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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: May 1, 2015      Views: 162
Chapters:
Prologue Prologue 1 2 3 

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Prologue of the book Acorn Street Where all the Nuts Liv
Ashley and Scarlet talk.
"Bring Back The Wind" by joann r romei

Ashley followed Uncle Peter with earnest apprehension. He knew it was Scarlet and needed her more now than ever. He was inconsolable and needed someone to make sense of the reality that Melanie was gone forever. It was only in death that he would join her again, and he could not wait another moment to die. For moments, and hours have no boundaries or significant meaning any longer. It was felt selfish of him to demand such neediness. And reminded himself to proceed cautiously, because Scarlet had recently lost her child, and was certain she was in the same grievous state he was.

But upon seeing her standing erect and defiant in the foyer, he remembered exactly with whom he was dealing with, Kathleen Scarlet O'Hara. She was dressed in a dark green organza dress with brocade trim about the wrist and neck. The modern Parisian hat sat tilted to the left on her head and did not hide the paleness of her complexion or lack of sleep. However did everything to accented the blaze in her jeweled eyes. She possessed that fire child even as a young child running wild with the Tarleton twins on Twelve Oaks, Mammy close by scolding her every move. That glow grew brighter and more mysterious with every year of her life. And more fierce in the face of adversary. If only the soldiers in his army had her strength and determination, he was certain they would have won the war.

He went to her," Scarlet, my dear. I knew you would come." It was a statement and a pleasantry. And he took no shame in saying it. For the people he knew before the war were skeletons of the past. It was as if they had all become kin in a sense, because of the immense loss and hardship. They hung on to any shred of the past and its memory that brought back the lazy plantation days, where misery and despair could not enter the old south and it's glory.

Scarlet kept her voice firm. She needed every once of mental concentration to do what she needed to do. She wanted to ask for her favorite drink of French vermouth. Because the voices had returned. At first it was Charles ,then Frank, then Pa's Irish ranting,and a faint male voice with a Yankee accent, then a loud bang. But she knew the Wilkes only served liquor for guests when hosting a party.

Scarlet vividly remembers cursing Melanie Wilkes on a regular basis after promising Ashley she'd look after her. Now here she stood again, having to keep a promise she'd made to Melanie on her death bed, about caring for Ashley. But she could not curse Ashley, not ever. What good would it do? There was such a tumultuous mixture of emotions inside her, it almost hurt to look at him. He looked like a scarecrow, with his clothes hanging off him and disheveled blond hair. Indeed there was a God and he was cruel. Vicious enough to burden her with weak people, when there were important matters for her to attend to.

She put on a morose expression as she followed him into the study. "Ashley I know under these circumstances business is the last thing you would want to discuss, but I need you to tend to a few matters for me." Scarlet swallowed hard to control tears, then blurted out. "It seems Captain Butler has left me."

Ashley held the same expression, yet his body went rigid. At a loss for words he made a whimpering sound. But remained where he stood.

Scarlet was glad he did not reach out to hold her. Oh the many times she wanted to be in his arms, but not now. She would rather be eaten by varmits than to receive anyone's pity. She watched as Ashley stood as stoic as a maple tree and stared at the wall past her. She knew no matter how grave the circumstances a southern gentleman would never desert a woman, much less a wife.

Scarlet walked over to the desk and noticed the letter addressed to Melanie. She remembered secretly reading the letters he and Melanie had written to each other while he was away. In fact she burned a few hoping the correspondence would cease, but it only returned with a vengence. Enraged she walked over to Ashley.

"Please do something, say something. For if you don't I shall never speak to you again. Here I am alone, vunerable and fearful of the future. " Oh, Ashley, please say you will do what it is I ask of you."

He looked at her as if seeing her for the first time. Yes, he would help her, Do anything she asked, If it wasn't for her Beau would have died in childbirth and Melanie would have never recovered from her delivery complications. He would have been a useless man post war, yet she gave him a purpose.

But he dreaded she was proposing marriage. And that was something he could not do. In his heart he was still married to his beloved and would always remain so. He held his breath fearing what she would say next. He took her tiny hand in his limp one.

"I am going back to Tara as soon as I've made the necessary arrangements. You understand I need your help for I cannot do it alone. Captain Butler packed a bag and did not inform me of his whereabouts."

Ashley nodded while paying strict attention to her dictations.

"My sister's will be staying in here in my Atlanta estate. In fact Careen is here. She is in the garden with Beau and India. Shall I send for her?"

Ashley nodded. He remembered Careen as a child and had seen her through out the years. Melanie and India always spoke fondly of her. However what he saw enter the study and stand next to Scarlet was like a specter. The petite frame, the bonnet secured around the heart shaped face so much like his late wife he wanted to crumple into a ball and hide away. For it was not his Mellie, but an imitation. Fresh tears fell from his bony cheeks, yet he did nothing to wipe them.

Careen looked at Scarlet before speaking. She curtseyed and spoke in the most demure voice. "Ashley, I know how you must feel and you need your rest. I can help take care of Beau while staying here in Atlanta, for India and Aunt Pitty cannot do it by themself. " She walked over to the neatly stacked books on the shelf. She fingered through the leather binding and rested her hands on Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. "Would you be so kind as to let me borrow this? It will help me pass the time."

He and gave a small yet quick protest. "No, that was Melanie's favorite." While taking it gently from Careen he continued. "She would read parts to me after the war. It soothed me like a tonic, and kept me sane."

Careen went crimson and turned to Scarlet who was chewing her lip. Ashley returned the book to the shelf as if it were fine china. Oh if this didn't work Scarlet thought, she would be without a secondary plan. She let out a small breath.

Together they watched Ashley skim other books. He removed another titled The Tale of Two Cities and handed to Careen. "Perhaps you would like this one."

Scarlet could not hide her joy. Her dimples sank deep into her cheek as she smiled at her baby sister. She walked over to Ashley and kissed his forehead as tenderly as a newborn babies, then whispered. "Thank You."




The book continues with Bring Back The Wind VII. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.
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