Woo-wee! Is there anything better than a day when the writing is on fire? Yes — how about TWO days of it! My short story concept Voodoo You Love is coming out of my gray matter faster than my fingers can type and man does it feel good! A big shout out to #BarrySkelhorn at #Sanitarium Magazine for the terrific writer’s prompt which put the idea into my head and is quickly becoming the most fun short story I’ve worked on in a long, long time. Here’s an excerpt (please ignore the lack of indentation, WordPress does away with them when I copy/paste text into the blog):
“Now chile, dis here is strong magic,” the old priestess said, the words came out stretched like only bayou folk can speak them – chiiile and straaawng. “Strong magic here, oh yes.” She raised a closed fist to her lips and huffed into it, blowing a cloud of reddish-brown powder across the flickering candles before her. A searing flash filled the stifling hot shack, and the sharp metallic odor of iron pierced the air. The old woman stared up at the dark ceiling where the flame shadows danced, her milky white eyes wandering blindly, and held out a primitive-looking contraption with gnarled black hands. “G’on now, take it.”
Lily Girard hesitated. It was an ugly thing, just over a foot tall at its peak with a triangular base, a bastardized open-frame pyramid made of sticks and roots and chewed leather and God knows what else — bones, she was sure – all held together with grass and probably the gut strings of some sacrificial animal. A devil’s trap, she thought it was called. She’d seen such things before in shops in the Quarter; not the tourist trap shops, but the ones the locals frequented. The secret back rooms where practitioners of the true dark arts shopped for their wares. But there was something base about this one; something primeval, something vile.
Her stomach turned at the thought of touching it.
The old woman shoved it toward her again, gesturing for her to take it. Their fingers brushed in the exchange, and Lily cringed. The priestess grinned and let out a hoot, her blind eyes rolling back in their sockets.
“Afraid, you are,” she cackled. “I can feel it. That’s good. If you wasn’t, I’d stop all dis now.” She reached back and felt around on the table behind her, landing on a bone-handled knife with a pitted, rusty blade. Maybe not rust. Maybe dried blood. Lily’s stomach wavered again. The woman pointed the blade toward the thing in Lily’s hands.
“Put dat down now an’ give me yo’ hand, chile.”
Too afraid to do otherwise, Lily set it down on the dirt floor in front of her, next to the wooden altar that held the offerings for the one they were to conjure: a bottle of fine spiced rum with a shot already poured; a fat Cuban cigar; an antique gold pocket watch. An expensive bounty that’d cost Lily over half her meager savings. She held her right hand out over them and the woman grasped it, squeezing and groping, then shoved it away with a huff.
“Now what I gonna do wit’ dat? Ain’t no magic to be worked on yo’ good hand. Gimme de other one. Yo’ bad one.”
So….voodoo YOU love? Post your comments here!