Sunday, February 3, 2013
the house on the bayou: a very very short story
the rain falls thunderously...like a round of clapping angels. the spanish moss...dripping, like freshly washed witch's hair. destined to be wet, the swamps smell of dampened life. the swamp livens with insects chirping, snakes hissing...things moving. water gets disturbed...splashes that leave you wondering what's lurking beneath...
there in the underrated beauty, the marriage of greenery and liquid quiet...lies the easiness of life. the slow rolling of the day...pots brewing, perfuming the air with the smells of gumbo...or perhaps mumbo jumbo. see, every pot isn't boiling over with shrimp etouffee. some pots...cauldrons, even...are where remedies steep. things hand-picked from the very waters that seemingly walk at night in mysterious myth and rooted belief...the watery, translucent form of the mind's fears.
there in the lost paradise of the creole...lies caradean's shanty. painted pretty in mauve with white trim, that's turned gray in the moist air. shutters hang on by rusted nails committed to the facade of a sweet neighborly haven. some would dare to be drawn to the uncharacteristically breath-taking pots of perennials that line the pier leading to caradean's front door screened in by a small sitting area that looks frighteningly normal. they just might regret it, though.
if one were to knock...they'd be greeted by the small framed woman of 53...still youthful in her rounded face and features. the contrast...her whitened hair and a contorted body, bent like the branches that hover over her one story shack. perhaps the reaping of spells cast that marched their way back to her door in the middle of the night after her protective candle had blown itself out.if one were to enter caradean's place...they'd see a world of difference in comparison to the unassuming look of homeyness outside. hanging everywhere are herbs and plants...some dried and others growing and moving. jars of preserved parts. books old with yellowing and rippling
pages...fighting the binds...written things eager to dance off the page and into the spirits of whomever dare to sit at caradean's table.
"what i'm gone do for you, child?" she may ask. be quick to speak, for when a pause is introduced...it's all the moment she needs to read your REAL intentions. your heart's true worries and desires...
"oh, you want a mojo? you want a MAN...you want him bad. hahaha...i got somethin' for you..." she'd say. after rustling through the old and shiny mahogany box beside her...she'd pull out all manners of things. stones, feathers, dried root...even pieces of metal. some thing to give you a spiritual placebo.
see...she's just an herbologist. she's an acupuncturist. she's a spiritually adept and psychically connected creole woman. past that...she's fooled herself into believing her spells work. she's convinced herself that her magic is black with deliberate fingers that prod it's intended. the truth is, she's bent from the loneliness, the life of a pariah, ousted for her beliefs and love of all things supernatural. so when she hands you over the stone that reacts naturally to your clinched fist. or the root that naturally soothes, or that concoction made from focus and less, hocus...she's really just giving you the power. you walk away...into the bog's air with hope and conviction...and your future changes just because of caradean's house. the house on the bayou.
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