Authors: Christine M. Butler
Tags: #vampires, #ghosts, #fantasy, #paranormal, #magic, #young adult, #witches, #voodoo
The VooDoo Follies
Christine M. Butler
The VooDoo Follies
Christine M. Butler
Copyright © 2011 Christine M.
Book Cover © 2011 Christine M.
All rights reserved.
For my daughter, Bella, the
inspiration for Seraphine. You are so amazing, even in your
For my other children, Devlin,
Alex, and Lexy because you guys were always so patient with me when
I was writing!
For my mother, who has always been
there to read my work and let me know when I screw up and my dad
who humors me when I show him new book cover designs even though
he'd rather be watching the news!
To Tony, who never stopped
believing in me.
For Patria Dunn who was my
inspiration to keep going with this series. If it weren’t for her
constantly asking where the rest of it was, I would probably still
be sitting here procrastinating! ;)
And a special acknowledgement for
the amazingly fun font that I used for the cover and the chapter
titles in the paperback book unfotunately it does not pull over
into the formatting for my E-Books at this time. The creator gives
this font away for free with no strings attached, and therefor
deserves a very special thank you!
Demons & Darlings Font by Chad
The VooDoo Follies
Part One: The
Original Publication Date:
July 26, 2011
I am Seraphine LaLande, VooDoo Priestess!
Well, not quite.
In order to be a priestess I have to first
successfully raise a zombie, make it do my bidding, and then tuck
it back in for the eternal dirt nap it was supposed to have to
begin with. Of course, being me, things don’t go according to plan.
The trouble all started when my zombie ran off into the
Raising the Dead
“I’m standing over the grave now. I’ve got
everything, Auntie. Yes, I promise. Of course, I brought the
powder.” My aunt continued to blab into my ear for what felt like
forever, but was probably only five minutes. “Auntie! We’ve
practiced. I’m ready. I’m standing in a grave yard waiting to
either do this or have someone discover me. Okay, the laptop’s all
set.” I clicked my cell phone off and stuffed it into the front
pocket of my jeans. Then, I turned to my laptop which was sitting
somewhat precariously on the top of Adrianna Sawyer’s headstone. I
invited my Auntie Perrine into a video chat with me. As soon as she
answered the call I shrugged at her. “There, now you can see
everything. Just don’t do anything to distract me while I perform
“Seraphine!” Perrine’s sharp tone caught my
attention immediately. I knew I had just stepped over a line with
my attitude, but I was nervous, grumpy, and the last place I wanted
to be was in a cemetery at midnight when I had a paper to write on
The Scarlett Letter for English class.
“Sorry,” I mumbled.
“Child, I know you’re excited about this,
‘I know,” I said, cutting off what could have
been a very long lecture, “I have to focus my thoughts so nothing
goes wrong.” Thankfully, my Auntie Perrine just smiled and nodded
at me, choosing to stay quite this time so I could get on with the
business of raising the dead.
I couldn’t become a full fledged Voodoo
Priestess until I completed the task of raising a person from the
dead to do my bidding. A zombie. Even I had giggled at the idea
when it was first mentioned. I mean, the CDC has a zombie outbreak
plan on their website as a joke. No one believes zombies are real,
and yet here I am standing in a grave yard about to try to make one
while my Auntie watches via web-cam.
She should be here in person for this. Really,
I should be there. My mom got it in her head to up and marry the
latest and greatest boyfriend that came strolling through her life.
She wasn’t into the voodoo that our family had been practicing for
generations, not unless it served her love life, anyway. So, my
Auntie Perrine was the one to teach me. When I had to move away
with my mom after she married the latest step loser-dejour, Auntie
Perrine tried to keep up the lessons with modern day
“Okay, I’m ready to begin.” A nod from my
computer told me that Auntie Perrine felt so too. I gathered up the
salt that I would need to seal a protective circle around the
grave, with me inside it. The circle would keep me safe from any
wandering spirits and it would focus my will to this one particular
grave. No one needs an Army of zombies rising from their grave by
accident. I wasn’t even sure it was possible to raise more than one
zombie at a time, but I didn’t want to find out the hard
I was just completing my circle, salting the
earth as I went, making sure that the salt circle sealed all the
way around when I heard something behind me. It sounded like
something falling or jumping to the ground and my body jerked out
of reflex. Hey, Voodoo Priestess or not, cemeteries in the middle
of the night were still spooky. A cat ran from behind a headstone
looking a bit scared and none to friendly. I quietly turned back to
what I was doing. Choosing to ignore the excitement and finish my
zombie raising project for the night. I glanced up at Auntie
Perrine. I had already started the ceremony, so she couldn’t say a
word to me now. It was the way of our people. Learn by trial, learn
by error, hope for another opportunity to set things right - should
you fail. I hated that tradition at this moment, because my Auntie
looked like she was biting her tongue pretty damn hard. I put the
thought out of my mind and continued on with what I was doing. I
fixed the bones, the blood, and the special powder within the
ceremonial bowl just as I was supposed to, and then I put forth all
my energy into chanting the words that were needed to raise the
dead from the grave.
