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February 22, 2019

April Gale 6



April Gale 6

April is about to ask for more but then Aunt Josephine says, "Father, I think it's time we all retire for the day."

April turns back to Grandfather Tyler. His amber eyes appear dull and downcast. His skin has lost its glow. His white hair hangs limply. April is surprised. When have Grandfather became so old?

"Yes, yes. We must." He stands up. "Goodnight, my darlings." He gives April a sombre smile and leaves them.

Aunt Josephine stands up, smooths out her dress and turns to April. "Good night, April."

April replies, "Good night, Aunt Josephine." Aunt Josephine doesn't look all that great herself. April hates seeing that expression on her face - somewhere between tired and agitated - April has felt it often but seeing it in front of her, is a little too jarring for her.

Outside, darkness has taken over. April is surprised by how quickly time has passed. She turns back to ask Aunt Josephine where her room will be but then Aunt Josephine has vanished.

Mrs. Summers' voice cuts in as if from nowhere. "Frederick will show you to your room in the East Wing, Miss April. Frederick!"

Frederick appears from behind Mrs. Summers. April thinks she must try to get used to how people just appear and disappear around her. She haven't seen Grandmother Emma again.

"East wing? How many are there? How big is this place?" April wonders out loud.

"There are two wings. The West Wing is slightly larger. But to really tell you how large this place is, I would have to get you a map," Mrs. Summers says almost as if she has said if before.

"That would be helpful, Mrs. Summers." April would like to explore every single space in this house.

"I'll have Frederick get you a map later. Now Frederick, take Miss April to her room." Mrs. Summers stands and watches April.

Frederick with a lantern in his hand, gives April a glance and turns and walks off. April follows him out the room, down the wide hallway, a turn to the left and into an open space where there is a long flight of stairs against a wall where beneath the stairs is a table topped with a vase full of yellow bluebells. The whole room is lighted by a chandelier that seems to be floating above them.

The rain above April has subsided to little drippings that hardly makes much noise that April almost forgets its existence. Only when she catches a droplet or two falling on the red carpet stairs did she remembers.

Frederick begins to climb the stairs. April follows behind him. A scent of burnt wood and porridge fills her nose. April pauses to look at a painting that took up the whole of the wall all the way to the top of the stairs. The painting is of a wood scene with tall trees in front of a darkling sky. She swears some of the trees swing as if blown by a wind.

Frederick pauses and turns around. "Follow. Miss," he says. April is awed by how clear and how robust his voice sounds and yet, there is hesitation in each words.

"Yes, I'm coming!" April replies and starts running up the stairs. A face pale and transparent appears and shouts, "Leave at once!" April shrieks and misses a step. Frederick grabs her arm before she can fall. It would be hard to explain dying falling down a flight of stairs to Aunt Josephine. April laughs lightly. An ache forms on her upper back. Aunt Josephine's body is not young. April should not have run.

Frederick's grip is tight but as soon as she is on solid footing, he lets her arm go. "Thank you, Frederick." Raindrops has already soaked part of his shirt sleeve. She hasn't noticed it before but Frederick is dressed much like her grandfather but he is entirely in black except aside from the white shirt. "Who is that just then?" April asks.

Frederick looks her in the eye but then quickly turns away. "Mona."

"Mona? Who is she?"

"Daughter Summers's Mr. late the is she." Frederick replies.

April thinks for a moment and then, "Mona is the late Mr. Summers's daughter?"

Frederick nods.

"So you talk backwards then?"

He nods again.

"Why do you talk backwards, Frederick?" April has not heard of such things but then again, she is new to all this magic and weirdness.

"To..Toby. Toby me call." Frederick, that is, Toby gives her a crooked grin and then turns around and hurries the last few steps to the top.

April wonders if she could stand talking backwards. She would be frustrated all the time and wouldn't utter a single word. The rain above falls heavier and April wonders if perhaps her emotions is in the rain. The white umbrella shields her but she is certain there are puddles everywhere that she has stepped. Toby will have to do a lot of cleaning after her.

The short hallway at the top of the stairs is beautifully decorated just like the rest of the house. The two paintings on the wall are of a garden and a view of an ocean. There are two doors on each side. Toby stops at the door on the left.

Toby opens the door, went inside and returns a few seconds later. He gives her a glance and then is half running down the stairs.

April enters the room and quietly closes the door behind her. Toby had lit a candle and left it on the small table. The room is expensively decorated just like all the other rooms in the house but this one seems be decorated to her taste. There's the dark wood wardrobe taking almost half of the room with branches for handles. A small fireplace just like the ones in the parlor and dinning room on the right of the wardrobe. April supposes this is what will keep her warm during winter days. The four poster bed in the center of the room is all dark woods with white curtains and a white canopy. The velvet drapes on the windows are dark pink on one side and white on the other. The wallpaper is white with pale pink floral pattern. The large rug under the bed is white with pale blue criss-cross lines. There's a little sitting area on one side of the room with a small round table covered with a white cloth where Toby had placed the candle and surrounded by armchairs. On the other side is a mahogany desk with a wooden chair. Sitting on the desk are stacks of her notebooks and boxes of fountain pens. Beside that is a framed painting of April's mother and father on their wedding date where her mother wore a white dress and her father wore a deep blue suit. Her father looked a bit grim because he hates having his image or anything of him captured. Next to the painting is a wooden clock shaped like an elephant that her father had made for April when she was six. And it seem as April checks everything, all her little possessions has been unpacked and put away.

April lays on the bed. The umbrella above her shifts to hover over the bed, out of April's sight. She is to live here in her grandfather's house until something that would make her leave. Aunt Josephine has been clear on this. Her father had only the farm and that had been sold to pay for the funeral, her father's burial and other expenses. Her father's side of the family had disowned him for marrying against their wishes which leaves April with no inheritance and no home. Aunt Josephine hasn't said if she will be staying but April hopes that she does. And Grandfather - he hasn't look well. What is April to do if she is left by herself? It is only due to Aunt Josephine's strong will that got April through the days and now if she is to be without her... April turns over and stares in between the drapes at the small bit of dark sky.

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I like to put in a lot of descriptions but sometimes I edit them out when the piece gets too long.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  2. I do hope it stops raining over April soon, the umbrella is handy, but no rain would be better. she is finding out how hard it is to be old also, with aches in Aunt Josephine's body whenever April does something strenuous like running up stairs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, it will stop raining for april, definitely in the next installment.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. ... And I'm not looking for the prompts in more tahn a very general way, but as I only remembered one, I looked back for more, and found only one more. Do not misunderstand me. I like the piece, I like it all, I'm just a bit crazy is all :)

      Delete
    2. I don't mind you looking for the prompts, I do it sometimes but I have used very few of the prompts in this piece.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  4. It isn't necessary to use all the prompts, the choice you use is entirely up to you.

    ReplyDelete

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