Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The April Witch by Ray Bradbury

**(out of four stars)


It takes years for some of us to find it.  For others it's as easy as breathing.  Some never find it.  But all of us eventually need it.

For Cecy, love isn't an easy thing to acquire.  She wants it so badly.  It's her only true wish.  But she's not one of us.  She's different.  She's a witch  A witch from an odd family, with parents that warn her never to marry normal folk because she will lose her ability to travel by magic.  Cecy's ambition and desire to find her one true love out weigh the possible consequences for disobeying her parents.

She takes flight into the Illinois spring.  She will find love vicariously through someone else. Her ability to transform into anything will help her in her quest.  She spots a young, beautiful woman standing at a water well.  As a leaf, she falls into the dark well.  From there she's a water droplet, being raised back into the light by her future female vehicle.  The girl drinks Cecy; her plan begins to blossom.

Ann Leary is the host.  And when Tom rolls up in his truck, she's not pleased to see him.  We're not exactly sure why, but Ann shows very little interest in Tom even though he seems to be over the moon for her.  Meanwhile, Cecy is controlling her thoughts.  The moment she sees Tom she knows he's the one for her.  Tom asks her to the dance but Ann refuses.  Inside, Cecy is going nuts, but her hold on Ann remains. Eventually, she caves in and agrees to go to the dance.

Tom realizes that his chances with Ann are very slim.  Cecy, however, decides that her chances are pretty good.  She uses Ann to get a future date by scribbling her address on a piece of paper.  Tom agrees that, one day, he'll visit the girl who really loves him.

So, will Cecy find love?  She's odd, and will lose her magical powers if she falls for ordinary folk.  To never experience love is her biggest fear.  She also realizes that the ones who have the ability to love freely take advantage of it.

Why is Tom and Ann's relationship strained?  They're young with a long life ahead of them.  Why is she so resistant to him?

Although I found myself asking this question while reading the full 8 pages of this story, I quickly came to the realization that it really doesn't matter.  This is Cecy's story and Cecy's alone.  She's nothing like the rest of the girls.  She's gifted, magical, and truly unique.  Yet, she's prohibited from normal love.  The only other question would remain:  What if Tom had the ability to see her for who she is?  Would he love her back?  His love with Ann isn't reciprocated.  Would he act that same way towards Cecy?

They say love is blind.

I feel as though Tom and Cecy would do just fine.  True love has no boundaries, rules or prejudices.

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