I didn’t know Adrianna before she died. She
had been in my Algebra class freshman year, but we never really
talked. I picked her grave only because it was the freshest one
we’d had in our little rinky-dink suburban hell-hole of a town, and
even then I had to travel over to Baltimore’s Bohemian Cemetery in
order to find her grave. You would think people would die more in
the suburbs outside of a major city like Baltimore.
I finished my chanting, and pricked my finger,
adding some of my own live blood and wild magic to the mix. I
waited, hoping I hadn’t failed, and looking at Auntie Perrine’s
troubled visage in my laptop screen. Minutes ticked by and still I
waited, shoulders slumping as defeat drew in around me. Then, as I
was about to pack everything up, I felt a shudder in the ground. I
looked down at the freshly planted sod and dirt beneath my feet
when nothing else happened, thinking I must have imagined it. Then,
my eyes bugged out a little as I felt it again, much stronger this
time. The dirt and grass above the grave site were beginning to
look a little disturbed. Then, I saw in the moonlight, one bone
pale finger sticking out of the ground after another. No, not
sticking out - digging out of the ground. My face must have told of
my success because I looked up long enough to see Auntie Perrine
nodding with satisfaction from her vantage point on the
By the time Adrianna had all but clawed her
way completely out of the ground I finally managed to pull myself
together and help her the rest of the way. She stood there looking
confused, started to speak several times, and then just didn’t, as
if she had forgotten how. It was in that moment that I felt
absolutely ashamed to have raised her from the dead at all. If this
is what it meant to be a priestess to my people one day, to disturb
the eternal slumber of someone I once knew in some capacity, then I
no longer wanted it. I picked up the ceremonial bowl and was about
to reverse the process and lay Adrianna back to rest without
completing the task at hand. I was supposed to give her two
commands to follow and then lay her to rest, but commands be
damned. This was more than I bargained for. Seeing the dead girl
that I had Algebra class with only last year had hit a nerve inside
me. Or perhaps I just lost my nerve all together. I didn’t get the
chance to really debate that in my head because Adrianna was
walking out of what was supposed to be a very closed circle. I
looked up and saw my Auntie Perinne’s face go three shades paler
than her already light skinned creole body could manage. Truth be
told, I think even my spattering of freckles ran and hid amongst
the pale pallor that now swallowed up my own face. All the blood
rushed from my body in one solid sheet as panic set in. My zombie
had just walked away. That definitely wasn’t supposed to
Adrianna sawyer comes
The thoughts were pinging through my head at
‘Why was I dirty?’
‘What the hell was I wearing a prom dress for?
No, not a prom dress, but something my mom used to make me wear to
church when I was little.’
‘Why was I just standing in the Bohemian
Cemetery with that weird new girl from Algebra class? And how did I
get there to begin with? Maybe, I went to visit
I tried to think about how I had gotten there,
but the questions just kept plaguing my mind and repeating
themselves, as if I had the answers my thoughts demanded. The last
thing I remember was driving home from the football game. “Wait,” I
surprised myself by speaking out loud and my thoughts got all
jumbled up again. Something about my voice didn’t sound right to my
ears. I sounded gravely and hoarse, like I had been sick or
screaming too much. The football game hadn’t been that exciting. I
just sat in the stands playing my trumpet and joking the
cheerleaders’ stupid routines with Stephen.
‘Stephen.’ The thought was there like a voice
in my head trying to remind me of something.
I left the football game. I remembered that.
Then, the memory was gone with a poof as I looked up and realized I
had a long way to go to my house. I sighed and thought about
calling my mom to come get me, but I didn’t really feel like trying
to explain things I couldn’t remember. She would think I was on
drugs! Right now, I thought maybe I was on drugs. And then I
thought ten thousand other things all at once. I patted at the
hideous, filthy dress I was in and no pockets were to be found.
Apparently, I couldn’t call anyone with my cell phone since I
didn’t seem to have it.
I kept walking, wondering where I left my
phone. My fingers twitched periodically, as if remembering how to
text. A million more questions went unanswered in my brain as my
feet walked the two and half or so miles to my house in Rosedale.
All along the way I was being distracted by the blaring horns of
cars on the highway as I accidentally shuffled onto the road
oblivious. At least none of them hit me. My mom would be so
devastated to find me dead along the road.
‘Where in the hell is my car?’
My thoughts started racing again and my feet
continued to shuffle until I looked up and realized I had reached
my destination. I was home, but it didn’t look like anyone else
was. Vaguely I recalled the hide-a-key that mom had cleverly stowed
away in her garden gnome’s butt. I left the front stoop and went to
I picked up the gnome and shook it until the
key popped out. Smiling, I walked up to the door and got ready to
open it when I noticed my car in the driveway with a for sale sign
in the window. “What the hell?” I wondered out loud and was once
again surprised by my own voice. It sounded gruff and unused. I
looked down at the key I held in my hand and started walking to the
car, ‘I’ll just drive home.’ I was thinking to myself before I
looked down at the key in my hand and realized I was really dirty
still. I thought better of getting in my car till I had a shower. I
looked back up at my house and it occurred to me that I was already
here. Before a million more thoughts could overtake my brain and
confuse me I unlocked the door, put the spare key on the table just
inside, and went to my room to get different clothes on.