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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: April 26, 2015      Views: 113

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A Sequel to Gone With The Wind.
"Bring Back The Wind A novel" by joann r romei

Katie Scarlet O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler rose from the steps and squared her shoulders. Her mind was as set as it was back in 1867, when she departed a burning Atlanta in a rickety wagon longing for her Mother's arms. She was a selfish seventeen year old then, ironically responsible for the man she loved wife, and new born son. A burden much too great for a spoiled plantation owners daughter, who'd never been denied anything, Well almost anything..... She raised her tiny fists, " Your not going to lick me Rhett Butler, I've been through worse and you know it!

With a desperate desire she wanted to be at Tara. She missed the sprawling white house with flowing lace curtains and the lush acres surrounding it. The best years of her life had been spent on that red clay. It was as if it had a life force over her and she felt the tug.

Over and over she repeated with conviction, " Tomorrow is another day...." But the uncertainty of returning home brought a chill across her bosom. It had been years since she visited Georgia. What will she find there? The thought unnerved her.

And as if transported back in time she was standing in the porch of her ransacked plantation. She was hungry, in rags and facing the wreckage of war from those damn Yankees. But the worst was finding her mother was dead and her father turned idiot.

A gust of wind swept through the room, she let it caress and Like an embrace from strong arms it carried a familiar male voice to her ears. She whirled, "Pa?".... And like a specter out of the darkness Gerald O'Hara appeared. He was also in rags but his face was set with determination exactly like the day she waited for him in the fields to granted her every whim.

He pointed a finger and lectured in that bellowing tone of his. "Now Katie Scarlet, do not be a fool daughter! You have been ignoring your duties as mistress of Tara!" He'd raise his stubby arms in indignation, " You can have any man in the county! Despite your thirty years and tempestous ways."

Scarlets face fell, but Gerald continued " Now don't give me those wobegone eyes. I told you, like marries like! You and Butler are like, much to my chagrin."

He studied her expression, and patted her shoulder . Then continued." Times are changing,.. Planting means money! Good God daughter, I know I taught my girl better. "
The words hit her like thunderbolts. When she looked up, his presence dissapaited. And then he was gone...

She now fully understood quite clearly the value and meaning of what Gerald had said years ago. She was no longer the obstinate sixteen year old girl who pretended to listen to him recount the story of how he survived the Irish famine, came to America without a shilling, won Tara in a card game, and married up in social gentility to an aristocrat eighteen years his junior.

Scarlet frowned, Oh why hadn't she listened to her father years ago? Perhaps she should have remained at Tara. Perhaps she would not have not chosen the wrong men in her life to marry at the wrong times in her life.
Perhaps everything would have turned out differently...., Perhaps...

She knew only too well that the past was not worth dwelling upon, because it was gone. Just like Ma , Pa, Bonnie and the Confederacy. It was her nature to dismiss uncomfortable thoughts especially when confronted with something she could not devise a solid plan for.

So Scarlet focused on Tara.." Home she breathed. And the air hit her lungs like a life force. Tara had always been her fate. She grinned, Pa and she were alike in so many ways, earthy, strong Irish characteristics, right now to their stature and temper. For land and money and were the reality they understood, for it could not disappear, and would remain long after she was gone and long after that! She made a mental note to comfort herself by counting the gold coins hoarded under her goose down mattress. She did not know why it was satisfying to count it , but doing so was a balm for her troubled mind.
Moreover, money made money. Scarlet had big plans for the plantation and there wasn't time to spare. Her mind worked calculating numbers quickly. Oh why was she burdened with a business mind and not the crocheting mind of Mrs. Meriweather or SueEllen?


Suddenly the haunting dead face of her mother Ellen Robilard O'Hara came into her mind. Her mother was a woman who had a kind word and loving smile to all who knew her. A woman who was the epitamy of the south because of her French lineage and studies at the Champlaine Academy for Ladies. And if an apperation of her mother was to miracously appear before her as her father had.. she would not know how to react.

Surprisingly she felt nothing, indifferent in fact. She was Geralds daughter and proud of it. Scarlet had inherited nothing of her mothers sensitive ladylike qualities, despite all the coaching and correcting from Mammy. With a dissappointed face Scarlet would tell her, "But mother you were wrong. Wrong. The world you taught us to live in was pillaged! We lived in poverty with no way of escaping, You had never know the scourge of the war, mother, what good were manners when your stomach growled with hunger pains? What good were delicate hands when it was necessary to dig up radishes for boiling? Why what good was kindness and gentle reproaching when survival meant casting aside all aires that were put upon us? Mother you once told me to cherish my sisters, If it wasnt' for me sowing cotton and vegetable seed, they would have starved half to death."

Death... Ironically she thought of Charles and Frank, husbands that left earth too soon. What if something were to happened to Rhett and she never had the chance to make ammends for the pain she caused him? Scarlet shivered and knew she had failed as a wife. Why anyone would think she was an expert in the marriage department, after all she had bedded three of husbands!

