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April 4, 2019

April Gale 11: Beating carpets & other non-magical things

This week's Words for Wednesday prompts are: sustenance, booth, street, hint, syrup, drab and/or older, cardboard, wounded, front, empty, astonished

This month's Words for Wednesday is hosted by Messymini. Visit her blog here.

April Gale 11

April wakes up and finds a fog outside. The drapes are pulled aside. Her view of the four windows that stretched across the wall facing her bed are dimmed by this fog but she can see bits of daylight. But it could be noon or it could be morning. The wooden clock sitting across from her at the table is turned down.

April slips out of bed and walks across toward the windows. Outside, the fog seems to be everywhere. She hears the door open and turns to Mrs. Summers smiling a timid smile. "You're awake. Good. Come down for lunch and afterward, you are to go to the East garden. Miss Josephine is waiting for you there." She turns and backs out closing the door behind her.

April has only fuzzy memories of Mrs. Summers and Aunt Josephine's blurred faces and the sometimes walks they made her take in the hall and around her bed though she remembers them as if they are someone's else's memory. Then there have been the ghostly face of her Grandmother Emma and other people that she is sure had visited her though she can't remember. She must have slept for days and yet she feels rather weak and achy but her head doesn't hurt. But she feels a bit older - that is, her body feels like it has become older.


After lunch, April went out to the East garden, where she had that ill-fated meeting with Tim. She cannot quite recall what he looks like only of his blue-gray eyes looking rather forlorn.

She finds Aunt Josephine at the back where ash trees surrounds the space in a rectangle shape. Their branches twirl around and over each other like arms. Bright yellow-green leaves hover above her like a ceiling. The fog here seems to be outside the trees.

"Mrs. Summers needs help since the twins are taking their holiday. We all must do our part. And besides, you need to be out and about now that you are recovering nicely," Josephine says as soon as she catches sight of April. Her pale face still remains - a hint of what was. But her eyes sparkle.

"Yes, I know I have to do my part but this?" April points at the carpets draped on the trees and anywhere there is space.

Josephine holds a wooden paddle half her size. She begins to beat it against one of the carpet draped on the tree in front of her. She stops and turns to April. "What do you suggest? This chore must be done today. Tomorrow is laundry day. You must help out with hanging the sheets. Here, take this and start on the other side." Josephine picks up a paddle from the ground and holds it out to April. April grabs it - it is lighter than she thought.

"I'm feeling a bit faint. Might I go up and rest a bit?" April manages a small smile.

"You may do as you wish. I will make sure to leave you half of the carpets to be done." Josephine replies without looking at April. She strikes at the carpet. The dust doesn't bother her as much compare to when she has been young. She knows now to step aside to allow the dust fall away from her though it is best not to wear your best clothes.

April looks around her. There must be at least twenty carpets here. It is a large house. "No, I think I'll do them now." She starts at the carpet on the other side. This one is a pretty one with pink roses. Then she realizes it has been in her room. A long whoosh sound flies pass her. She looks up but the fog is dense so she sees only a gray shadow there.

"Do not mind him. I have spoken to Tim at length but I'm afraid my words are nothing to him. Right now, he feels we have wounded him badly. But I have already told him he is not to communicate with you until he has learned his lesson. He has the patience of a child so we will give him time. Father said he had spoiled him too much." Josephine sighs. These ten days has not been easy. She has been astonished to find some parts of the house had been laid unused and uncleaned. Mr. Neighbor had attended to both gardens admirably. And Mrs. Summers and the housemaids and Toby thoroughly cleaned the house before she and April's arrival. But the rest of the house needs attention.

Josephine pauses to glance at April. April's movements are a bit languid but she is far better now than a couple of days before. Father's healing power is great but April have been bound to sleep for several days due to her overwhelming injury. Josephine is still amazed that Father has gone on this long and in this house - much longer than any of his ancestors.

This morning, she has found the hallway wall covered in pink roses - the kind that April have always said is her favorite. The house is changing to the new owner and April does not realize this. How can Josephine explain without sounding like a lunatic? There is also the north-west corner wing that needs explaining. There are guests staying there. They keep to themselves but at some point, April must meet them. Not to mention the mermaid in the pond in the West garden.

"Why can't we use magic for chores? Isn't it simple enough?" April has always hated doing chores.

"Must I answer? You know very well magic is not for ordinary uses. Do we need magic to clean house when we have our two hands?"

April wants to reply yes but sighs instead. "Where is grandfather? I don't think I have seen him during my recovery. At least, I have no memory of seeing his face." April turns just as Josephine moves to the next tree down.

"He is in his room rec... resting. He has to start his silent excursion again. You must not disturb him for a while." Josephine strikes at the carpet with more force than she meant to. The paddle cracks and a bit part falls to the ground. Her right hand aches but she keeps her hands on the paddle.

"What happened?" April has stopped and ran toward Josephine.

"It is nothing. It happens sometimes." Josephine has not recalled it ever happened before. She cannot help but be angry at herself. "I am going to get another paddle, you stay here and work." Josephine turns toward the arched way. She glances up at the sky but sees only the fog.

April watches until Josephine is out of sight. Then she points her finger at the paddle in her hand. It starts to pound against the carpet she points to. Then she directs in on the other carpet and thought it would be nicer if it speeds up. The paddle moves faster and all around the yard. The next thing she knows, it returns to her and hit her on the forehead and she tumbles down. The paddle settles on the ground as if it had never moved.

"Well? Did you enjoyed your foolish attempt? This is why I insist on not using magic unnecessarily aside from the fact that you have wasted your time." Josephine glares down at April but she could not keep her anger not when she is looking at the amber eyes that reminds her so much of her sister Lizzie.

April stands up and rubs her forehead. "I was just testing it out. I wasn't going to do it all the time."

"Now that you have tested out, what do think?"

"Only that, I will, from now on, do everything the normal way unless I really needs to use magic." Aprils smiles at Aunt Josephine. Since when did she got so tall? Aunt Josephine seems so much shorter somehow.

"You may go in for a rest. Afterward, I will expect you to help with the cleaning. Understood?" Josephine tries to keep her voice stern though she knows she have failed.

"Yes, Aunt Josephine." April laughs a little as she makes her way back to the house. At least she got out of beating carpets.


  1. You will have a book at the end of this, well done today!

    1. reminds me of the old Bewitched series sometimes.

    2. I remember watching repeats of bewitch, don't think I was trying for that but I guess it's a little like the show.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

  2. April is learning. Slowly. I suspect she is going to have to get quicker on the uptake - there is a LOT she needs to learn if I am right in thinking she is to become the house's new owner/guardian.

    1. you are so smart & correct, although sometimes I don't write as clear as I want to.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

  3. Lots of changes ahead for April and the house. I hope Tim learns his lesson and behaves better.
    I wouldn't mind a bit of magic now and again. I would point to my floors and say "sparkling clean" and they would be. Windows too.

    1. oh yes, I would like to be able to clean the house with magic, honestly, most gadgets these days are like magic although you still have to work using them.

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.

  4. Magic is not for mundane tasks. :) I hope she is learning her lessons the dear April. I really do like her.

    1. I like her too, now if only I can write more...

      thanks for visiting, have a lovely day.


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- Kurt Vonnegut