EXCERPT

Annabelle sat on her porch, watching them as they shuffled past. The weeping willows and bluish brown waters were a soothing backdrop to their passage. Shacks lined the main road, clusters of the little
wooden houses scattered behind it. To the left sprawled William’s hundred acres
of farmland. To the right, for a half mile, his serfdom continued.  


                Sharecroppers, ages twelve to fifty, trundled along the dusty road. Jet black, ginger, caramel brown, tofu, and butter colored. The men wore patched shirts and threadbare trousers. The
women, calico dresses, their hair tied back with colorful scarves or threaded
with string. Fifty years ago, their mamas and daddies had belonged to old
Master, now long since in his grave.


                Today, the law said they belonged to themselves. But young Master William, with his frigid blue eyes and corn silk hair, owned them, like his father before him. Just not in name.


                Year after year they planted cane and cotton. They paid William rent to live in his shacks. They bought supplies in his grocery—shoes, bolts of cloth, tools. So by the end of the year, they
owed their wages to him and had to spend the next paying it off.


                They belonged to young Master still. Even if that proclamation did free the slaves.                                                                                                                


                The sharecroppers greeted her as they passed. “Evening, Miss Annabelle,” Lizzy, an ebony-skinned girl of twelve sang, as she walked alongside her tired
mother.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


                “Evening, Lizzy…Mabel.”


                “Evening, Miss Annabelle.”

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Replies to This Discussion

If I may Brother Adminstrator -:):

Stealer of Souls (except):

Annabelle was dark brown and thin to the point of emaciation, with a wide nose and thick lips. Her bony skull peeked through sparse grey hair, pinned into a bun at the nape of her neck. Her brown eyes were rheumy, her face heavily lined. She looked to be a hundred.

In truth, she was much older.
That was quite a view of the evil times most of our ancestors endured. The second stage of serfdom.
This story reminded me of Octavia Butler's classic, "Kindred." But it has the original ingredients only Valjeanne's vision could have provided. It's a great introduction to the milieu of her "Immortal" series. I think Annabelle could have kicked Lestat's behind.
Oh... Valjeanne writes like she been here before. Her style is the mother of all genres... giving birth to what we do.
Thank you so much guys!! Thank you!!! I've said before, but I gotta say it again: I really love being in an anthology with you talented, talented folks (smile).
Man, only Sister Moon can turn you on WHILE your fearing for your life!!
Annabelle is frightning and compelling. The kind of character you want to learn about but would be afraid to have take notice of you!
I love this excerpt. It's full of dark foreboding in the "Immortal Universe"
Thank you Brother Night!! So glad you enjoyed it -:)


Night Manager said:
Man, only Sister Moon can turn you on WHILE your fearing for your life!!
Annabelle is frightning and compelling. The kind of character you want to learn about but would be afraid to have take notice of you!
I love this excerpt. It's full of dark foreboding in the "Immortal Universe"
Annabelle and Lestat -:)! I love this image Brother Charles -- yeah she could take him -:)


Charles R. Saunders said:
This story reminded me of Octavia Butler's classic, "Kindred." But it has the original ingredients only Valjeanne's vision could have provided. It's a great introduction to the milieu of her "Immortal" series. I think Annabelle could have kicked Lestat's behind.
dont think anyone has visualized southern african american life better since zora neal hurston. just reading this gave me the taste for a biscuit with molasis yams and glass of sweet tea. definately must read more.
Why thank you Brother William -:)!! What a wonderful compliment -:)!


william landis said:
dont think anyone has visualized southern african american life better since zora neal hurston. just reading this gave me the taste for a biscuit with molasis yams and glass of sweet tea. definately must read more.

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