The Ladies of the Night

By Tiber

I was having a nightmare at around 3 in the morning, where I’d lost both my job and my relationship. Then I realized I was awake, it was all true and that another reason I felt so down was because I could hear “St. James Infirmary” being played on a recorder on the other side of my wall. Louis Armstrong or no, that is one depressing song.

In a house where the term “odd person” carries some weight, my Aunt April is one of the oddest. She’s my father’s sister and though you tend to forget about her, she’s actually lived with us for a long time.

She has her own rooms on the third floor near me but her meals are brought up and she hardly ever ventures out.

She’s not elderly but her shoulder-length hair has gone white and when you do suddenly bump into her in the middle of the night, your first thought is that somehow, Lucius Malfoy, that Harry Potter nemesis, has teleported in.

You’d think at least hearing her play music would be reassuring but all I can ever think about is that somebody played a recorder on the other side of the wall in “Rosemary’s Baby” too, so that’s not exactly comforting either.

Maybe tonight she’s entertaining the unknown old woman from the attic, who Mom saw once and then never again. I guess it would be sort of nice if, while padding soundlessly down the halls in the dark, the two house recluses somehow found each other and struck up a friendship. Of course, with two of them joining forces, they might end up making all sorts of crazy-ass demands. They could win too. Unlike the tooth fairy, who sneaks into your room in the night and leaves you money for candy, these two can tip-toe into your room and just steal your candy.

We all have our theories about why Aunt April started  living her life as a recluse in the first place. Iris Nell thinks she was left at the altar like that Dickens’ character, Miss Havisham. But Duncan still insists it’s because she shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die, refusing to this day to admit that that’s really a Johnny Cash lyric.

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