Until the day I die, I’ll never forget them glassy, unblinking eyes.
You know, I’d made that gris-gris—what you all call a Voodoo Doll— myself. Mawmaw taught me how when I was a kid back in Bayou Lafourche. She said that since we were direct descendants of Marie Laveau, it was our legacy. My mama died giving birth to me, so Mamaw was the only one left to teach me.
“Ma chère petite-fille, you have to know,” she said.
Shoot, Mamaw didn’t have to twist my arm! Even then, I realized the benefit of such a skill.
Daddy flipped when he found out. Pooyie, it was bad!
That’s when we moved up to Gentilly and I never did see Mamaw again.
Sonovabitch, I still miss her.
It was damn lucky for all of us ( okay, me) that there’d been enough time for her to teach me before I had to go.
Anyway, Daddy got remarried to a snotty broad who claimed to be related to some artiste named Albrecht Drürer, which caused my life to go straight to hell in a handbasket. Wouldn’t you just know that Daddy and my ol’ bitch-faced stepmom started having kids of their own—little blonde brats with washed-out blue eyes and freckles.
Clearly, I was the odd girl out. To Daddy, I was just an unpleasant reminder of a past best forgotten.
Guess that meant he wanted to forget Mama, too.
Well, I’ll tell ya right now that ain’t happenin’.
So… I made the gris-gris.
Last Saturday I followed Daddy to the barber shop. I waited across the street in my car until I seen him come back out.
Then, I beat it in there before anybody had a chance to sweep up his hair.
I will have you know, that, the hound dog barber made me give. it. up. before he’d let me have a lock of Daddy’s hair.
Don’t you worry — he’ll get his.
Just like the rest of ’em done did —
them & their glassy, unblinking eyes.
© 2019 Susan Shuman