Part 3 here > 

"April, meet your grandmother Emma. You will not remember her. She passed away just one day after you were born." Grandfather Tyler looks directly ahead toward the far end of the table about 25 chairs away. The three of them are now in the dinning room for afternoon tea. Grandfather Tyler is seated at the head of the table with Aunt Josephine on his left and April on his right. The rain rattles outside as if wanting to join them. The fireplace on the far end of the room is lit and keeps the large room quite warm.

April turns to her right to look at the end of the table. A white blur starts to sharpen and shape into a woman. Black hair in a bun with white stripes on either sides appears, then the face and then the rest of her. She is quite solid unlike Mrs. Winters. "Josey Dear, you look quite changed."

"Emma Dear, Josey is on this side." Grandfather Tyler holds a hand out at Aunt Josephine on his left.

"What is this?" Grandmother Emma turns to April and then to Aunt Josephine. "My, my, this is a surprise, Josey. You have never looked prettier."

"Mother, you know it is only temporary. I am, after all, quite attached to my body. I do not wished to trade." Aunt Josephine lifts the corner of her lips, April's lips, while looking directly at April. April hunches down a little in her chair.

"Well, Josey, you must take this opportunity to enjoy your youth again. April has given you quite a good chance." Grandmother Emma seems to be smiling but it's hard to tell where April is sitting and her eyes are Aunt Josephine's eyes. They are not strong.

"Mother, I do not want to relive my youth. Not now. Not ever." Aunt Josephine picks up her cup and takes a sip.

"This coming from a living, breathing being." Grandmother Emma shakes her head. "Josey, don't you have any good memory of your youth?" She smiles at April or rather Aunt Josephine in April's body.

Aunt Josephine grunts, keeps her eyes down and sips her tea again.

"Do not mind her, April. Josey has always have a way of her own. You must forgive her if she does anything you do not understand." Grandfather Tyler smiles. "Emma Dear, you must sit closer. I can hardly hear you from here."

"But this is my place. I have always sat here," Grandmother Emma replies. "Oh, alright." She blurs and disappears and reappears beside April. She veers her head to Aunt Josephine and back to April. "April, you look just like your mother at her age. Except for the black hair. You got that from me."

Grandfather Tyler chuckles. "She got that from her father. Do you not remember William? All his family members had thick black hair."

"Oh, I forgot. He was such a darling. And he was always so good with Lizzie." Grandmother Emma pats April's hand and sighs. A chill runs through April. "I just cannot get over how you have grown." Her eyes veer toward Aunt Josephine again. "I only saw you as a baby before my death. You have become quite an enchanting lady."

April smiles. "Thank you Grandmother Emma."

"Oh, call me Emma. Grandmother Emma sound so... old. I know I'm old but... Oh, nevermind." She shakes her head. "How long will you be staying, dear?"

April turns to Aunt Josephine and then to Grandfather Tyler.

Grandfather Tyler answers for her. "April will stay here until she is married. That is what William had wanted. Poor fellow, he had worried so much toward the end."

April had been alone the day her father died. It had been swift. The horse he had been training fell on him. April had been distracted by an injured bird. When she finally saw her father on the ground, it was too late. He looked up at her and smiled and then was gone. Why he thought to tame a wild horse, April didn't know. All she knew, he shouldn't have left her alone. He should have thought of what might happen. She wraps her hands around the cup. She hasn't realized she has been cold. The heat from the cup travels into her fingers.

Grandmother Emma pats her hand again. April looks up at her. She can see where Josephine got her looks but Grandmother Emma looks so pleasant and Aunt Josephine, well, not quite as pleasant.

"Josey, will you be home for good this time? I think it's time you came home. It has been over 30 years. I miss my daughters. Now that Lizzie is gone, it just seems ashamed to lose you too." Grandfather Tyler says and looks down as he sips his tea.

Outside, thunder claps. Grandfather Tyler puts his cup down. "This weather — Josey — it's about time you stop it."