Could something be lacking in her ? A defect perhaps? Maybe she should have been born a son instead of a daughter. She would not be in this dreadful predicament. Her heart sank as she tighten the black crepe shawl around her tiny frame. She needed to keep a cool head and order in her thinking. All her life she'd been fueled by headstrong plans, ones she brought to fruition, and successfully she might add, without a care for anyone, anything or the consequences. Her courage and feistiness were qualities to be proud of. Yet now she doubted herself, and realized that being unafraid was either her strongest quality or her most foolish one.

She eyed the contents of her grand home. For her it was an obvious display of prosperity and status in the county. Except for the rustle of her crepe mourning gown, it was eerily silent and maddening. There wasn't laughter from a small child or tobacco smoke in the back round like it had been.

She ran her fingers over the ornate furniture , bone china and heavy tapestries hanging on the walls to calm herself. The long hours she spent choosing the most expensive and rarest items still gave her emmense pleasure. But it did not comfort her now. For her the sprawling red earth, green horizon and the acres and acres of planted cotton of Tara and her childhood memories there was the beauty she craved now.

Her mouth was dry as she whispered the name Rhett.... His smile, loving gazes, were too much to bear and her heart beat wildly. All these years she rebuked his affection because he was not thew proper gentleman Ashley Wilkes was. And now he was gone. Scarlet blinked to control herself. "Stop, Stop! I won't think about this now, It's too much!", she said aloud . Her fingers trembled as she headed to the liquor cabinet. There was something else she and Gerald O 'Hara had in common. Yet this was something Scarlet kept hidden. She removed a brandy sifter and poured two fingers worth into a glass. Scarlet gulped and thought,.. what will I do now ? without Rhett?.
Chapter 2

He left and she did not know where, or with whom. Wiping fresh tears she thought how easily they fell from her green eyes when a loss of any sort affected her. In the past it was easier to fake tears to manipulate and gain what ever she desired, otherwise crying never did anyone a bit of good. Yet she could not ignore the sadness in her chest was like a dark ocean, empty and cold, without direction. Scarlett lifted her chin to the ceiling, defeat was not something she'd accept. Ever. There must be a way to get him back. But How?? Love alone may not enough, she had hurt him for so long, and Rhett was a scamp and worldly man with many interests and very little patience, especially now.

As the whiskey burned her throat, the broken face of Ashley Wilkes looking down at Melanie's lifeless body flashed before her. Despite being immpeciably dressed in his mourning suit he looked like a scarecrow. His sad eyes had a far away lost look. And he mumbled on and on how he would not be able to live another moment . It was as if he wanted to open the coffin and join her. Ashley could never devise a sound plan for any crisis. He was forever escaping into a poem, book or tragic play. She knew damn well she was incapable of that type of love. The sort of love that made someone want to die alongside their spouse, their spirits linked forever in eternity. A thing she never experience, not even with the passing of her child Bonnie. For she knew in her soul she was born a survivor. And that was something that would not change. Ever.

Her pining and longing for Ashley Wilkes was a mirage to her now, something vaporous. Like her dreams of wandering aimlessly in a dense mist. Perhaps those dreams were a for shadowing of events she could not control or have the power to interpret. Because the only affection she had for Ashley Wilkes now was to look after him, as she had promised Melanie.
She groaned like a wild animal in pain, Oh what a complete ninny she had been. All the years wasted on her silly pride and vanity. Her school girl dreams of marring him and changing him into the strong dependable rugged man she truly desired. Of hating Melanie, despising her, wanting to destroy her. She was certain Melanie and her newborn would perish on the trip back to Tara from the Atlanta, but every time Scarlet looked back in the wagon, there they were, breathing, wide eyed and staring back at her.

She remembered the words Rhett said that fateful meeting at Twelve Oaks, "And you miss are no lady, " She wasn't a lady, well every inch of her was one physically and men let her know it by their outward stares and advances. But her ruthlessness and fierce determination for getting her way were unfeminine to say the least. Rhett was the only man who appreciated those qualities in her. Encouraged them in fact. They seemed to entertain him.

She licked her dry lips. Standing alone in the enormous house made her feel as cold as the marble under her bare feet. She took a full swig from the brandy glass, the smoothness medicinal and calmed the fierce pounding in her head. She must endure. There wasn't any other option. As she paced the foyer and feared she may wear it out. But she was Scarlet O'Hara Butler, full of hope, energy and the will to devise a plan to bring Rhett home to her.

Scarlett stared at the portrait of herself Rhett insisted she have done. Despite objecting at first she found it a pleasure to sit and have the artist from France capture the intensity of her bewitching beauty. He said every mistress of the manor should be admired for the woman she was. But she wasn't the proper woman, wife and sadly enough mother. An idea crossed her mind like a flash of lightning. Maybe she could be?? To gain Rhetts approval she would have to prove it to him. But how?

She longed to feel his razor stubble against her cheek, run her fingers along his starched shirt, embrace the comfort of his muscular arms. Scarlet pounded her tiny fists on her temples and screamed at the top of her lungs, " Rhett!!!!. "






Recognized

Author Notes
I apologize for the typos, Tragically Margaret Mitchell was struck by a car and killed while writing the sequel to this wonderful story, I always wondered what the hell ever happened to these characters, I figure every woman is a bit Scarlet, Melanie and Bell Whatley. ha ha, I decided to write what I think happened. For those who aren't interested, hit delete, I won't be insulted because ", Frankly My dear, I don't give a damn!"
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