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December 9, 2019

April Gale 25

~ ~  Read previous April Gale here ~ ~


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April Gale 25

April opens her eyes and a strange anticipation runs through her. But she isn't sure why. She looks around her. The little sliver of moonlight between the curtains allows her to view her room just enough to see everything. All is quiet and still. What is it?

A meow rings out. There's no cat in Windy Shadows aside from Howl but she doesn't sound like a cat at all. April gets out of bed and turns on the lantern. The wallpaper at her right looks the same with the tree gone. Everything in her room is the same.

Another meow rings out. It sounds like it's coming from beneath her bed. She lowers to the floor and lifts the sheet. There in the corner is a bundle but she could tell what it is as there is no light reaching beneath the bed. "Come out, little one," April says. She hopes it's something that doesn't bite. "Come on, I'm not going to hurt you."

The little bundle shifts in the semi-darkness but then it stops.

"What have you got there? Spiders?" Winifred sounds almost cheerful.

April looks up at Winifred. "Don't you ever rest?"

"Rest? I am a ghost."

"You're not a ghost! I told you, you're not dead." April wants to shake Winifred to her senses but she would not be able to even touch Winifred at all. Another meow. April turns back to the creature under her bed. "Come out, there's no need to be afraid of the rude lady. She is quite friendly deep, deep, way deep down inside."

"Are you talking about me? Of course, I am friendly. It is other people that are rude."

April doesn't bother to look up. How Winifred's parents can tolerate her, April will never know. She drops the edge of the sheet and sits down on the floor. Winifred lowers down to face April.

"Winifred," April begins and then sighs. She wishes for more patience for Winifred.

"Yes, April dear?" Winifred smiles and it is the first time that April have seen Winifred's teeth. The two in front are larger than the rest, like a rabbit's only Winifred looks more like a snake.

"Winifred, why do you want to die so much?'

"I do not want to die!"

"No? Remaining a ghost means you have given up on life and that means you want to die. Now, I think I should dress you in pink feathers. Perhaps a pink coffin to match. I think it's appropriate."

"Pink? Are you mad? I do not wear pink. It makes my skin appear blotchy and I detest pink!"

"And I'm sure your parents will be willing to pay for the expense of having your body cremated afterward so that they can keep you in a jar on their fireplace mantle. After all, you were their only daughter."

"Cremated? I am not dead!"

"Really? Didn't you just said you're a ghost? Doesn't that mean you're dead?"

"Stop it! Stop it! I am not going to die and I will prove it." Winifred disappears through the door. April sighs. She wonders if it does Winifred any good to be to kind to her. She must pay a visit to her room to make sure Winifred's body is still...what exactly? April isn't sure.

But the little creature under the bed. April lifts the sheet up again. "Come out, the rude lady is gone." The little creature meows and then it crawls its slow way out from under the bed. The little pale pink piglet looks up at April with it's big brown eyes. She laughs. If she is still living at the farm, she would be delighted to have such a pet but here in Windy Shadows, it seems rather out of place but then again, all the creatures here are strange anyway. She pulls the piglet closer. A red ribbon is around the piglet's neck. "To my dear friend April. Happy birthday. Love your Great Uncle George." Who's George? Why did he sent her a piglet? What is she to do with a piglet especially one that makes the sound of a cat?


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Vincent looks down at Winifred, sleeping there as if she have not a care in the world. A lantern by the side table shines upon Winifred's face. She looks more beautiful than the day he met her. If she have been kind, Vincent would have felt sorry for her. But Winifred... She did not care to mask her emotions especially her distaste for poor people. Perhaps she does not deserve her good life and yet, he does not wish for her to die.

"Do it." Vincent hears the shadow's voice straining. "Lift the pillow and place it on her face. Quickly!"

Outside, the black sky is starless. Vincent cannot remember a time he had seen the stars. He can feel the shadow shifting behind him.

"What are you waiting for?" the shadow shouts with a half-hoarse voice. Vincent lifts up the pillow on the chair nearby. Winifred's beautiful face appears almost lifeless and yet, he can still make out the slow lifting and falling of her chest. 'A life is a life' - his mother had said to him many times. She would not want him to do this. She would save Winifred and anyone who needs saving even if they are the vilest human on earth. There is a gasp and then a sob. He looks up across the room. Winifred or rather a ghostly image of Winifred, floats at the corner of the room. Tears are spilling from her eyes. She lets out a hiccup and covers her mouth with both hands. Vincent has only seen her cried once when she got a small cut on her finger but it was quiet and subdued. She meets his eyes with her wide ones but she does not speak. The hiccuping is muffled but he can still hear it.

Vincent slowly lowers his hands and loosen his grip. The pillow falls to the floor. He looks from Winifred floating there and toward Winifred lying on the bed. What has happened to her? He bends down and touches Winifred's left hand. It is soft and solid and warm. She is alive but why is this apparition crying in front of him? If she wakes up now, he would not kill her, he vows. He waits but she does not move while the ghostly Winifred continues to sob.

The heat grows under his hand still on Winifred's hand. A golden light appears and he pulls his hand away. He turns toward her ghostly face. "I... I am sorry." He could not think of anything else to say. He turns and runs out of the room.

In the hallway, he passes April but does not stop to greet her. He rushes into his room, quickly closes the door. Lowering himself onto the floor, he lets out a long breath. Why is Winifred's spirit beside her bed? He holds out his hands. They appear the same - rough and dry and yet, he has never seen them glow in any way? What is the golden light?

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. @Christine: I think I had the same reaction. Winifred is no different as ghost, I think.

      Thank you for visiting, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  2. More please.
    I really want more. (greedy aren't I?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Elephant's Child: Don't worry, I'll post a lot more soon because I do plan on finishing this even if the writing is a bit off here and there. That is my plan which I try to follow even if it takes me another year to finish which I hope it's not the case.

      Thank you for visiting, have a lovely day.

      Delete
  3. I sure hope April said the right thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Uglemor: I hope so too. April is still young and the young tend to say things they shouldn't.

      Thank you for visiting, have a lovely day.

      Delete

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