Great Aunt Prune
The wagon rode on for three days. Thinking of poor Nana I began to panic. She probably thought I’d run away or something just as bad. And I didn’t even learn anything about my parents. Things looked pretty bleak.
A thousand fall leaves flew past me. I watched them wishing with all my might I could take to the winds and be free as well.
I shook myself. I was no helpless maiden. I had a way to get myself out of this. I scolded myself for not remembering my little dagger hidden in the belt of my dress. I wouldn’t have remembered it now either except it had begun to poke me. I fumbled to pull it out (which is very hard with bound hands, I’ll have you know) At last I succeeded. I smiled as I began sawing at the thick rope. Soon I would be free and finally I was. But my poor wrists were in rather bad condition for though my captors had occasionally unbound my hands it hadn’t prevented the rope from scratching and rubbing away some of the skin and they did hurt. Now, though I could escape I looked around for the least painful way of exiting. To my delight a thick branch lay overhead in the distance. I would exit so quietly my captors wouldn’t know I was gone until they stopped which wouldn’t be for ages since we’d stopped only a short while ago and by the time they stopped again I would be long gone. I took a deep breath as I reached out my arms and then… there it was. I nimbly jumped from the wagon just barely catching the branch. I swung up and held tight watching to see if the driver had noticed me. He hadn’t, I could breathe easy now.
After I’d climbed down from the tree I lifted the squealing chipmunk from my apron pocket and set him on my lap. He quickly darted up an oak tree and began collecting acorns. I waited until he came down again and dropped the three acorns he had stuffed into his chubby cheeks. I picked them up and was about to place them in my pocket when I noticed something cold. I pulled it out and saw the lovely heart-shaped locket. “Oh no, I must’ve put it there when I rushed out the door,” I told myself. “Now I’m sure Nana is worried.” My head sunk low but didn’t stay there long. I never could keep it down for long. It was one of those strange quirks I had. I decided it wasn’t safe to stay where I was so I clasped the necklace around my neck I decided I would be least likely to lose it that way. Stripes climbed back into my pocket with an acorn in his small paws. I got up and headed deeper into the fall forest.
After I walked for a very long time I realized something. Something I hadn’t thought would ever happen to me. I was lost! It seemed ridiculous to even think the thing after so long of exploring my own forests. But not every forest is the same. I decided the best thing was to look around until I found some clue as to where the way out was. But before I could take even one step an elderly lady walked out from behind a tree. I approached her. Raised my head and smiled in a confused way. “Excuse me ma’am, I seem to have lost my way. Could you please point me the way out?” But the woman just smiled and said kindly, “follow me.” I did as she asked. And hoped she was leading me out and not back to the captors I had hpoed to forever be rid of. To my relief she didn’t led me to them but she didn’t lead me out of the forest either. for smack in the middle there was a house. It wasn’t like all the other houses in my little village. It was large (for one person) and dark under the trees shade. It was at the top of a steep cliff and had stilts going down so the whole porch wouldn’t fall into the dark depths below. Even though the height scared me a little I couldn’t help but think, “This place is absolutely gorgeous!”
Leaves blew about in the breeze orange, brown, yellow, and maroon painting the four winds. The air smelled fresh and sweet.
She stopped. Her smile disappeared replaced but an expressionless gaze. “What is it?” I asked. “Your name is Cathrine Weatherbane, correct?” I was taken back a bit. “um… yes it is.” She smiled brightly. “Awe, I did think so but I had to make sure. You do remember me, don’t you dear?” I shook my head confused. “Well you were only a wee one when your mother brought you here.” “You knew my mother? Do you know where she is now? do you know why she didn’t raise me!?” The lady stepped back as I pleaded to her in probably the most desperate voice my vocals have ever managed. “Why didn’t Amelia ever tell you? Maybe she said not to. Maybe she wanted to tell you herself.” “She? Who’s she? My mother? You know my mother? Please where is she? do you know my father too!?” “Of course dear. I know them both. But I haven’t seen either of them since they brought you here eleven years ago. Let’s see, that would make you fourteen. Then you don’t remember anything about either of your parents dear?” I dropped my head but then quickly raised it up again. I thought I saw a flicker of a smile come across her face. “Awe, you do still have those traits, good. When you find your mother she’ll be proud her daughter can keep her head high even when she’s sad. Now, if only we could have a smile.” I looked at her bewildered. “I haven’t seen my mother since I was three and I can’t even remember her from then. Why should I smile?” “Oh, I don’t know just seems a little rude to sob in front of your host.” “Host?” “Yes, host. You’re staying with me until I see fit for you to go on. After all what are great aunts for, eh?” “Oh, you’re my great aunt?” I wiped away a stray tear. “Yes, of course, great aunt Prune. Goodness can’t remember a name like Prune. Kids these days.” “Will you tell me about my parents?” “No, sorry, I can’t say I really know much about them even though I was her aunt. I was very distant. Her name was…” “Anastacia, I know.” “Oh, you do, do you, and how did you learn that, eh?” “Oh! I found a poem.” I blushed a bit as I recalled sneaking into Nana’s room. “Yes she loved her poems,” Prune sighed. “Well, dear, did you know your fathers name was Alexander?” I shook my head. “Okay, then come in and I’ll get you introduced to the others staying here. Then I’ll tell you all I know about your parents, okay” “Uh, thanks.” I smiled a little smile and Aunt Prune noticed. “Now that’s more like it!” she exclaimed as she shut the door behind me.
That's all for now