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TITLE (EDIT)
The Salty Skeleton
DESCRIPTION
Haitian Voodoo
[1,000 words]
AUTHOR
Theresa C Newbill
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[May 2007]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (8)
El Gallito (The Rooster) (Short Stories) Political [745 words]
Nostradamus's Revenge (Short Stories) - [197 words]
Reflections 1 (Short Stories) - [534 words]
Residual Effect (Short Stories) - [623 words]
The Engagement (Short Stories) - [1,641 words]
The Mystic Vagabond (Short Stories) - [525 words]
Una Mañana Mas - One More Tomorrow (Short Stories) - [1,007 words]
White Horses (Short Stories) - [993 words]
The Salty Skeleton
Theresa C Newbill

A hand forged pony shoe digs out of the ground on an old logging trail in the woods of Decatur, Alabama. A black man and a white woman dance horizontally among arrant spices of herb bushes and scented vines, setting a small part of the pantomime. They are oblivious to the shrouded figures heading their way. Ten men wear the breeches of white masks. The patriarch of the group grabs the woman. She looks up and catches her breath. He takes out a hunting knife, cuts at her eyes and slices at her mouth while calling her a nigger lover. The laughter of evil is heard through the fierce recanting screams between the sobs. Each take their turn beating, spitting, cutting, penetrating her more deeply than any words. The leaves are shaken as sun bleached stones are heard hitting the black man's flesh with fatal magnitude. Blood flows over the edges of earth into the crevices of leaves. Silence lies on silence.

***

Elsa May Smith sucks on some sweet berries that have ripened in the wilderness. Her lilac perfume hangs in the ecstatic air, a paranormal souvenir of her daily visits. The battering of voodoo drums is heard from the nearby house as the day creeps down into night. Blood crosses smear the trunks of trees and a hen-cock crows.
"The spirits live as you live." Clothed from head to toe in white apparel Mamma Della emerges with cigar in hand. A barking dog at her side also announces its presence. Elsa May exhibits a bold grin on her face. " I brought you something, child." Mamma Della makes a motion with her wrist turning the object in her hand three times counter clockwise as she inhales and exhales manic puffs of smoke from her cigar. The mutt lays down quietly by her side. "This belonged to my grandmother who passed it down to me and now it's yours, three times blessed." Elsa May holds the pendant in her hands. " It's so beautiful!" Mamma Della licks her fingers and puts out the cigar. "It's made of Dendritic Quartz. It will bring the energy of the stars into your soul, heal you when you are sick, and heighten your consciousness. It will protect you from all harm. Take it child! Wear it too." Elsa May graciously accepts. Mamma Della holds Elsa May's face in her hands that show all too well her fifty years on this Earth. "Words that come out of us like words from within tie us to those we love, forever."

They begin to walk. A storm is brewing through the crying of winds, which has the mutt spooked. He takes off in a sprint ahead of them. Mamma Della laughs and looks up at the sky, "The physical world is meaningless tonight." As they approach Mamma Della's house, music from a radio plays. An old woman sits on a porch swing, the tiny sized radio at her side. She fiddles with the tuning and antenna feeling her way with her fingers. Deep scars are displayed across her face, eyes and mouth. "How is your mother doing?" Elsa May asks. Mamma Della sighs as she looks at the aged woman on the porch swing. "Dying of diabetes, dear one."

The interior corridor of the house holds a representation of Baron Samedi-The Loa of the Dead. He is wearing a top hat, black coat tails, sunglasses, and is smoking a cigar. An altar is erected in his honor with various candles, symbols, colorful beads, bells, samhain oil, and rum. Mamma Della's son, Marcos plays the voodoo drums. Elsa May gives him a knowing nod and Marcos responds with a flirtatious smile, still tapping the rhythm out on the drum.
"How far along are you?" A raspy almost unintelligible voice from behind them surfaces. It is Mamma Della's mother. Elsa May turns around and puts her hands on her stomach. "Three months." She looks back at Marcos who is in a trance still tapping on the drum. Mamma Della turns to Elsa May. "Are you ready to do this, child?" Elsa May agrees and with that they walk up the spiral staircase into a scrying room. The room is painted completely black and is empty except for a chair carefully placed in front of a large oval mirror. Mamma Della instructs Elsa May to sit. "Clear your mind and your heart, be open to the forces that will guide you." Mamma Della's mother brings an herbal drink and hands it to Elsa May. "Drink now." She says. Elsa May drinks and starts to feel her head spinning. She is nauseous. Trying to keep herself from passing out she focuses her eyes on the mirror. She dreams a little and feels the dark. Images start to appear in the mirror, and then voices. Like a film playing.

A black man and a white woman dance horizontally among arrant spices of herb bushes and scented vines.... "Nigger lover!" Elsa May's eyes widen and she whispers "Grandfather? No!" A white woman is being violently assaulted. A black man is tied to a tree. "If we let this nigger go, it won't be safe for your mother, wife, or sweetheart to walk down the streets of the South!" Each of the men take their turn stoning the black man to death. "I can't see his body." Elsa May says. "The body is no body to be seen." Mamma Della responds. "It is from the Earth he came and it is the Earth that will fate him back to us by the power of Ghede. My love, my husband." Mamma Della's mother says. Elsa May stands not noticing Marcos in the doorway, the sounds of the voodoo drums, silent. "Reincarnation. His! How is that possible?" Elsa May asks. Mamma Della moves in close to Elsa May, and places her hand on the girl's stomach. Marcos grins as Elsa May looks on in horror. The bareness of the house is filled with the breeding and bearing birth of harmony. And retribution.


 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2006 Theresa C Newbill
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
May 2007
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1541
 

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