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June 22, 2019

April Gale 17


~ Read previous parts here ~

So far: April Gales come to Windy Shadows with her Aunt, Josephine Tyler, meets her grandfather Harry Tyler, a few ghosts, a few odd servants, gets dropped onto the roof by a dragon named Tim, got healed by Grandfather Tyler, now has recovered. New visitors came to Windy Shadows - Winifred/Wini, distance cousin to April, and Vincent/Vincy who came with Wini. Then April discovered a wolf in the garden. He turned out to be Vincy who was cursed to turned into a wolf during a full moon and now almost ten days has passed and the full moon is coming around again.

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April Gale 17  

Night comes all too soon and April has trouble keeping calm. With her usual composed facade, Mrs. Summers serves them baked potatoes with a side of beef. Mrs. Summers pours them tea and then leaves them before April can ask where the fishes she saw that afternoon had went to.

April listens to the sounds of utensils and the cups tinkling as they hit their saucers. Her father had said weather is really the only safe subject to talk about when you can't think of anything but the weather is neither rainy or cold. It is a calm night. She looks up at her guests.

Vincy adjusts his shirt collar and sips his tea. Then he wolfs down his beef and potatoes. Wini sitting beside him, is calmly cutting her beef. April doesn't wonder where she gets her calm, not since that disastrous dinner.

After two bites, Wini dabbles a napkin over her mouth and stands up. "Good night," she says with a small smile and rushes toward the door.

Vincy stands up and watches Wini leave the room. Then he sinks back down in his chair. He runs a hand through his black hair. "Well, I will not have to worry about her for a while. Not until later tonight when I turn into a savage beast." He lifts his eyes toward April who is sitting quite still in her chair having cut up her potatoes and beef but have no urge to eat them.

She hears a small roar and spots Howl near her feet. Howl wanders toward the windowsill, sits down and closes her eyes as if for a long nap. Outside, April could see the black sky and she is sure the moon is making its slow ascend.

April stands up. "I think you should return to your room and stay there."

"What will you do?" Vincy's jaw tighten and then loosen. "Did Mr. Tyler said anything?"

"Grandfather is quite busy. But don't worry, it will all work out." April doesn't know how but she hopes that it would.

"Yes, yes, of course. I mean, Mr. Tyler would not just let me be. He knows I'm here and... Good night." Vincy rushes out of the room.

April starts to panic but then she remembers what her father had always said -  panicking is no way to solve anything. She sinks back into her chair. She needs to think.

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But with all the thinking and thinking, April still ends up with a blank head. She wishes Aunt Josephine is here which makes April realizes how small the circle of people she can count on. She paces her room. Maybe she should knock on Grandfather's door and asks him what she should do but each time she has done it, he did not answer.

She hears scream that makes her shudder. Has she been pacing her room for hours? She runs to the windows and pulls the curtains open. Moonlight spills in. She looks up at the full moon - so serene and yet, she doesn't understand how a full moon can turn anyone into a wol...

April hears another scream but this one sounds closer. She pulls open her bedroom door, runs down the stairs, across the hallway, up another flight of stairs, down another hallway where she finds the door to Vincy's room on the floor with a hole where the doorknob should be. There is a small knife on the floor nearby. The tip of it has some red liquid on it.

April hears another scream but this one seems to be coming from the East Garden. She runs down stairs, across a long hall and through the double doors and outside.

She hears Wini screaming but she couldn't see her. The moon is obscured by the trees. April wishes she can be where Wini is instead of having to chase her down. And then April feels a force like a strong wind and next when she blinks she sees Wini right in front of her.

April catches up with Wini and half shouts, "Wini, stop screaming!" Then she lowers her voice and add, "The wolf can hear you!"

Wini yells back, "Do not tell me what to do! I can scream if I want to and how come you did not tell me there is a wolf in the house?"

April can hear the wolf behind them growling. Wini runs faster. April runs faster after her. "If you haven't been screaming, the wolf would not have known where you are, you nitwit."

"What did you call me?" Wini's eyes flare. But then her features seems to soften a bit to a more calming look. "Maybe you should stay and take care of the wolf."

"What? Me? I can't do anything."

"No way am I endangering myself. You do something. You are the lady of the house. I'll convince mother to forget about Windy Shadows. She has plenty of properties anyway." Wini smiles but it only irritates April.

"I am not the lady of the house. It's just that Aunt Josephine isn't here so I have to do a hostess' duty until she returns."

Wini raises an eyebrow. They can hear the wolf clearer now. April turns to check but then she feels some force pushing her to the ground. When she looks up, Wini is looking down at her. "Take care of the wolf." There is almost an amused smile on her lips and then she runs off. April stares at her back. Maybe she should turn Wini into a toad.

