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October 27, 2019

April Gale 22

~ ~  Read previous April Gale here ~ ~

April Gale 22

In the bright afternoon light, April sits near the windows and watches the clear blue sky. She is able to walk a few steps without feeling she needs a few days of sleep. In the back of her mind, she wonders if she will stay this way for a while.

Toby has been in and out of her room taking and bringing in trays of food. April has glanced at Toby maybe just a few times but each time, she feels a strange lingering doubt. Is he cursed too? And why does she sees two versions of him now and then? Maybe he's waiting to be cured. Certainly Aunt Josephine, Grandfather nor even Mrs. Summers notice it or perhaps they do notice but decides to ignore it. She should ask Grandfather or maybe Mrs. Summers. But Toby is not an urgent matter.

Aunt Josephine will be home soon. April is worried of what she will say of Winifred and yet, she is happy for Aunt Josephine's return. She really does miss the old woman more than she thought she would.

She hears a rustling and turns toward her right. The wallpaper quivers and then it is still again. She gets up and supports herself with a hand against the window sill and then against the wall as she makes her way toward the corner.

The tree has grown larger, taller, more robust. The leaves are bright green and some of them are curled inward. The tree looks quite real but still has a bit of paint strokes here and there. She reaches out and presses a hand against the tree. Her hand sinks through as if there is no wall there. Immediately, her hand changes and paint strokes appears on them. She stretches out farther and reaches for a leaf. She rubs the tip with her fingers. It feels real and solid. Then she notices a particular leaf curled inward and tucked in the cradle of a circular branch. Is that the green rose Grandfather has been talking about but then why did it come to her when it should to go to Vincy? She grabs hold of the leaf and plucks it and pulls her hand out of the wall. The leaf is soft in her hand. Looking back, the tree starts to shrink and shrink and soon, it's gone and is replaced by a row of pink blobs.

She takes in the scent of the leaf. It smells like the roses in the East Garden. Looking around, she searches for a place to store it. Slowly, she makes her way toward her writing desk. She places the leaf on the desk and pulls out the top drawer and takes out a wooden box with a rose carving at the top. She lifts the lid up and places it on the desk. She picks up the wooden star necklace hanging from a cord made from a horse's hair. Her father had given it to her. He said her mother had it made especially for her. April has meant to wear it always but she was afraid of losing it so she kept it at home. Now she takes the necklace out and ties it around her neck. She places the leaf in the box and replaces the lid. She settles back into a chair and turns toward the windows. There are more clouds in the sky now.

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"Boo!" Winifred pops out from the closet doors. April is no longer surprised by Winifred's sudden appearances. Winifred has popped out of every single wall in April's room. April would have banished her with magic but she haven't the energy.

"What are you doing? Are those spells? Are you a witch?" Winifred peers over April's shoulder as April turns the pages of a small book. "Um, yes, don't you know?" April is surrounded by books. She is looking for the cure for the wolf curse.

Winifred shrugs. "Why would I know? Can you do spells or something?"

"Not quite yet but I can do anything that I set my mind on." That is, if she doesn't screw it up, April adds silently. She would happily talk about magic with Winifred if she doesn't feel annoyed by Winifred's attitude. "Aren't you a witch? Aren't Tyler descendants witches and wizards and people with magical powers?"

"Not I. I was born normal." Winifred grins.

"Are you implying I'm not normal?" April shuts the book harder than she has intended to.

"Well, it is not that. My mother thinks anyone with unnatural powers are horrible creatures. She has always been glad that part of the family's trait had not been passed to her or me. Though my brother is something else."

"You have a brother?"

"Did I not just say so? Yes, I have a brother and he is a nuisance. I was glad when my parents sent him to that institution but now I wish he is still around. Mother needs someone else to fret about aside from me."

"Why did your parents sent him there? Was he sick?"

"Sick? You might say he had in affliction of sorts. They were ashamed that one of their children is a lunatic or what you would call a witch. He can do things just waving his fingers around but my mother made sure he hates himself for that part of him."

"That's awful. He should learn to love himself not—"

"You do not understand. They simply do not approve of magic at all. It may be perfectly fine around here but back home, anyone showing any type of magic is shunned."

"But why?"

Winifred shrugs. "I am not certain. Mother said it is not normal to be born with such... things. I have always thought she knows best."

"And what happened to your brother? Is he still in that institution?"

