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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: April 27, 2015      Views: 43

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The Next Day
"Bring Back The Wind III" by joann r romei

Scarlett lay awake in the darkness of her bedroom. Random voices from her past plagued her. She tossed and turned then stuffed her head deep into the plush pillow, Scarlet relaxed for it became silent then, clear as morning she heard fighting the voice of Rhett telling her with ease, " Don't drink alone Scarlet it ruins the reputation. " It was the day he proposed marriage to her, after Frank Kennedy funeral. She was being punished by God, he was making her suffer for the suffering she had caused others.

Voices from the past became clear and out of no where, it was maddening, she covered her ears with the plush pillow . It helped subdue the voices, inside her head. The voices called to her. She covered her ears with a pillow, then as clear as morning she heard the voice of Rhett say, " Never drink alone Scarlet, it ruins the reputation."

Her reputation was scorned long ago. She chewed her finger, and stopped when tasting blood.

The clip clop of a carriage approached the front of her Atlanta estate. She bolted upright and immediately thought Rhett! He must of had a change of heart! I knew he'd return!
Scarlet flung back the comforter and raced to the window. she had fallen asleep in the dressed in the crepe dress The sound of women's muffled tense voices floated up from outside. She could not understand the There was an intense conversation going on. She was certain it was about her, anger rose, She was scarlwet Ohara.And there was no doubt in her mind it was about her.

Scarlet rose fully dressed in the black crepe mourning dress. She had been in it for three days since Melanie's death. Peeking from the window she could see a handsome carriage parked on the cobble stone driveway. Exiting were India, SueEllen, Careen, and Mammy. They were dressed in black with thin veiled hats that trailing like chimney soot. Their faces were set in hard lines with red swollen eyes from crying. Hunched over they looked one hundred years old, debilated and broken.

At first she thought it best to jump back in bed and hide under the covers in bed, have them stand at the door until noon. But she knew Mammy would enter and find her. Instead she found the courage to straightened herself, and march down the cascading staircase to confront the women. Before anyone could knock she swung open the heavy oak door.

"All of you best be on your way. " Scarlet stated, " I am not going to Melanie's funeral." Scarlet announced and waved her small hand as easily as if changing her mind about attending a garden party.

The five women fell back aghast. Scarlet's antics through out the years had always brought dishonor and shame, but this was an outright insult to one of the most beloved women in the county. The death of the doe eyed gentle Mrs. Wilkes sent shock and remorse in Atlanta like never before. A pillar in the southern community was gone, and Mr. Ashley was now alone.
It was Mammy who found her voice first. "I won't have folk talkin' bout you. You best be gettin' in that carriage, or I's drag ya' myself." She lunged forward, but Scarlet didn't flinch.

Instead she turned and said. "It's pointless to attend any one's funeral."
After Bonnie's she saw the sheer foolishness in crying over a body drained of blood, organs and life. To stand around in tears did nothing to bring them back. Nothing at all but to curse the Heavens above and everything under it.

But there was another reason she did not want to attend. One she dare not admit. It was a queer sensation she experienced after the passing of someone, someone close to her. Death encouraged her will to live like never before. It restored every ounce of moving fiber in her. All she wanted to do was lead the Virginia Reel, whistle dixie and skip through the cotton fields of Tara.

Like a petulant child she cried, "No."

It was India Wilkes who moved first. Like a quick fox she threw back her hand ready to strike Scarlet's face. But Careen O"Hara grabbed it and held it tight.

"You mustn't." Careen said softly.

"I'm not surprised, Can't face Ashley, or anyone now. Isn't that right Scarlet? ." SueEllen smirked. It gave her great pride to rebuke her older sister in front of people. In the past those words would have cut Scarlet deeper than any sharpened blade, but not now. Not any more.
Scarlett ignore Sue Ellens sharp tongue and fixed her cat eyes on her baby sister Careen. She stared at her as if it was the first time. Scarlet always thought her to be similar to her beloved mother in character traits. She never argued or quarreled for the sake of anyone or anything. Careen would have may the saints exclaim for joy, there wasn't a malicious bone in her body.

Looking into he dark eyes and heart shaped face Scarlet didn't know why she hadn't noticed it before. And Careen's voice! So smooth and clear, almost a whisper. It was remarkable, almost to good to be. Her prayers had been answered! Scarlet ran to her baby sister, flung her arms around her and shouted, Hallehullia!

The women exchanged open mouthed glances. Mammy shook her head and muttered. "Lawd, Miss Scarlet plum crazy now."

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