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January 12, 2020

April Gale 29

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April Gale 29

The morning rain lingers even as Josephine Tyler steps off the train. The sudden downpour just after the sun rise has surprised her. Mrs. Hillofbeans seems to have returned to her grumpy mood.

Josephine catches sight of Albert a few feet away. He stood with a woman, not young but her beauty cannot be mistaken. Albert and she are talking vivaciously to each other. Then the woman walks away. Albert touches the tip of his hat and grins at Josephine.

"Must you stare so? We need to get out of the rain." Mrs. Hillofbeans walks quickly into the train station and sits down on a bench. Josephine follows her. They wait for their luggage.

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The carriage stops at the fence surrounding the rickety old house. Josephine has often wondered why her father charmed Windy Shadows' front to look like this. If she have not grown up in Windy Shadows, she would have dismissed this house if she saw it. They hardly have any normal visitors so not one of their neighbors knows what the inside of their house looks like.

Mrs. Hillofbeans is led out of the carriage first and then Josephine. The early morning drizzle lingers. She lets out a breath.

The footman brings down their luggages and drops them in front of the fence. He raises an gray eyebrow but says nothing. Josephine supposes he thinks they are mad to stop at this run-down house. But the footman gets back onto the carriage and it drives off.

Josephine opens the fence and moves aside. Mrs. Hillofbeans steps through and glances around her with a frown. Josephine has a feeling Mrs. Hillofbeans disapproves her father for charming the place.

Josephine steps onto the porch and pulls the rope hanging down near the front door. The jingle of the bell echoes within.

Toby opens the door and grins at Josephine though he seems a bit off as usual. Josephine knows Toby have some afflictions that made him appeared straggly with his arms too long and legs too short. He either is cursed and still healing or the curse could not be broken yet.

Toby gives a nod to Mrs. Hillofbeans and steps aside. Mrs. Hillofbeans gives Toby a short glance and enters the house. "Take our luggages inside," Josephine instructs. Toby makes his way toward the fence. Josephine steps inside. The sudden drop in temperature makes her wonder. She follows Mrs. Hillofbeans to the palour.

Josephine gets a view of the windows to the East Garden covered in snow and the white falling flakes. Josephine lets out a silent laugh. April must have done it. It has never snowed in Windy Shadows, at least, not to Josephine's memory. She has been away for quite a long time.

Josephine hears Mrs. Hillofbeans' snore. She turns around. Mrs. Hillofbeans is asleep on one of the couches. Josephine wonders if old age makes a person more sleepy. Mrs. Hillofbeans certainly has taken a lot of naps since Josephine met her at her house.

Toby enters the palour and sets down a tray full of two teacups and a pot on the table. "Leave it. Have Mrs. Summers prepared the guest quarters in the Quarter West Wing? We must not keep Mrs. Hillofbeans waiting." The guest quarters is right beneath the rooms where Winifred and Vincent are staying. Josephine has heard from Mrs. Summers about the guests. She wonders why Mrs. Hayter sent her daughter here. Josephine remembers her cousin dislikes Windy Shadows.

Toby nods and says, "Yes."

"Good. Leave us." Josephine takes a seat on the other couch. She turns to the windows. April is certainly coming into her powers quicker than any Tyler she knows. Turning nineteen has always signaled a new period in a witch's life especially if you are a Tyler. She pours out a cup of tea. Wrapping her fingers around the cup, she wonders how much changed is April or has April changed Windy Shadows? Josephine remembers the storm she has brought on on the morning of her nineteenth birthday. She had spent a week scrubbing floors in rooms where the rain had flooded in. It took two weeks for Josephine to stop the rain and even then, she knew she would have trouble with her power.

4 comments:

  1. More please.
    I am really, really enjoying this.
    A very minor quibble though - luggage should be singular rather than plural.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Elephant's Child: Thank you. I have corrected it.

      Thanks for visiting. Have a lovely day.

      Delete
  2. Very interesting about these powers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Christine: I think so too.

      Thank you for visiting. Have a lovely day.

      Delete

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