"No. He ran away a year after he was sent there. That was.... He was ten and I was twelve... That was eight years ago. No one had seen him since. I think maybe he used his magic to escape. But he cannot return. If he does, my mother would disown him."

"By the way, I did not forget about what you said back then. I stayed and took care of the wolf, now you have to convince your mother to leave this place alone."

Winifred crosses her arms over chest. "Please, do you think I can persuade her to do anything? Not a chance."

"Why does she wants this place for?"

"She does not want it. She wants to destroy it. Once she owns it, she will tear it down and turns it to some type of grave or something. She is certainly not going to live here. I told you, she shunned magic and anything related to it and Windy Shadows is like the very core of magic."

"That is so.... dumb. Why does she wants to destroy this place?"

"Have you not been listening? She wants to destroy this place because she is ashamed of her family history. Hey, have you been to the north-west corner wing? I saw Grandmother Emma emerging from the wall of that corner. It must be a portal." Winifred sits down on the edge of the bed and peers at the spread out books.

"The north-west corner wing? Aunt Josephine had mentioned it once but she didn't say anything particular about a portal. What's there in the portal?"

"How should I know? I tried to get in but something forced me out. Perhaps it has a magical shield. I bet there is some terrible secret there that Grandfather is keeping. Maybe that is what Mother wants to destroy. Anyway, since you are a witch, maybe you can get in with some spell or something."

April has seen the north-west corner wing once but it is nothing special, just a corner with a window nearby. She looks up to see Winifred zooming about the room looking at everything. Then Winifred stops at the framed painting of her mother and father on the writing desk. "Is this your parents? They look sweet. Though how you got to be their child is a little vexing. Your mother is beautiful but you have no beauty. Your father... Well, is not un-handsome." Winifred smiles and April wants to slap her. She picks up one of the smaller book piled on the right side of her bed and throws it at Winifred. The book sweeps through her and hit the framed painting, knocking it flat on the desk.. Winifred snorts."So, any more things you want to throw at me?" Her blue eyes sparkle, almost as if she is enjoying it.

"No!" April huffs and gets up and heads toward the desk. Winifred shifts out of the away. April straightens up the framed painting. It's true, she did not inherit her mother's beauty nor any of her father's handsome features. She turns around. Winifred is now looking through the books piled around her bed. "Is there a spell that can make someone tell the truth whatever you ask of them?"

April turns away. She has hoped Winifred would have forgotten about that. She rubs her eyes. Why must she be in the company of this spoiled girl? "Winifred, do you really like being a ghost or are you just so sick of your life that you rather die than return and face reality? Isn't there anything you have always wanted to do but didn't?"

Winifred tilts her head and looks upward. "No. Nothing."

"Are you sure? There must be something you have not done that you really, really wanted to do."

"Well, I did want to move away from Mother but now that I'm a ghost, it does not matter." Winifred shakes her head. "No. I like being a ghost." She reaches out to pick up a book from one of the piles but her hand went straight through it.

"Of course there is. Everyone have something they want to do that they didn't get to do. For instance, I have always wanted to meet my mother but... Anyway, you're not old so you must not have done much."

"What was that? Of course I am not old! And I am going to stay this way. Yes, I will."

April pulls at a bunch of her loose hair and then lets go. Why is Winifred so infuriating? "Winifred, do you really want to stay a ghost? You can't touch anything or taste anything or even smell anything. Is there anything you have enjoyed about living?"

"Of course there is. I mean, how could I have lived these twenty years and not have enjoyed something?" Winifred's eyebrow bend as her eyes linger on the floor. She turns and disappears into the wall but April could clearly hear her muttering, "Have I enjoyed anything?"

April sits down on her bed and opens up another book. Could it be that she has touched something in Winifred? She throws the book aside and lies down on the bed. She is going to take a nap and not think about anything.


  1. Poor Winifred.
    In early episodes I disliked her. And the story progresses I feel very sorry for her - and am anxious (hint, hint) to read more.

    1. I have written more. I hope to finish this series before the year ends.

      Thank you for visiting & have a lovely day.

  2. Replies
    1. Any rest will do a person good.

      Thank you for visiting & have a lovely day.

  3. Replies
    1. I'm sure who you're referring to but I thank you all the same for stopping by.

      Have a lovely day.


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- Kurt Vonnegut