Victorine sat placidly on her chaise lounge chair, long legs gently tapping to a silent beat. It was almost as if she had not a care in this world....
Big Nainan had just passed not two weeks ago. Sarah Ida Jean- Batiste was a powerhouse of a woman...a pillar of strength for her family as well as neighbors. She was a saintly woman who didn't mind helping folks who were down bad. A good, kind hearted soul who fed lowly dogs and men, for she could never turn a soul down, because she was gifted. Big Nainan was a great conjurer as well. She had the gift. It had been passed to her from her mother, the stoic Jean Marie.
After decades of blessing those who were fortunate to know her, Big Nainan was diagnosed with Dementia. She quickly became another self, becoming confused. One day, while preparing her parlor room for one of her visits from Mr. Charles, Victorine noticed her grandmother's ways. A visit to a neurologist, and it was confirmed. In a matter of months, this once powerful woman became a helpless little girl. A child.
The end of days came swiftly for Big Nainan. Her passing swept over her people like a numbness. They could not believe their angel had gone to glory. Even Victorine's mother, Jeraina Faye came to see her that day.
"Oh mamma! Mamma!!", she cried loudly. " Oh, Lord!! Lord!!!Take me with you Mamma!!! Oh, mamma!!" Everyone that was already in the church were saddened by her display. Some felt bad for Jeraina Faye.
Victorine couldn't take this shit anymore. " You goddamned bitch!", she blasted. Awe spread through the church like free phones. "How dare you act like you cared about Big Nainan! Where the hell were you when she couldn't remember a thing but her precious daughter Jeraina Faye!!" Tears fell from her eyes.
Jeraina Faye looked around, big eyed at everyone. She rushed up to Victorine and slapped the hell out of her. " You the bitch," she hissed. Her sister Gertrude and brother Horace jumped in.
"Victorine, stop this! Jeraina Faye, you ought to be shamed of yourself! What's wrong with y'all?", cried Gertrude.
"Mamma not even in the ground yet and y'all acting like some cheap hussies! Shame on y'all! Take this mess outside and let us who care bury this great woman in peace!", Horace yelled.
Victorine looked around, embarrassed that she lost her cool like that, especially here at Big Nainan's funeral. As she turned to go outside, she ran into Hadrien Colomb, a drummer who assists TonTon MaCootre, the male counterpart of Big Nainan. They brought the whole family to pay their respects. They saw the whole drama.
TonTon looked at Victorine dead in her eyes. A chill passed over her. " You mean to tell me that I come here to honor Big Nainan and to name her successor, and I find this", he said gravely. Victorine wanted to fly out of the fucking window if she could. She knew what was coming. Jeraina Faye's eyes bulged like Beetlejuice. " What you say, old man? She the successor? " Hate seeped from her body. " Y'all all know damn well it should be me!"
A roar filled the church. Pastor Ennis took word. " Maybe its best y'all spoke of these matters outside the church. Its time to deliver our sister to glory!!!" The good pastor knew of Big Nainan's counseling, but couldn't get his hands dirty because of the church.
Everyone settled down enough to get through the funeral. At the repast, Victorine went to the kitchen where behold, fried chicken, baked ham, turkey necks, red beans, potato salad, rice dressing, sweet peas, candied yams, German chocolate cake, green salad, macaroni casserole, and dinner rolls awaited. She poured herself a cup of punch and thought, I need something stronger. As she sashayed to the bar, TonTon stepped into her path.
Everyone in the place had their eyes and ears opened. " Your grandmother wanted you to carry on the trait, but I wonder if you are worthy. You will have to be initiated into the counseling", he said. Victorine swallowed hard, but talked straight. " Yes, TonTon, I shall. I will prove to you and everyone I am worthy."
"You damned old fool!" Jeraina Faye spat. "Woman, hush!" TonTon barked. "You know why you can't be successor!" Victorine looked at her mamma and wondered what was the reason. " I gots the power, you all know what I can do to y'all if I want!", she yelled. " And I just might", she threatened.
Horace had enough. " Get your ass out of here!", he boomed. Jeraina Faye looked around at everyone. She just smiled a terrifying smile and walked out. " That bitch crazy", someone said. " Fucking bayou Pétain", an old man named John Brick said.
Victorine was in secret awe. Her mamma WAS a bad bitch. Three husbands, four boyfriends, and a host of "friends", Jeraina Faye had all them mens wanting her. But Victorine was gonna have to be her own woman, her own version of a bayou Pétain. Victorine looked around until she saw who she was looking for, Hadrien. His long dreadlocks were tied back in an intricate design. His strong sex appeal had her wondering if this was the bredren to behave for.....
YOU ARE READING
A Hoodoo Tale I Conjured Up Dedicated to my mother, Rita Adrinas Mouton, The Great Teacher and to my King, who gave me life Nestled in the bowels of the Louisiana bayous, this is a tale of lust , power, and want, deliciously wrapped in the Hoodoo...