Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Summer is gone...a teaser for the back to school blues!
Happy Tuesday! I'm super busy this week with school starting for my little ones and working on my current project. I've posted another teaser to Voodoo Moon. I can't get blogger to publish this without screwing up the format so I apologize if there are any strange spacings. Have a fun week!
Nuzzles and hugs,
Excerpt from Voodoo Moon
The wolf licked his chops under the cover of a wide palm tree. He panted against
the humidity while watching a storm cloud race across the full moon and then another,
blowing over the object that kept him a beast.
The moon glow was blocked for a few seconds until the next cloud rolled over it,
casting eerie shadows, black moving spots on his glistening fur. It had rained all
afternoon, the winds growing stronger minute by minute. A storm was raging. A big
He bolted to the edge of the rain forest, slowing his gait where the lawn began.
Trotting to a fountain, he gazed at the great house, watched the flickering yellow lights from the downstairs window and when he was sure no one was watching, took a long drink while rain slicked down his fur, in thick, tight gray bands. When he was satisfied, he moved closer, darting between trees, noting the size of many he’d helped to plant as saplings, enormous now. He’d been gone forever.
Something sinister crept along his spine. He shook his fur, from his head to his
tail. Now all spiky wet, the heated rain clung to him, much like the darkness reaching with grasping fingers, reaching for the deep ache that filled his soul since her death.
Dread filled his heart.
He stopped in his tracks, looked behind him, and sniffed the rain.
She was with him in spirit. Her voice echoed in his mind, taking him back in
time. Back to that fateful night. A night much like tonight, stormy and dark, brimming with dread, fear, loss looming in the distance like wicked fate.
He could smell her tangy, warm skin, feel her soft lips on his own, her tongue
tangling with his, whispering his name when he danced inside of her. One last time.
He closed his eyes, let the rain pelt him, cool him. The image of her atop him,
loving him in their slave home. A shack. They owned nothing, but they had one another
and that had been enough. He growled, snapped his eyes open, and sprinted to the back
of the great house on whispery feet. He could see people inside. White people. Three
men and a woman, seated in a circle on the floor. Candles blazed on the floor, and in the center he saw the witch’s dress. His heart pumped with rage. That red ruby dress that she always wore. Night and day. In the morning while shouting orders from her balcony, cursing the slaves, laughing to herself. She wore it in the afternoon when she walked the fields with her whip. And in the night when she called the men to her rooms.
She ate in that dress, slept in it, and bedded many a good slave in that hideous garment.
It all came flooding back to him. Like a blanket of lovely and horrid memories,
stitched together, numbering his days. Days spent with Daisy. The day she’d stepped
foot on Rose Hall in chains. The day that changed his life and his heart forever. She had given him hope when he’d had none. But there was always the White Witch-screaming, cursing, demanding, torturing, and killing if she so desired. From a young age, slavery was all he’d known. But it had not always been that way. His own people sold him, and he’d brought a pretty price. He always had his magick. A form of security. He thought it would help him survive, and it had, but it had not saved Daisy.
He watched the woman rise, cross to the windows, and pick up a bottle of liquor.
The wolf stomped. He cocked his head to the side, studying her. Was Annie alive? He
had no doubt she’d instructed a houngan to raise her upon her death. Her face was the
same, yet different. So lovely still, but it held something else. Goodness? Joviality?
Had she changed for the better? Was she no longer wicked in heart? He could not
imagine it. She had been so evil, so cold. Never would she really know true love. Her
soul was too black. He’d seen her true reflection. A beast had shown in the mirror, a
sign of the blackest soul. No, this was not Annie. This woman wore spectacles. A
mambo would never have to.
Strong gale force winds whipped over the stalks of the sugar cane, creating an
ominous whistling sound.
The wolf flattened his ears against the assault to his sensitive ear drums. Blinding
rain came all at once, in buckets, drowning out the faint human voices he was listening to. He’d heard the woman say Annie’s name. The three men were laughing, drinking, and smoking cigars. He could smell the smoke, reminding him that there were indeed worldly things he had missed while in the grave.
He noticed all the windows had been boarded up except for one, but the board
was waiting to be nailed, now knocking against the house. He’d remembered only one
such storm, and he’d been the one to board up the windows for Annie, but there was no
shelter for the slaves. All of their homes had been destroyed, one hundred and forty
slaves had drowned and many more were left clinging to the tops of palm trees. Rose
Hall was built high off the ground to sustain such an act of God, but the straw huts had no chance. He remembered that Annie had four slaves held in the dungeon at the time. She released them to make room for her dogs. She cared more for dogs than she did the men that worked her fields. They were replaceable pieces of property.
The wolf snorted in anger at the thought as he rounded the great house to
investigate further. Even the windows on the front had been boarded. The wind was
harsher from the front, so he retreated back to the rear, head bent, finding it difficult to walk at all, and impossible to run in such winds. He found shelter behind an enormous planter only a foot from the back window left unboarded. He’d take his chances. He doubted anyone inside would open the door to such a ferocious storm. He could make out the voices again and laid his head down between his paws to keep from being detected.
Watching through the foggy panes, he saw the woman spreading out the red dress,
smoothing the wrinkles before she sat Indian style across from it. She motioned to the men, and they joined her, forming a circle, laughing and drinking. He watched a bald painted man take a swig and pass a jug around. Never had he seen a painted white man.
He’d only seen African men wear tribal paint. And their clothes. The woman wore skin
tight trousers and a thin shirt that left nothing to the imagination. Most odd. The men were dressed like her. What struck him as beyond strange was the scarf on her head.
Like slave women. Daisy wore them, but he’d never seen a white woman wear a scarf,
and it was decorated with bones. What kind of priestess had evolved in this new world?
