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March 1, 2019

April Gale 7

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: passport, movies, puffed, complete, transport, bleach and/or avenue, helicopter, fair, clearly, foolishness, ability  

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





April Gale 7

Bright sunlight fills her vision but as she walks holding the hand of a woman. April is delighted even though she have no idea where the woman is taking her only that the warmth of the woman's hand is reassuring enough for April. The gray sky booms. April looks up but when she looks back down, the woman is gone. Another booming sound and she opens her eyes.

In the darkness, April listens to the rain above lightly tapping the canopy of her bed. She has been dreaming of her mother - she is certain of that. And yet April have never seen her mother's face and even if she did, she would have been only a few minutes old. April have always imagined her mother with red hair like the painting but she can't imagine her face. She looks around her at the darkness. A strip of moonlight peeks in between the dark drapes and landing on the wooden floor.

A moan echoes around her. Perhaps a woman. Then April remembers Mrs. Winters. It could be her. But then there's also Grandmother Emma but she seems like someone who haunts people in the day time. Is it Mona from before? No, this moaning is different, one that is very close by. 

A voice all at once delicate and strained shouts, "Get out!" April shoots out of bed and turns on the lamp on the side table. She surveys the room. Shadows are everywhere but there are no movements.

Another moan seeps out. It seems to be coming from the wardrobe this time. April walks toward it. She pauses for a moment and lets out a slow breath. She wraps her hands around the branch handles which are smooth and soft and pulls the doors open. Inside there are her old clothes — mostly wornout gowns and a few faded coats and a white shirt that once belonged to her father — but nothing stirs there. In the half light, she catches a slight movement in between the clothes. She shoves them aside and gasps. But there's nothing there. She laughs at her own foolishness.

A thump sound makes her turn around. The canopy has collapsed onto the bed probably due to the excessive rain that it had been accumulating all night. The white umbrella that has been hovering had fallen on top of the canopy. April shrieks. Then she looks up but there's nothing dripping down. The rain is gone. She laughs silently. Then she remembers the wardrobe. She rushes over there and looks through it once more but there's nothing there. Her back aches. Aunt Josephine's back aches. Why hasn't Aunt Josephine complained about it? She lightly bangs a fist at her back.

April remembers Aunt Josephine has been placed right across from her. The bedroom door bursts open and Aunt Josephine in April's body wanders in wearing a long white gown with a pink shawl wrapped around her shoulders.

"I heard a noise..." Aunt Josephine pauses beside April and studies the bed. "Well, at least now, the rain has stopped." She smiles and April hates seeing her own face smiling back at her. She wants her body back. She refuses to stay in Aunt Josephine's body. Her back aches and she clearly have no idea how to be a woman of nearly 50. April cannot imagine staying as Aunt Josephine forever.

An ache begins to form at the side of her forehead. She rubs at it and drops down on one of the armchairs nearby. Then she sees her body begins to fall to the floor. She reaches out a hand but she couldn't keep her eyes open.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April opens her eyes to the dark ceiling. She sits up. Her hair is pulled too tight. She reaches behind her and slides her hand down the long braid and over and under her head where there are several haipins keeping her hair up. She pulls each one out and drops them on the table nearby and weaves a hand through her hair and lets out a breath. April usually wears a short gown so she can kick at the sheets if she gets too warm. But the gown she is wearing is long, much too long. Then it dawns on her – she is in her body again! She starts to stand up but then drops down. Her left foot is pinning down the edge of the shawl. She moves her foot and adjusts the shawl up and over her shoulders and gets up again.

Aunt Josephine slumps on the chair with her head back, eyes closed, white hair loose around her. Just before bed, April had seen Aunt Josephine's reflection in the bathroom mirror but she had not thought to study it. Seeing Aunt Josephine now with her hair loose and face relaxed, April couldn't help but lean close to take a better look. There are a few lines under her eyes but mostly her face is smooth. Her eyes have long black eyelashes. Her mouth almost looks like a smile. Aunt Josephine is still quite a beauty. April wonders if she had many suitors. Aunt Josephine stirs and opens her eyes. April quickly backs away.

