Madame LaRue

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By the time I crawled back through the broken gate, the sun had risen and I paid the ultimate price for my greed. I tried my best to shield myself, but it was no use. I was no more than a memory, long lost ago to the clutches of Madame LaRue and her beautiful, beastly, piercing blue eyes. Those eyes that I desperately wanted to please. Those eyes that I would have done anything for. Those eyes that never saw me.

It all started more than three hundred years ago. I was a young man, full of life, obnoxious, thought I knew everything, yet I knew nothing. Now, I know that you are thinking this sounds just like all the other vampire tales, but, I was no vampire. Nor was I a brain-eating, flesh-rotting zombie that so many people flock to see in the movie theaters. I, Franklin Hatchery, was a normal young man just starting my life in the new country.

I sailed from England, alone, when I was twelve. Ready to make my fortune rather than waste it away hoping for a piece a bread. For six years I traveled up and down the coast searching for my little pot of gold. I turned eighteen in Charleston. That’s when I first saw her. Madame LaRue. It was a brief encounter. I was not looking where I was going one evening and accidentally bumped into her. It wasn’t her beautiful blue and silver gown that caught my attention, or her beautiful, long brown hair. It was her eyes. They sparkled. They glowed. They were the most beautiful shade of blue I had ever seen.

Neither of us spoke a word. Simply nodded and went on our way. For weeks all I could think of were those eyes. Those eyes and the mysterious, beautiful woman they belonged to. I searched all over Charleston for her, but she had disappeared. Finally, after weeks of searching and asking hotel desk clerk after hotel desk clerk, I found where she had stayed…and where she went.

I found her in New Orleans. A worrisome place, filled with the most repugnant, abominable beasts. I would not even venture to call them men, they had not earned that right. I saw her in a hotel lobby, and I saw them. I saw how they looked at her. I saw how they wiped drool from their hideous grins that hid nothing. I saw how she was blind to the beasts and their ways. It was nerve-wracking watching her day after day with beasts such as that. Beasts that would have stopped at nothing to claw her…to claim her as their own.

One evening as one followed her to her home, I followed him. I knew it was only a matter of time before one broke away from the pack. I watched as he leaned in for an evening kiss only to be met with her side of her hand and a giggle. Oh, she was polite about it, and giggled, but I knew. I knew what she thought, and how she wanted someone to save her. To rescue her.

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I followed him as he left her. I followed him through the city and out to the swamps where his kind liked to pass the night away drinking and telling tales of the one that got away. He could not get away from me though. None of them could. I watched as they drank. I watched and waited. Then I watched as their faces turned from jovial pumpkins on spindly necks turned to horror as I plunged my knife deep into their chests.

I watched as each one sank into the murky water. I watched as the feeding frenzy took place and I laughed. Yes, I laughed at what I had done. I did it for her after all. I was sure she would be pleased with me.

When next I saw her, she looked sad as she exited the bar where they often met. She looked sad, so I tried to cheer her up. I told her of her freedom from the scum that walked the Earth. The scum that would never be good enough for her. I told her of the days we would spend together. The sunrises we would watch together.

She laughed. She laughed in my face, then she shook her head. I was confused. Those beautiful blue eyes were now icy cold, hateful eyes. They stared through me. Through my soul. They pierced my very being. She muttered something I didn’t understand and then touched my heart. She laughed harder and left me on the sidewalk. I never saw those blue eyes again until …

It was 1962 when I saw those beautiful, piercing blue eyes staring at me from the pages of a book. Under the illustration was printed, Madame LaRue, Voodoo Queen. It was then I understood. I understood why I could not be shot, or starve to death, or drown, or be hung. The only thing that hurt me was the sun. I had never seen another sunrise, or felt the warmth of the day on my face. It was my curse. To walk forever in the world of darkness I sent her followers to.

I continued on my way and watched as time passed me by. For in the night, I never aged. Not even a single hour. I thought myself invincible. The jeweler seemed so easy. Like all the others. But he was not. I did not know of the secret passage to the vault that held generations of treasures. It was there I tasted my own greed. I could not resist it. The gold turned to blue. Her beautiful, piercing blue eyes. With every ring and bracelet that passed through my hand I heard her laughter once again. I needed more. I needed her. All men must pay the price of their actions. I paid mine.


This was written for M.M.H.B. Challenge. The required words are in bold.

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The Bottom Drawer

He had not been back to the house where he grew up since the day he turned eighteen and waved goodbye. He had his whole life ahead of him and was ready to get out of little Crawfordsville once and for good. But, there he was, dressed in his black suit, standing on the front porch ten years later.

He smiled remembering the time the dog had puppies under the porch, and of the long summer nights he sat there and watched the fireflies.

Inside the house nothing had changed. He could hear his mother yelling, ‘hang up your backpack’ or ‘don’t you even think of coming in here with your boots on mister.’ He smiled.

The old TV Guide sat on his father’s recliner just as it had for as long as he could remember. His room was exactly as he left it. His mother kept it looking like a shrine. Even the posters of Einstein and Twisted Sister still hung on the wall. He was sure there was a nicely folded pile of laundry somewhere in there along with a dirty shirt hidden in some off beat place left there just to make her gripe.

His parents room smelled of lilac, just as it had when he left. Everything looked as though they were just out for a Sunday stroll. A silent reminder of those who one lived here.

Mother’s dresses still hung with care, and father’s suits and ties already matched so he wouldn’t have to think about it so early in the morning.

The dresser was still there to. Why did he think it wouldn’t be? It was his father’s after all? It’s four drawers that held everything dear to him. The top drawer held his watch, socks, a few undershirts for winter, and his underwear. The second drawer held two pairs of levi’s that he wore only when working out in the yard, which was next to never. He laughed as his hand ran over the jeans and he remembered the time his father was scared back into the house by a bumblebee.

He opened the third drawer and slid over the National Geographics. Yep,his copies of Playboy are still there. He couldn’t help but laugh out loud remembering the day he found them in a box under his father’s side of the bed. He wasn’t supposed to know he moved them to the third drawer, but he did.

His eyes looked to the fourth drawer. The forbidden drawer. The drawer that he was beat black and blue for just for touching it. Even his mother was not allowed to open the bottom drawer.

He took a look around the room and took a deep breath. The owners of this room would not be coming back. She would never open the drapes, take a deep breath, and smile at the sun. He would never again beat the child for questioning his command.

It was time the fourth drawer revealed its secrets. He tugged at the drawer. It’s dry scraping sound sent shivers up his spine.

He huddled in the corner of his parent’s bedroom and cried. He wished he had never come back to this house. He wished he had never gone upstairs. He wished he had never looked in his old room. He wished he had never opened the forbidden drawer. Some things are best left hidden. Hidden and forgotten in the bottom drawer.


This was written for FOWC with Fandango – drawer