Madame Lilly, true birth name Odara, had claimed the two live bodies she needed to complete the sacrificial ritual. Beads of sweat dripped down her back as she moved in the summer’s heat, causing her white dress to cling to her since she was without a corset. Tonight she needed to move freely.The New Orleans heat was always hot and muggy but it was even worse when dancing next to a pit of fire: the only light there was deep in the woods that night. She allowed her body to be swayed by the beat of the drums that her followers pounded; taking hold of her, opening herself up to the unknown place between the spiritual and the physical worlds.
She performed the sacrament where no one would be able to see or hear them; not that anyone came around these parts to visit, or even dared enter her land. In the past six months, Lilly had become notorious as a voodoo priestess and even if you didn’t know her personally, you knew of her. She was powerful, even more powerful than she was aware.
The woman sacrifice, Dalila, had been crying ever since she had woken up with her legs and arms sprawled, bound by vines tied to four trees. Now kneeling next to her, Lilly jabbed the knife callously into the woman’s side and realized they had similar features. This woman could easily be her sister, right down to the eyes, which were a rare color.
She watched the tears fall from Dalila’s eyes as she slowly slid the knife up her side. One of Lilly’s followers held Dalila still as she continued to slice. Even though she couldn’t free herself, Lilly didn’t want to kill her; she still needed her alive for the possession. Watching the gush of blood flow down her victim’s side, Lilly captured most of it in the blessed bowl: The bowl she would drink from later.
Then she did the same to the other sacrifice, Bron, the silly boy she’d been able to lure away with the promise of getting Dalila out of the house for him.
Lilly stood back up, chanting, not caring as the sacrifices yanked at their restraints, struggling under the vines’ grasp. Having braided the vines herself, she knew they could take the constant onslaught. In actuality Lilly liked the fact that they still had fight in them. Something about that made it even better.
That was her condemned soul talking, the soul she had lost a long time ago. What some folks called a better way of living, she called hell. She’d never wanted it, any of it. She’d never asked to be any man’s property nor to do what that man in that big house made her do. Over the years she too had learned to enjoy seeing others suffer, especially the man who had made her what she had become. Damned.
In the late 1800’s Odara, a Creole girl in New Orleans, grew up wealthy and having the best of everything. She was taught the ways of plaçage: to be a wealthy man’s common-law wife. She didn’t want to follow the ways of plaçage as her mother had, until she met the man of her dreams, Henry Nicolas. He was handsome, charming and rich; perfect in every way until their first night of marriage when she saw his true malevolent side.
For twelve long years Odara endured abuse in the worst ways possible, taking her from a naive child to a scorned woman. A woman fueled with such revulsion towards Henry she would give anything for vengeance.
Through voodoo, Madame Lilly was born, but with it came consequences beyond even her comprehension.
The Saga So Far