It was as if she did nothing to hide her involvement with the spirits. Even Annie was
very discreet about her black magick.
“Let’s hold hands. This is her dress. I’m going to call out to her. See if I
can get ‘er to show up,” Tammie announced.
“Oh she’ll show up, mate,” Ike said. “She’s not the shy type at all.”
“You’re full of it, mate,” Hunter shot back. “You saw a bloody ghost in the
dungeon. Yeah, right. Some hot chic in a red dress walked through the mirror and you
didn’t shag her?”
The men exploded in laughter. “Very funny. Stop yer flim-flam,” Tammy said
dryly. “Annie’s not gonna take kindly to ya making fun of her.”
“Whose making fun of her? Ike didn’t see a bloody thing. He’s just got jet lag
and was day dreaming about some dolly is all.”
“Call her up, Tam! Let’s prove this lady is haunting this old house. She’s here,
mate! I’ll show ya. How much you want to bet?”
“No bets! Bee-ave! Now everyone concentrate. Hold hands, close your eyes,
and I’ll do the talking.”
“If some bloody ghost walks in here, I’m staying at the resort,” Pyro announced.
“You scared, Py?” Tammie asked.
“I don’t do ghosts.”
The living room erupted again in raucous laughter.
“I feel right ramped! Should we be calling on the dead while rat arsed?” Pyro
asked, lighting another cigar. “Does the ghost care if I smoke?”
“I don’t think Annie will mind. Take my hand, Py. Close your eyes.”
Pyro grumbled something under his breath and then completed the circle.
Tammie had lined candles along the hem and the neckline.
“Annie Palmer, my ancestor, we call out to ya in peace and love.”
Rain pelted the back window. The wind howled.
“Christ, could you ask for a scarier night to raise the dead?” Py asked, visibly
“Shhh. Put a sock in it, Py! I’m making peace with the spirit. Not asking ‘er to
Pyro released her hand to take another puff on his cigar and then held it in his
teeth, keeping one eye open. “Sorry, luv. ‘Ave a go at it. Make yer peace.”
Tammie sighed, cleared her throat, and began again.
“We only ask that you allow us to live in peace with you while in yer home. We
respect yer need to share Rose Hall and hope you’ll welcome us.”
Hunter stifled a laugh. Tammie squeezed his hand and shot him a warning glare.
“Nothing’s ‘appening, doll. Do you think she’s gone?”
Ike only stared at him. He knew she wasn’t a figment of his imagination.
“Bugger off if you blokes ain’t serious. I’ve seen her with me own two eyes. I don’t
want the lady pissed at me.”
Pyro yawned as the winds raged outside. “Are we done here? I’m shagged out.
Totally cabbaged. I could really do with a kip.”
“But we’re not done,” Tammie whined.
“I’m done, luv. This is a load of old cack. Wasn’t the lady a big ole’ slag?
Knocking the slaves and then murdering them? G’night, Annie. Try not to haunt me
tonight,” Pyro added, rising to retire.
Tammie stood with her hands on her hips. “Naff off then! You spoiled all this!”
“You’re a right nutter, Py! You don’t want to ‘ave this dead dolly show up late at
night,” Ike added, rising to refill his drink.
Hunter stuttered something inaudible from the floor, back handing Ike’s leg,
vying to get his attention.
Ike turned and dropped his glass.
Standing before them all was the dress. The candles had been knocked sideways.
Tammie gasped, then bent to pick them up, still staring up at the dress floating as
if someone were standing in it. The temperature in the room plummeted.
Hunter struggled to get up, tripping on the rug, then moved away from the
“Annie?” Tammie asked.
And then she showed herself.
Pyro yelled when she looked straight through him, her emerald eyes blazing.
Pictures hanging on the walls rattled as the winds howled and rain pelted the
Color drained into her phantom features, making her appear as human as any of
them. She flew down to the floor, and, though she had feet and wore antique shoes, she moved as if on rails, zooming toward Pyro with one finger outstretched, pointing at him.
She opened her mouth, and the charm around her neck glowed brightest ruby red. The
scream was deafening, strident, and wicked, an evil howl, full of hate and misery.
Tammie clung to Ike and Hunter, sobbing, afraid she’d done something she could
Raging terror filled the house. Sadness and dread seeped into the walls, echoing,
bouncing back and forth. Fear gripped them all. A fear none of them had ever
experienced or even knew could exist. All of them were struggling to breathe.
Tammie fell over, gasping, reaching for her throat. Ike fell. Then Hunter. All of
them choking and spitting when the ghost spilled into Pyro’s body and disappeared.
He went mad with fright, running down the halls, back and forth, screaming like a
woman. His voice was gone, and in its place was Annie’s shrieking-cursing them all,
warning them, ordering them to leave. Possessed, crazed beyond reason, Pyro ran into
the kitchen and came back, sprinting towards the others lying on the floor unconscious.
Held high over his head was a machete. It was so quick. Milliseconds of glass breaking, flying, rain, and hurricane force winds blew onto the Persian carpet, peeling it off the floor as the wolf leapt through the window and hurled himself at Pyro.
At that instant, the phantom released Pyro, flying out of his body, turning to face
her old enemy.
He jumped on her throat but fell straight through to the floor with a loud thump.
She spoke to the wolf without speaking as he growled, barring his fangs.
Get out of my house! Go back to your grave!
The wolf responded telepathically. You’re dead. I’m not!
Annie only stared, studying him before she turned, walked into the wall, and
The humans awoke gagging, coughing, spitting, and Pyro stood there frozen,
holding an ancient murder weapon, white and in shock when the wolf fled from where he
came, back out the window and into the raging storm.
Annie's Tomb and Family Portrait Below