When April turns back, the face of the wolf stares down at her. "How about some biscuits?" But no biscuits appear. She tries to think of something else but her mind is blank. There is a red stain near his torso on his torn shirt. The wolf's black eyes flicker and for moment, he just stares at her. But then he turns and runs away from her.

April can hear Wini shouting, "Get away from me! You...you filthy animal!" She sounds more angry than frighten.

April gets up but then stops. Perhaps nothing would happen to Wini and if something did, then it wouldn't be April's fault. She laughs at this but then she sighs. No. She can't just leave her alone. Grandfather wouldn't want her to do that.

April runs after them. She stops at the ash trees that forms a wall around and above the space. April looks up. Wini is up in one of the trees while the wolf is below trying to reach her with his paws but as tall as he is, he couldn't reach her. Why doesn't the wolf just climb up the tree? Why doesn't Wini use her power? April couldn't understand either of them.

April looks up at Wini. Tears streak down her face. Her long curly blonde hair has came loose from her braid and they now framed her face like a river of half dirty waters. Her white gown is dirty and her left sleeve is half torn. "You get away from me, you filthy animal!" She pulls leaves off the tree branches and throws them at the wolf.

The wolf grunts and moves languidly. April wonders if it might be time for his change. She looks up at the sky but could not see the moon through the tree branches but the light coming between them tells her the moon is still up there. She turns back to the wolf. Sleep, April begs in her head as she stares at the wolf. Last time it worked but why doesn't it work now? She remembers Grandfather appearing just as Vincy fell asleep. No, it had not been her at all. Grandfather's the one that put the wolf to sleep. Why hasn't she realized this before? And why hasn't she thought to make Vincy a sleeping potion so that he can take it before he changed? She have came across the particular spell just last night.

"Wini, stay calm. Vincy will not hurt you as long as you don't provoke him."

"I, provoke him? Who is the hairy monster here? And... wait, this wolf is Vincy?"

April sighs. She should not have said that. This just gives Wini another reason for laying on more insults. Damm it. "Vincy hasn't meant to be a wolf. Someone cursed him."

"I knew it. I just knew it. Vincy has been weird even before we came here. So this is his big secret. My father would never let him into our house again if —"

"Wini, please be quiet. I told you, do not provoke him." April looks up at Wini. She has no idea how Wini got up so high in that tree. Even April, an experience tree climber could not have gone so high up. Nor why the wolf seems to be targeting Wini. He have ignored April and went after Wini. There must be a reason.

"Oh, is that so? Should I pity him? The filthy animal!" Wini sounds annoyed. April wants to put her to sleep. But then realizes she might fall out of the tree which would be worse. "Wini, please, would you just not talk for a while?"

The wolf seems to have remembered he can climb and now he crawls his way up the tree. April just could not think of anything. "Vincy, please, she is not worth it."

"Not worth it? April, how could you? I'm worth ten of both of youuuuuu... Stay away from me, you big blockhead!" The wolf has reached Wini and is trying to grab her. Wini kicks at the wolf's head with her bare feet. The wolf barely responds. He grabs hold of Wini's ankle. "Let me go, you monster! April, do something!"

Why can't Wini stop talking or shouting insults? Even April feels like hitting Wini. April searches around her and spots the rocks surrounding the trees. Maybe she can knock the wolf unconscious. She picks up three rocks the size of her hand and throws one after the other at the wolf. One hit the wolf's shoulder but he hardly twitches, the second hit the tree trunk and the third strike Wini's leg. "Watch it! And throw something bigger, will you?"

"I'm sorry!" April smothers a laugh. She looks around but there are no rocks larger than her hand. Then she pictures a rock the size of the wolf's head. She holds out her hands and there it is. She looks down at it in surprise and then she nearly falls forward with the weight of the rock. She straightens up and lifts the rock up high and throws it at the wolf. This time, it strike his head. Wini shouts, "Let go of me, you filthy animal. I'm going to tell Mother to lock you upppppp..." Wini screams as the wolf begins to fall backward and pulls her down with him.

April turns away. She hears two soft thuds. All is silent. She is terrify at what she might see. Slowly, she turns around. The two bodies are lying on the ground as still as stones. April have a sudden urge to run away. But she must not. She slowly walks the short distance toward them.


4 comments:

  1. Suspenseful story, will wait to see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll post the next part soon.

      Thank you for dropping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  2. Filled with suspense. April's powers are developing too. I do find myself wondering whether Wini's family have anything to do with Vini being cursed..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your guess is good. Wini does have something to do with Vincy but she didn't curse him. I have some inkling of Vincy's dislike for Wini.

      Thank you for dropping by, have a lovely day.

      Delete

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