"What are you doing? Where..." Aunt Josephine pauses. "I am myself again!" She laughs lightly and touches her chest, arms and legs and then stops when she realizes April is watching. "It's about time." She reaches a hand to her hair and frowns. "Don't you know I do not like to sleep with my hair down? It's uncivilized and it creates a mess in the morning."

"I like messes," April says while trying to stop herself from grinning unsuccessfully. She remembers how Aunt Josephine pointed out all her bad habits when they first met. Aunt Josephine had managed to straighten out a few of them but not April's wild habit with her hair.

"It is why you get yourself into a lot of them."

April nods. "Why did we switch back and not before?"

"Perhaps you didn't desire it before."

"How can that be? I don't even like being you." April immediately regrets saying that. "What I mean is..."

"I have not much enjoyed being you either. Your undisciplined body keeps me awake almost constantly." She half smiles and pulls at the hem of her gown which shows a lot more leg than Aunt Josephine might have been used to. Suprisingly, April's gown has fitted Aunt Josephine well although just a little too short. "But I did sort of like being young again. And my back has not ached as much."

April sits down on the other chair opposite Aunt Josephine. "What happened to your back?" April had noticed a long scar down Aunt Josephine's left side of her back when she changed into her gown.

"My lover's wife tried to kill me," Aunt Josephine says with a slight raise of one of her thin eyebrows.

April's mouth falls open. "Really?"

"Is that what you think?" Aunt Josephine lowers her gaze at April. "That is not what happened."

"Tell me." April wants to know.

"Another time."

"Tell me now, please?" April grins and leans over and presses a hand on Aunt Josephine's arm.

Aunt Josephine shakes her head. "Not now but I will say, it was my own doing."

"And?"

"Another time." Aunt Josephine stands up and pauses at the collapsed bed for a moment.

"Alright." April would have preferred to hear it now.

Aunt Josephine lets out a small sigh. She walks toward the door but pauses with her hand on the door handle. "April, do not be like me. Stray a little, play a little, enjoy what is in front of you. Time will pass quicker than you think."

April doesn't quite know what Aunt Josephine meant. But she is quite certain Aunt Josephine must mean well. "I'm sorry that I've caused you so much trouble. I know you are only trying to help me. And you have been very fair. But I'm not you. I have not the discipline you have. My father had spoiled me so much. But I do think making rain fall is pretty amazing."

"It was amazing. I remember I had to carry an umbrella everywhere I go the first few years." She pulls the door open. "I will return to bed now. You should try to rest as well." Aunt Josephine steps out and quietly closes the door.

April sighs and stares at the small strip of moonlight on the floor. Perhaps it isn't so bad being Aunt Josephine. At least, no one tells her what to do.


10 comments:

  1. Yes! That was what was needed - really wishing to be herself once again. When will she realize that whishing is the key ... or am I wrong? So good story. Bring us more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, wishing and really wanting to be herself again is the key to changing back to herself. I won't lie and said that has been the idea all along because I do not write these in advance. but it's nice to have set them back to being themselves so that I don't get as confused.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. I think so too. thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  3. Lots of excitement, nice piece!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try not to make it too dull so I guess it works.

      thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  4. I am glad they are in their own bodies again, but now I want to hear Aunt Josephine's story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually now think aunt josephine should have been the character I should be writing instead of april but I don't know, I will definitely write josephine's story

      thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  5. I love that you have turned this challenge into a series. When you write of rain I am reminded of something my father used to say when people asked for advice; "Run in-between the raindrops"
    I'm delighted you chose the name Josephine, it's my daughter's name; she goes by Josie :)
    Perhaps I'll try my hand at an upcoming Words for Wednesday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'run in between the raindrops' - sounds good

      I have not thought of your daughter when I wrote Josephine, it's just a name that came to me.

      yes, try your hand at Words for Wednesday, I think it can prompt you to be creative

      thank you for visiting, have a lovely day.

      Delete

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