Gust of Wind, Andreas Segovia

Mad Ida Loved the Wind

by Seonaid Lennox

People still think they see Ida up on Vickery Hill whenever there's some kind of lightning storm. Think she's up there, naked to the rain and wind, arms stretched out cross-like, and long blond hair flyin'. I stopped tellin' them it weren't her. Mostly 'cause they don't listen and want to think she's there anyways. Gives 'em something to gossip about. Something to scare the kids with. I know Ida's not there 'cause I seen her walkin' outta town the other way. I never told anyone that part though. They'd just go find her, bring her back, and lock her up again. And that's not gonna help anyone, least of all Ida.

She never changed her story, not once. Loved to tell it too, just like everyone else like's to tell stories 'bout their loved ones. "Mr. Hollis, did I tell you about my special friend?"

She always started that way. Called me Mr. Hollis. My name's Hollis Green, but she called me Mr. Hollis, and talked to me just as if she was talkin' to them fancy white ladies at the country club, not some old Black field worker on her daddy's farm. Sure as the sun comes up each morning, nobody ever bothered that Ida used to seek me out to talk to, 'cause they thought better me than them. Most people didn't like Ida; those country club ladies hated her.

"It was the barn door banging back and forth that woke me up, banging like it was calling my name."

She always laughed at that.

"But that's just silly isn't it. Anyway, Mr. Hollis, it was just strange. I went out to close that banging door, and that old hoot owl that lives up in the barn just stared down at me from the roof like he was expecting me. I latched it and when I was going back inside the wind just grabbed me up from behind and blew me clear out into the field."

Ida said the wind wrapped 'round her and lay her down, not lettin' her up.

"Can you imagine that? Small little gusts of wind undoing the ties of my nightgown, blowing it down and exposing my breasts to the night air. I was nearly naked, and I couldn't move. That old wind just kept me right there."

I always asked her -- at about this point in her story -- if surely she must have been dreaming. "Oh no, Mr. Hollis," she'd say, all offended like. Ida says she was forced over face down, her nightgown blown up and her legs lifted and spread. Now that would surely have been a sight.

"I was taken against my will. It was not my first time Mr. Hollis. I let that Lester Purdue put his thing in me a time or two, so I knew, I knew what it felt like. This was in me everywhere, filling me up and blowing across every inch of skin I have. Hot and cold, hard and soft, and sneaky, finding every avenue to get inside and fill me up. And Mr. Hollis, I have never been fuller. I never reached my peak with Lester Purdue, Lord knows Lester did, but this wind just kept blowing at me everywhere and I could not help myself. I believe I saw stars before I fell back to the ground. Next thing I knew it was morning and I could hear you boys coming through the fields and I surely did not want to be found out there. As soon as I got up on my hands and knees looking for some place to hide, my Wind was back behind me, pushing in and riding me relentlessly. I simply could not move."

Ida told me her story a lot of times. Always the same, never changed a thing, and always ending it right there. "Wind's coming," she'd say, and turn with a little smile and a wink, like it was somehow our secret.

We were just headin' out early to the fields that morning, and we heard Ida before we seen her. Of course we didn't know it was her at first, but a man didn't need to have visited the whores on Canal Street to know what caused that sorta moaning. We were real surprised to find Ida over the rise; more surprised to find she was there by herself.

She was facing us on her hands and knees, nightgown twisted like a dirty rope 'round her waist. Naked but for that. Now, we were not men of the world, some had never seen a woman in the all together before, never mind a white woman, so we had a real good look see. Ida was all pale skin, pink folds, yellow hair everywhere, and near covered in mud. Her ripe little peach tits were hanging down, nipples all hard and drippin' mornin' dew. She was rockin' back and forth, eyes shut, mouth open, legs spread and shaking. There was no doubt, and not a limp dick between the four of us, that this woman was comin', and comin' hard.

It was windy in that low scoop of land. I sure didn't notice it much then, but thinking back, I recall that it was. Ida just kinda fell over then, and we stood there lookin' at her, our turn for mouths hangin' open.

We decided we'd better get her back to the big house before anyone came along and suspected somethin' else. We didn't do nothing though, didn't touch her anymore then it took to unravel that dirty nightgown, cover her up as best we could, and cart her back home. People round here thought the devil'd found Ida after that. They went from tryin' to beat it outta her to just lockin' her up. Ida got smart though. Realized if she wanted to be out runnin' round she was gonna have to keep her mouth shut and her skirts down round her knees where they belonged. Nobody'd talk to her, most would cross the street just to get away from her. Afraid the devil might find them I suppose. And I suppose that's why Ida'd come lookin' for me out in the fields. Least I'd listen to her, sometimes just so's I could get a break from workin'. But listen I did.

"You don't think I'm crazy do you Mr. Hollis?"

"No Miss Ida, I do not," I'd say. Then she'd tell me her story, just like every time before that.

"I love the Wind Mr. Hollis. And the Wind loves me."

"I know he does Miss Ida. Told me so himself just last night." That always made her smile.

Ida told me she was going to leave with the Wind one day, travel with him round the world. I didn't doubt her one bit.

I don't think her old papa ever got over the sight of his darlin' lily-white daughter being carried in the arms of four Black field hands, so each night he'd lock her in this little house thing they'd built for her. She'd made so much fuss tryin' to get outta her room in the big house, wakin' everyone up all the time, that it was better for them to stick her out where they couldn't hear her.

All that kickin' and hollerin' to get out'll soon wear down who's got to listen to it and that's how I know that's not her on Vickery Hill, 'cause I watched her walk away down that road. I let her out one night, let her out to blow around the world.

"Thank you Mr. Hollis," she said. "The Wind thanks you."

"I'm sure he does Miss Ida." I said. And off she went. Never looked back.

That was some years ago now. Long ago enough for Ida to become a bit of a story. Mad Ida they call her, say she hides up on the hill, scarin' folks every chance she gets.

Also say it ain't near as windy round here as it used to be.

©2002 by Seonaid Lennox

Seonaid Lennox lives in Toronto and is an Assistant Editor at Slow Trains.

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