Read earlier parts here: Flowers for Lobelia – Noir Novel in Progress
“Hi, Jess,” she said so easily. “Why don’t you come over here and sit a bit, Hun.”
She was known as Genevieve Eglantine after her late husband, Beauregard. She was creole through and through, had that patois that gave her voice a certain music and a rhythm like no other. Her skin was creamy and coppery almost the color of twilight on those evenings late in August when the lazy sun sits there in the West like an old man who’s just taking his good old time crossing the river into eternity.
“Hi, Gen, your looking good.” I said simply with no inflection. All these years I’d been knowing Lobelia I’d spent more time on Genevieve’s verandah than I’d ever done in that beautiful little alcove of hers there on Dupart. We seemed always to be over here visiting listening to the tales her moman could relate for hours on end. Her eyes were as bright as the Magnolias that surrounded her estate in abundance and were even now giving off such a wondrous fragrance. She wasn’t wealthy by any means of the word, but her husband had been successful as a Doctor – or, more precise, a Surgeon – and left her this land and enough stipend to keep her going for years.
There’s always been this unwritten history of the Creole peoples in these parts, one with its inner logics, its turmoil’s and drifts of power and corruption like anything else in this world; yet, there was this abiding sense of dignity, of a sense of justice and pride – not that false pride of ego, but of a people born out of that long heritage of slavery who’d overcome odds and risen above it all. Oh, sure, one could point the finger to the early histories, but who could say for sure; all these new fangled new historians seemed to want to rewrite the world if they could and replace the inner soul history of whole peoples with their melodramas of historical necessity and micro-surgeries of time. All I needed was a couple hours sitting right here listening to Genevieve describe her life to know the truth of it. That was enough for me. Let those historians be hanged.
“I know what you’re thinking, Jess.” she said, softly.
She always did have a way about her, like she could read my mind before I’d even formulated a thought or question for myself.
“What’s that, Mama?”
“That you’re going to kill this man once you find him.” she said with an almost provocation; then she continued, “I wouldn’t blame you, Son. But you very well no it want change a thing. She’s gone. She want be coming back. Accept it. Move on. Put this down and let the others handle it.”
I sat there for a few more minutes. I knew there wasn’t much else to say. Never was. She was right. I should just let it go, move on with my life and let the past bury the past; but, she and I both knew that wasn’t going to happen. Not now. Not ever. Yet, she was right about one thing: I’d not kill the bastard, not yet at least. No I wanted him to suffer. Suffer real bad. But first I had to find him.
I leaned over gave her a big hug. She kissed me on the left cheek, saying, “You keep out of mischief, here? I don’t want this to bury you, okay?”
“Don’t you worry, Moman, I’ll be taking care, you hear. You do the same, okay?” I said, holding back a little.
“Why you don’t have to worry about old Gen, now; you young’uns always trouble about us oldsters when its you that should be worried. You get out of here before I get up and whip you. Shoo!” She grinned.
I smiled. I knew she’d be taken care of good. I could see old man Jesper Tyburn out there in the garden even now. He had a place out back with his wife, and tended the yard and shopping. Yes, she was just fine.
* * *
– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.
Comments are welcome and needed. This is my getting wet in noir, a first stab at this genre, and all the insight I can gather (likes, dislikes, whether its too sentimental, gritty, etc.) will help out. Obviously as I’ve said before this is a fast storyline mode for the first run through. Just getting the ideas and story down day by day. I’ll come back on the 2nd draft and start filling in details of character and setting, but for now the story itself is driving things. So if you’d be so kind drop me a comment, tell me honestly what you think.
Read more: Flowers for Lobelia – Noir Novel in Progress