July 21, 2006


Rain pelted the windows of the old shotgun shack as the wind continued to howl from the bayou. A small boy, slight of body, but agile of mind, slowly swayed to the motion of the trees as he stood enchanted before a plate glass window. Flashes of light and the clap of thunder could not shake him from his excitement of the storm.

Across the room and huddled beneath a tattered quilt was his stout, older brother, quivering from the violence waging around them. “Pascal,” he pled, “Ma mère said to stay in bed until the storm passes.”

Checking the grandmother clock which hung over the mantle, he was able to see it was a quarter of midnight. A neighbor had fallen ill early in the evening and Papa had taken Ma mère to assist with her bundle of herbs and dried potions just as the weather had blown up from the South. At twelve he was strapping and almost as big as a man. His parents had cautioned him to keep Pascal safe and quiet until they could return.

He knew from times past that his mother’s ministrations and incantations might take her through the night, depending on the malady which confronted her. While he wished they would return soon, he knew they would not risk travel in such foul weather.

With a deep breath he shed the quilt and squared his shoulders. In the most authoritative voice he could muster, he directed Pascal evenly: “It is past time for bed. You are in my charge. Return to bed now.”

Without overt motion the younger boy whispered: “He’s coming.” His eyes remained transfixed on a spot far beyond the present.

When he looked through the window, all Emile could see were the inky outlines of the moss-filled live oaks whipping in the wind driven rain. He heard the intermittent thunderous booms increasing in number and volume mixed with the cracking and crashing of limbs and trees. Were it not for the month of March, he would have believed a hurricane was bearing down upon them.

The hair on his arms and the back of his neck were sentry straight as Emile’s heart sank and he trembled from a chill deep within him. Automatically, he began to mouth the words again, just as he had done hundreds of times before. When he reached “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me” his had again regained some semblance of control over his racing heart.

Searching his memory, the boy could not recall a time when his baby brother had not been different, not been touched by the spirits of the storm. From the time he could toddle, the darkness had beckoned him and with the stealth of a puff of smoke, Pascal had always responded.

Many nights their parents had scoured the swamps surrounding their modest home in search of the child who communicated with the voices carried on the wind. The more turbulent the skies, the more energized Pascal became. A sickly child from birth, when consumed by the life of the blackest storm, his strength knew no bounds and no bond could hold him.

“No, no, Pascal! Please, not this night.” Emile cried in fear and desperation.

The younger boy slowly turned, his body rigid and straight. His breath was shallow and his face pale with enlarged eyes that seemed to glow from within. A trickle of blood had formed on his chin as his teeth bit into his lower lip. Without taking a step, he leaned toward his brother and grinned.

“Oh, no, Pascal, no! No one is coming. NO ONE IS COMING!” Emile shrieked.

A dry cackle rose from the child as he sneered in triumph. “Oui, mon frère, no one is coming for He is already here!”

Posted by Christina at July 21, 2006 12:03 AM

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Bwahahahahah!!! I love it, Chrissy!

Posted by: That 1 Guy at July 20, 2006 09:40 PM

mm, delicious : )

Posted by: amelie at July 20, 2006 10:14 PM

Amazing. Love this story! :)

Posted by: Theresa at July 21, 2006 05:25 AM

Yay for Mommy!

A very intriguing opening from which more frights are sure to ensue!

Posted by: Sweet One at July 21, 2006 07:14 AM

LOVE IT! Can't wait for the next installment.

Posted by: oddybobo at July 21, 2006 07:26 AM

Ca c'est bon, Cher!

Posted by: Dash at July 21, 2006 08:05 AM

You set an awfully high bar, lady. Now I'm sure to disappoint.

Posted by: Phoenix at July 21, 2006 08:26 AM

I see the bad moon arising; I see trouble on the way ...

Love it!

Posted by: Bob at July 21, 2006 08:28 AM

Oh, boy!

And I thought being alone for the next week would be to my advantage.....
I'm gonna be too scared to sleep!

Posted by: Lolly at July 21, 2006 11:34 AM

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