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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ghosts on My Mind

Ghosts are often on my mind, not just around Halloween and Samhain. So it is no wonder ghosts appear throughout the Teen Wytche Saga. One of my favorites, Bayou, a teen Louisiana ghost from the seventies, pops up in Spell For Sophia:

"Well, look who is here." The ghost bugged her eyes at Yemaya. "Gal, I thought I'd seen the last of y'all." She scanned our faces, latched onto me last, and waved.

Without thinking, I waved back.

"Oh, great," Yemaya muttered under her breath.

The ghost said to Yemaya, "Far out! One of your friends can see me." She gave me a head-to-toe appraisal. "I like your threads."

"Um, thanks."

"What's going on?" Salem demanded.

"She's not my friend," Yemaya said. "I just met her."

"You two okay?" Evie asked.

"Fine," Yemaya and I said in unison.

"Jinx!" The ghost smiled, revealing teeth in need of braces. The word hurtled me back to a sleepover with Sophia and a memorable zombie movie.

While Bayou inserts some levity into the story, other ghosts in the novel reflect the Big Easy's painful past:

1920 painting of Marie Laveau (1794–1881) by Frank Schneider, 
based on an 1835 painting (now lost?) by George Catlin.
Dawn broke, casting a soft glow. The street now teemed with ghosts. Two Creole women dressed in wide-tiered gowns swished past. A monk hurried to the church. A yellow fever victim slumped against the side of a building and vomited what looked like coffee grounds. I swallowed hard and gave him a wide berth, flying while I stared.

Too late I sensed another presence and swiveled my head. I came eye to yellow eye with a trio of yellow fever victims. Blood streamed from their eyes, noses, and mouths. Unable to stop, I passed through them. Heebie jeebies! Heebie jeebies! The hysteria I had staved off in the Void unleashed. Shrieking, I batted at my face, certain their blood, their germs, their death clung to my auric field.

New Orleans is one of the three most haunted cities in the United States. In a way, every day is Halloween in the Big Easy.
Copyright 2015 Ariella Moon

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