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March 17, 2019

April Gale 8

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: despair, frizzy hair, hot air, impair, repair, midair

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April Gale 8

April opens her eyes to the sound of snorts. A large blue-grey eye appear at the window and April tries to run but the shawl around her shoulders keeps her bound. She starts to untangle herself. The shadow that has been covering her moves and the morning light seeps through and falls on her. But then the light is blocked and the large blue-grey eye seems to have grown larger and is still staring at April. April opens her mouth to scream but no sound comes out.

The eye shifts and now there are two eyes staring at April. Tiny flames blow out of its twin nostrils. There is a wide thin line beneath the nose that might resemble a smile but April can't think much at the moment. She pulls the shawl off her and throws it aside. She gets onto her feet but her legs bend and she falls to the floor.

The creature leans back as if trying to get a fuller view of April. April screams again - this time her voice work. The creature is a dragon or what looks like to be a dragon. April has only seen them in books. This one has green-scaled skin, large eyes like slits, nose like a horse and it seems to be a few stories tall. Its long neck twists downward as if it has finished sizing April up and is now wanting to either eat her or greet her. The dragon's nostril flares and April swears she can feel the hot air coming out of it even through the windows and walls.

April runs out the bedroom door, down the hall, down the flights of stairs, turn right, down another hall, swerves to a stop at the end and then turns back to the opened door where Aunt Josephine and Grandfather Tyler are sitting in the dinning room eating breakfast.

"I've forgotten how loud Tim can be in the morning..." Aunt Josephine pauses and looks up at April.

April stares at them unable to make herself move.

"Well, do not just stand there, sit down. Your tea is getting cold," Aunt Josephine takes a sip from her cup. She notices April's wild hair, unbound.

April pats down her frizzy hair and puts on a calm face. She sits down on the seat opposite Aunt Josephine. The smell of toasted bread sneaks up her nose. But she can feel the eyes of Aunt Josephine and Grandfather Tyler still on her. She lifts her head.

Aunt Josephine bends her head while Grandfather Tyler smiles at April and then starts to butter a slice of bread.

"What has happened? You should have woken hours ago. I was going to send Mrs. Summers to get you." Aunt Josephine puts down her teacup. She has been sipping tea all morning wondering if she should go and wake April. Josephine has thought about being more gentle now that she realizes she will have to stay as April's guardian but thought it is best not to. She must make the girl learn discipline.

"I..." April starts but then couldn't finish. What is she to say? That she saw a dragon from her bedroom window? Wait. "Who's Tim?"

Aunt Josephine, without looking up, replies, "Tim is our guardian. He protects Windy Shadows and us."

"Where is he? I like to meet him." April picks up the bread that Grandfather had buttered and placed on her plate. She bites into it. It tastes a lot better then when she made it back home.

"Well, you must have met him. I heard you scream just now. Tim usually makes everyone screams when he appears. But he is invisible to everyone but persons with Tyler blood. I am surprised you have not seen him last night. He was roaming around in the garden."

"Tim is a dragon? You mean I wasn't hallucinating just then?" April lets out a relief sigh.

Aunt Josephine and Grandfather chuckles almost at the same time. "April, there is nothing to fear. Tim is harmless. As I said, he is our guardian." Aunt Josephine says rather casually.

Grandfather Tyler places another piece of bread on April's plate. He picks up his teacup and holds it up with both hands and stares into space.

"But he's a dragon. What about getting burn? He has flames coming out of his nostrils. I saw it." April picks up the second piece of bread. Getting scared makes her hungry. She takes a sip of her tea. It is cold.

"Tim is harmless. You will only get burn if you get in his way. What happened to your hair? It looks a bit more...loose than usual." Aunt Josephine looks at April with a small smile on her lips. April notices that Aunt Josephine's usual hair is in a bun but somehow loose strands has fallen around her face making her appear soft and pretty. She wears a light-blue gown instead of her usual black.

"Humidity," April replies though it's not entirely the truth. She sometimes does wake up with frizzy hair like a ball of yarn only sometimes a few strands pokes out like rebellious creatures wanting to fly away.

Aunt Josephine nods as if understanding. She hasn't known April long but somehow she has gotten used to April's undisciplined moments. It reminds so much of herself. Sometimes she wishes to get that old self back and other times, watching April, she is glad she couldn't be that person anymore.

April starts on her fourth piece of bread. Grandfather Tyler hasn't said a word but he smiles at April. His amber eyes has dark shadows beneath them. He seems so much older than yesterday afternoon. Then she notices the wallpaper has changed since she first saw it. It was a tan shade but now there is more of a pink hue to them. She hears a roar and turns behind her to catch Howl entering the room with her tail up and walking quite like a queen. She jumps up onto Grandfather's lap. Grandfather begins to caress the cat almost absentmindedly.

"Where does Tim usually sleeps?" April wants to know so she can avoid him.

"Why, in the garden of course. He has his own little house there." Aunt Josephine says almost as if it's a fact that April should have known.

"But I haven't seen any houses in the garden."

"It is quite small, almost the size of a shed."

"What? How does he get inside?"

Josephine is tired of these questions but they must be answered. Father cannot do it. It is up to her. "He shrinks before he goes inside."

"He can shrink? How?"

"How do you think? Magic of course." Josephine shifts a few of her loose strands of hair from her face.

"But why does he appear at my window today?"

"I guess he wanted to meet you. You are the newest member of the family." Aunt Josephine dabbles the napkin around her mouth. "It is time we go and meet everyone. Father, would you please keep Howl with you? I would prefer no interruptions today."

Grandfather Tyler nods. He stands up holding Howl in his arms. He smiles at April before leaving the room.

"Why can't he go with us?"

"Father starts his silent excursion today."

"Weren't you talking to him just now?"


"But how do you understand him if he doesn't speak?"

"I can read minds." Aunt Josephine raises an eyebrow.


Aunt Josephine sighs lightly almost like a giggle. "Of course not. I was doing the talking and he was just listening."

"How long does this excursion last?"

"He stays silent in his study for seven days every spring."

"Why does he take them?"

"I cannot said. It has always been done. Mother said it is a tradition of his even before she married him but he had never explained to her either."

"But why does he..."

"Would you rather spend the morning asking me questions or would you rather meet the rest of the family?"

"Family first. Give me a few moments to get dressed and fix my hair." April gobbles up the last piece of bread and runs off.


  1. Replies
    1. I didn't use that many words but the words really did help move the story along.

      thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day.

  2. This chapter is so good I didn't even notice the words used.

    1. that's probably because I only use a few of the wfw words but I think when reading anything, people shouldn't try to pick out words.

      thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day.

  3. Great story! I like how you do not underline the prompts in any ways. I hardly noticed them.

    1. I don't like to highlight the words because I think the reader would then be looking for them instead of reading the story.

      thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day.

  4. What a great story..now I want to read more...I hope next weeks prompts lead you on.

    1. thanks for the prompts, though I think the words inspire rather than put themselves into the story which I think that's what prompts are for, so thank you.

      thanks for stopping by, have a lovely day.


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- Kurt Vonnegut