"July to Justine"
Vera reached for a braided tassel that secured the heavy brocade of Aunt Elsie's rose-flocked drapes to heavy molding popularly demanded by the century Villa Destine de la Remarque reigned supremely through. Its formal gardens she noted with relief had melded into wilds of Squire Forest's border preserve. The ghost of a pheasant taking flight from huddled shadows of hunters crouched hauntingly against sprawling tree trunks rustled leaves high above the dense undergrowth of mosses and ferns as she evaluated familial fields for seasonal wear and repair calls to be detailed for the ever-ready Anoraca crew of green thumbs and craft hands. In a compatriot bow to contemporary realities their women and children now plunged alongside colorfully into annual rites for oft-rehearsed routine renewal of land and lake tasks.
Vera pushed open the finely-paned double doors wide to welcome October, still moist from yesterday's storm, inside.
"That feels divine," Otis breathed appreciatively as he crossed on stepstones of Persian carpets to his black velveteen divan beside the gas log fire.
"It is," Vera agreed in her path for the brushed satin settee facing her brother. From the teakwood knitting cradle nearby she retrieved a nearly-complete sweater of locally textured alpaca yarns. Otis slid Elsie's autoharp toward him and strummed randomly for sharing their early evening reverie.
"Dear?" Vera looked up suddenly. "Isn't that the chorus of our wedding song?"
Otis hummed the familiar "I'll be true to you" folk tune as his sister joined in with gentle harmony.
"Winter white and wind will be upon us soon," she shivered slightly to recall.
"Ah, yes," he grinned. "But I'll have the sweater."
Felicity slithered over the wood flooring to strike a feline pose of curled content before flames arching toward their star-strewn skylight.
Vera bent to the dayglow needles flashing in twilight falling around them to seive through all the familiar old windows of Villa Destine.
"You will," she agreed.
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