So you can read my books

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

E is for ERZULIE as in Voodoo Frowns on Party Crashers!

{When last we left Victor and Alice in the Quadroon post, they had been flicked back to the year 1834 by the eerie supernatural entity, DayStar, like you or I would brush away knats}

The blood moon leered down on Alice and me through thick, silent mists snaking above us. The mists were the only things silent across the grassy courtyard.

Drums beat wild rhythms as rocking black men chanted, their wide eyes glazed over. In the shadows of the huge bonfire, black dancers wheeled about, long machetes flashing in their fists.

I was so scared it felt like my skin was about to leap off me and do the Mambo with my skeleton. I knew where we were from pictures in that book on voodoo in early New Orleans:

Congo Square, across Rampart Street from the French Quarter. But a very primitive French Quarter.

I reached out and took Alice’s ice-cold right hand. My heart calmed. With her at my side, I could take on monsters.

With the musk of sweat, alcohol, and hate heavy in the humid night air, Alice whispered in that odd British accent of hers, “Victor, we are in serious jeopardy here.”

Now, when a flesh-eating ghoul says she’s afraid, even a mongrel like me knows that life has just hit a new high in low-down.

The drums suddenly stopped. And every wild eye turned to us.

I winked at her. “You think?”

A tall woman, her black face glowing with deadly grace, spoke soft, yet it carried out across the dancers and slithering snakes on the grass.

But none of them equaled the boa across her shoulders.

“You two do not belong here.”

Alice murmured, “Look at Marie Laveau, Victor. She is such a striking woman.”

I grinned crooked, “Even without the snake.”

A small, crooked old man limped to us. “She be right.”

He turned to Alice, his voice gaining an edge. “’Specially you, nzumbe.”

I stiffened. “That’s Myth Nzumbe to you, Fright Face.”

Alice lips got tight. “Is everything a jest to you, Victor?”

I gave her icy hand a squeeze.

“Never you, Alice. But you can’t let monsters see you sweat.”

Alice rose a prim and proper eyebrow. “I never sweat.”

The old man limped closer. “You be half-dead, now, Miss Nzumbe. Soon you be all dead.”

I shook my head. “Don’t count on it, Legba.”

He stepped back an inch. “You know me?”

“I know of you.”

“Then, you knows how powerful I be. I be the origin of life!”

I snorted. “Get real. That would be Elohim. And I’m pretty sure you’re not Him.”

Legba husked, “So sure are you?”

I nodded to the squirming reptiles on the grass.

“Pretty sure. He’s not real fond of snakes.”

He cackled, “But Erzulie is, and she be right behind you, boy. Erzulie, loa of Love and Death.”

I turned to face the tall black woman with scars on her face and smiled,

“That’s a new look for you, Mother.”

“No, child. ‘Dis face be veeery old. And you be in bad trouble.”

I winked at her and copied her accent, “Dat be an veery old story, Mother."



  1. Wow, the snakes and the scars made this piece very visual. I almost pictured that corner in old New Orleans.

  2. Roland,

    I LOVED the line with his skin dancing the mambo with his skeleton!

    Excellent excerpt!

    Don't forget your book is featured at my blog today!

  3. The Desert Rocks:
    What is sad is that the Square truly existed and was one of the few forms of "escape" for slaves -- even then they were oggled by the whites during the day. Glad you enjoyed this snippet!

    How kind of you. I'm heading there right now.

  4. Victor is always in trouble. Excellent piece, Roland.

  5. Alex:
    That's Victor: always in the thick of it. But if your hero is having a good time, your reader is having a bad one!

  6. I like learning more about Marie Laveau. Voodoo may be frowned upon, but it is part of the history of certain cultures.

    Very nice sample. I like Victor's resilience. I will also go check out Michael's blog and comment.

    Thanks for replying to Julie about the audio books and littles kids.

  7. Hi Roland .. great descriptive piece - and there must be so much history from time immemorial, to recent challenging times (The Square) .. and now Victor's mother ...

    Mary Laveau's story - what a great video .. that taught me loads - or gave me major insights!

    I thoroughly enjoyed that snippet .. cheers Hilary

  8. D.G.:
    Victor had to learn resilience early. His sense of humor helps!

    There is quite a bit of history and mythology surrounding Marie Laveau. Replying to Julie only seemed courteous to such a delightful visitor.

    New Orleans is a mysterious lady with quite a past - some of it heartbreaking, all of it dramatic in some form or fashion. I'm happy you enjoyed this little snippet. :-)

  9. Awesome excerpt, Roland. Erzulie is a favorite of mine. Her incarnations really capture the feminine...uh... mystique? Love and beauty. Jealousy and laziness. ;)

    VR Barkowski

  10. Thanks, Jeremy:
    With Victor, trouble is always to follow! :-)

    I knew you liked Erzuli -- which made me smile when I posted this snippet!