I am going down the table of contents in my Ray Bradbury anthology to get my stories for each month and for April, the next story is coincidentally “The April Witch”; however, I posted about this story back in 2012 so I went to the next story “The Wilderness”.
A lesser writer would tempt me to say that this story is the same-old same-old. Janice and Leonora pack up their things the night before leaving Earth to live with their husbands on Mars. It’s not a surprising storyline from Ray Bradbury. His ability, though, to paint this passing from one world to another as comparable to death gives an added touch of fear and wonder to the ladies’ pending trip. A fear and wonder that also describes outer space, itself:
Now, with the closet door wide, with darkness like a velvet shroud hung before her to be stroked by a trembling hand, with the darkness like a black panther breathing there, looking at her with unlit eyes, the two memories rushed out. Space and a falling. Space and being locked away, screaming. She and Leonora working steadily, packing, being careful not to glance out the window at the frightening Milky Way and the vast emptiness. Only to have the long-familiar closet, with its private night, remind them at last of their destiny.
If I had to pick the better story, it would be the fantasy-laden “The April Witch”, but if one has the chance to read “The Wilderness”, don’t pass it up.