I think I'm enjoying writing this book more than anything I've tried so far. It has been a challenge. The Voodoo religion, rituals and beliefs have been fascinating, and the more I learn the more my characters become real to me. I can only hope that I carry this forward throughout the book. Comments and critques welcome.
Setup: Catherine is with a Conjure man and his granddaughter. Tonight she will be initiated into the Voodoo religion, which she has discovered was her own religion and that her mother was a conjure woman.
Catherine felt the fear slowly change to anger. "Wait just a minute," she yelled, reaching out to grab Aureole by the arm and whip her around. "So that's why you've been treating me like crap, you blame me for your life?"
Aureole tried to jerk loose, but Catherine held on tight. "At least you had your
grandfather. He and your little community didn't do me any favors when they sent me off with the Mansfields. I didn't have anyone. They treated me like a leper, and that shed your grandfather lives in is a three bedroom ranch compared to the hole they stuck me in. So if anybody has a reason to be mad here it's me. Why didn't they give me back to my mother?"
"I thought they did." Aureole searched her face, seeing the truth. "Everyone told me your mother went away taking you with her."
Catherine shook her head. "I don't think I ever saw my mother again."
"Li se tan."
"Grandpa says it's time."
"Ask him to give us a minute, please."
"Yon minit, papa."
Catherine watched as the old man went back inside the shed. "Tell me what's going to happen now."
"You will drink, and then you will dream. Your dreams will take you to the spirit world. I cannot tell you more. Each journey is different. It would be easier if you were still a child. It is more difficult for them to trap a child."
"So you went through this?"
Aureole nodded. "We were supposed to go through it together. That way I could help you if you needed a translator. Some of the spirits still speak the old language."
"So you're a conjure woman?"
"Not yet. I am still in training. When Grandpa passes I will take his place in the community."
"Aureole, I'm not sure I want to be a conjure woman."
Aureole touched her arm, her eyes filled with sympathy. "We don't get to choose our path. It was chosen for us before we were even born. I'm sorry for what we both have been through. We are blood sisters, remember?" Aureole held up her thumb showing a tiny scar. Catherine lifted her hand, examining her own thumb and the same tiny scar. "You mama was very angry with us because we took the knife." Aureole grinned, her eyes peering into the distance as she remembered. "And because you bled like a stuck pig."
Catherine swiped at the tears. "I don't remember anything. I think that's worse than living with the Mansfields."
Aureole placed an arm around her. "Come, I will stay with you. We will fight your demons together, and then perhaps you will remember."
Catherine walked with her back to the shed. If Aureole spoke the truth then perhaps she would remember. Or perhaps she would die.