Lady In Red
The lightning flashed, momentarily illuminating the night sky as the curtains billowed, bowing to the increasing force of the wind. A sudden clap of thunder sounded as if it could shatter the vases of recently picked flowers. Heavy rain followed, ushering in a new season.
Poppa was fast asleep. He was rudely awakened by the storm, but Joanna was not there to fill the void she had left – just a vacuum of emptiness and sorrow. The white, feather pillow, once the recipient of her cuddles, was filled with the scent of her jasmine bath oil, which wafted over him all night as he grasped it to his chest. Memories of the love they had made on that night flooded back.
The storm continued
Poppa tossed and turned as sleep evaded him, and he eventually decided to have a hot, soapy shower in the hope that it would make him feel drowsy. He walked to the window and peered outside. Everything was deserted.
Thirty minutes later, Poppa still stood there looking at the relentless rain as it soaked the vegetation. In the distance, two horsemen were approaching on black and white stallions. They spurred the horses onwards as they talked.
For fear of detection, Poppa retreated into the shadowy room, but still watched as they advanced, the horses rearing up and filling him with fear. He could not see the riders clearly, but made out armour, helmets, and the usual weapons. Although slightly built, the horsemen drained Poppa’s confidence as he stood watching, hardly daring to breathe.
On approaching, the riders and their steeds were bathed in the bright light from a single light bulb attached to a tall pine tree and Poppa saw them clearly at last – they were the Ku Klux Klan