And another prompt driven tale, and a little outside my norm. My answer to: cabin of illusion for Master Class Monday at Eat Sleep Write
"I thought you said your Aunt Merle lived in castle, Mom"
"Well, Becky, it's been a long time since I visited, maybe it just seemed bigger." Leah, peered through the windshield trying to align her memories of grandeur with the ramshackle cabin in the headlights.
Her thirteen year old daughter rolled her eyes, "So what, you were two?"
Leah ignored Becky's remark. She'd been older than two the last time she'd stayed with Aunt Merle. She'd just graduated high school and was enjoying her last summer before college. Her aunt had invited her for a two week respite from the crowded home she shared with her parents and four younger siblings.
That was twenty years ago. The classes, followed by work and a failed marriage that left her a single mother had pushed her favorite aunt to the bottom of her priority list. She been guilt ridden when she'd learned Aunt Merle had passed away. Then stunned when she found that the castle had been left to her.
So she packed her daughter and their belongings into the aging van and trekked across several states to take up residence in the place that held her happiest memories.
"Mom. Mom! Hey, are you listening?" Becky wailed. "We're not really gonna live here, are we? This place is awful!"
Leah sighed, "Give it chance. We're going to be here for a while. If it doesn't work out, I'll put it up for sale."
They exited the vehicle and climbed creaky steps to a small porch. Leah fumbled for the keys in the dark as Becky clung to her side, muttering under her breath about the lack of light. Finally unlocking the door, Leah groped for a wall switch. "Damn! I should have brought a flashlight." She shuffled carefully into the room feeling for a lamp.
An eerie glow flashed next to her eliciting a squeak of fright. "Phone, Mom. Relax."
Casting a sidelong glance at her daughter, Leah discovered and turned on a floor lamp to her left. The light revealed a cozy sitting room furnished with a plush sofa covered in colorful pillows and two comfortable looking chairs. Table lamps with glass shades occupied three end tables, one at either end of the sofa, the third between the chairs. They quickly switched them on.
"Wow!" Becky turned slowly as the light revealed a kaleidoscope of primary hues. The walls were covered with small vividly colored prints and hanging sculptures, a bright mobile of birds finished in glossy paint hung in front of a large window. Lower spaces held bookshelves filled with books and bric-a-brac. The dark hard wood floor boasted several throw rugs woven in brilliant colors.
Leah grinned at her daughter's reaction, this was the grandeur that lived in her memories. "Pretty impressive, isn't it."
"It's crazy. And...I like it!" Becky kept twirling, her eyes darting around the room, trying to take it in all at once.
"C'mon, you want to see the rest."
Becky reluctantly pulled herself away and followed her mother into the kitchen. A large overhead light illuminated lemon yellow walls. Copper bottomed pots and pans hung from hooks topped with plaster cast flowers. Glass fronted cupboards showed a collection of glass bowls and cookware in a variety of colorful patterns.
The refrigerator was awash in magnets, the range sported a gaily enamelled teapot. In one corner a polka dot cloth covered a small dining table, the two chairs padded with contrasting stripes.
The two small bedrooms were similarly drenched in color, from the bedding to framed embroidery and boldy patterned quilts. Colored photos covered a short hallway. Even the bathroom was a riot of multi-hued tiles.
"That's it Becky. Aunt Merle's cabin." Leah dropped onto the sofa beside her daughter.
Becky shifted the many pillows into a comfortable nest. "Aunt Merle's cabin? You mean our castle, right?"
Leah laughed, "Wait 'til morning, I'll show you the moat."