Aunt Josephine peers up at her father. "I doubt I can do much. My body is over there. Ask her to do something about it." She turns to April.

April looks up at Aunt Josephine and then to Grandmother Emma and then at Grandfather Tyler. "Me? What can I do? I don't have the power."

"My dear, most magic abilities stays with the soul but sometimes it unties itself from the soul and stays in the body especially if the owner no longer uses it." Grandfather Tyler glances over at Aunt Josephine. She shrugs. "Right now, you might have power in that body. I cannot say if it will work as I have never experienced it before but you can try." Grandfather Tyler pats her arm lightly.

"Just think of the rain leaving the sky outside." Aunt Josephine offers. But April doesn't find her words helpful. Her head aches. Her body aches. Everything aches. April lets out a breath and then closes her eyes. Go away rain. She chants inside her head. Go away rain, stop bothering us. Then she wonders what is like to see an actual cloud up close.

For a moment, April can hear the rain subsiding outside. But then there is a cold liquid falling on her. She opens her eyes and looks up. Rain is dripping down from the ceiling. If she can see into the darkness of the ceiling, she might see a cloud there.

Through the noise, April can hear the tinkling of the cups and saucers as rain hit them — a chorus of tapping, tinkling and some smothered half laughers.

Grandfather Tyler grins April and then snaps his fingers and three white umbrellas appears above them. They open promptly temporary keeping the rain from falling over them. But the table cloth, the chairs, the candles, the floor, the cups and everyone sitting in that space are soaked. Except for Grandmother Emma. April hears Aunt Josephine muttering something but she couldn't make out what she said.

Mrs. Summers appears carrying a yellow cake. Her lips are buttoned tight and her eyes are enlarged and looking quite wild. "Mr. Tyler, I cannot..." She pauses and then glances up at the umbrellas and the rain dripping from the ceiling. She lowers her head. She lifts up one eyebrow at April and there is a slight tilt to the corner of her lips as if she might be smiling but then her lips relaxes and she starts again, "Mr. Tyler, I believe when you hired me, you said I am to be the only housekeeper but that Mrs. Winters is trying my patience. She has re-arranged the kitchen again and even moved my pan up onto the ceiling beams so now I am obligated to cook with the beat-up pan. Would you talk to her again? Or banish her somehow?"

"Not now, Mrs. Summers," Grandfather Tyler replies.

"What about the cake? I baked it for Miss April." Mrs. Summers smiles and April thought she looks rather pretty like that.

"Mrs. Summers, I think we shall have the cake in the parlor," Grandfather Tyler says.

"Very well, Sir." Mrs. Summers disappears out the door.

"Maybe we should go on a rainy day picnic?" Grandmother Emma shouts over the rain. She has a wide grin and sparkles in her eyes.

Grandfather Tyler chuckles. Aunt Josephine seems to be half smiling. The tap, tap, tap of the rain on the umbrellas reminds April of their train ride and how it rained and rained. April sighs.

For more Words for Wednesday, visit River at Drifting through life

8 comments:

  1. I am always in awe at the clever people who can continue a story despite the very disparate prompts.
    I am thoroughly enjoying this - and thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

      thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  2. I must say that the case of the exchanged bodies make the story challenging to read. But challenging in an interesting way. Poor April, being caught in her aunt Josephine's body. Looking forward to next Wednesday and next chapter. Magic is wonderful, and awe-inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, it's a bit confusing but I hope it's not that hard to understand.

      thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  3. you have started a novel here, coming along nicely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know, but I'll be writing/continuing this until I can't write any more.

      thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  4. April/Aunt Josephine does seem to have quite an affinity with rain. I don't think I'd like to have it raining inside though. Most foods are quite soggy enough with extra moisture dripping in.
    I do hope the body change gets sorted out soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, rain is a continuing theme, although I think there should be some sunny days ahead.

      thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete

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