Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Adventures of Scarlet Pt. 1; The Conception

By Sabrina Samone, TMP
(The fictional story of Scarlet by TransMusePlanet)


Their was a major astrological event during the summer of 1969. The world had turned a corner for change, a change that would put all of mankind on a path of acceptance, freedom for all and most of all, hope; for a better future. As the world watched that summer on small black and white televisions, several men stepped on the moon. A place  that for centuries men had gazed and wondered. The mystery was beginning to be solved; man had arrived. Kids with flowers in their hair danced that summer with mind expanding drugs,  hoping for world peace and acceptance for all of natures offspring at Woodstock. Hollywood was under attack. celebrities feared for their safety as the country was gripped to the news of a maniac named Charles Manson. After years of being harassed, discriminated against, beaten by police, denied who they could be or love; LGBTQ people joined the list of angry minorities thirsty for a change and fought back in the streets of New York, after nearly a week at what would become known as the Stonewall Riots and the beginning of a new militant mindset of LGBT persons.

That summer Carlos Baptiste, the handsome half creole/Cuban son of one of New Orleans most respected creole families out of  Plaquemines Parish drove through the muddy back roads of swampy New Orleans in his 65 Chevy.  He was proud and happy to be introducing his new girlfriend Louise at his families bar-b-que in Homer. They drove the entire 5 hour drive only letting go of each others hand to make the two stops along the way down into the bayous of Louisiana.

Carlos was a handsome man, one of the first men of color to be cheered as he plaid for the LSU football team. A local celebrity and thought to be the biggest catch in all of New Orleans. Many girls fought for his attention at college, but during the summer of 1969, during a summer job in Chicago selling magazines, he had met the beautiful Carolina girl that glowed as she walked into rooms that caused every man and woman to turn and gawk at her rare beauty. Louise Mae Pate was a striking woman who had left the dusty racist back roads of eastern South Carolina for a chance at being a model in New York City. With African-American/native American heritage she was a striking beauty but New York's fashion world, which had only began to embrace African-American female beauty was very much stuck on color and insisted she find another career because her look was too confusing.

 "Are you white or black my dear?" she was often asked, or "What race are you? No we need you to look black to be a black model...next!"

 After two years and only local catalog work, she would find herself with a traveling magazine company sells group that lead her to Chicago during the summer of 69 and love at first site with the handsome Carlos Baptiste.

Louise peered at Carlos, amazed at how handsome he was, then back to the muddy highway approaching Homer Louisiana. As she looked back onto the road, Carlos peered at Louise, amazed by her beauty.

"You glow you know," Carlos said.

 "What do you mean?" Asked Louise.

 "Like an angel...you know...you glow like an angel. No one ever told you that?"

"No, not until you." Laughed Louise, thinking of her mothers words before she left Hartsville South Carolina; 'You will meet a man that will say all the right words and more handsome than Sidney Poitier, watch out for those kind of men missy. Don't be bringing no babies back to me with no husband,' her mother said as she boarded the bus to Long Island New York, three years prior.

"Well you do. The first time I saw you, remember that night? We were working that celebrity building in South Chicago where Smoky lived? You came up those steps and when you looked up all of the guys were like 'dam...who is this girl? You were glowing, your so beautiful," continued Carlos.

"My momma warned me about you good looking sweet talking boys." laughed Louise.

They both laughed as they approached the old plantation style home over looking a huge pond, draped with oak trees and moss thick as carpet that stretched from the top of the huge trees, down to kiss the rich muddy soil of the bayou.

"Im so nervous Carlos, you think your family will like me?"

"Look at you, of course they will like you. There's nothing not to like." Replied Carlos as they gazed into each others eyes as the blue 65 Chevy came to a halt.

Yellow red headed creole folks came peering into the car.
"ooooh child look at her...Carlos you don gone and done right this time. Comment tu t'appelles? asked a heavy set woman to Louise, later known to be Carlos's aunt.

Louise quickly looks over to Carlos nervously, "what is she saying?"

"How are you dear? That's what she's asking you. Tell her Bien, Merci" Carlos told her reassuringly.

Louise looks at the grinning aunt, "Bien, Merci."

"Bienvenue, oh your welcome. You will learn my child. Come...come, you have so much of the family to meet." Said Carlos's aunt.

After what seemed hours being paraded around the open yard full of oak and magnolia trees and the smell of jasmine that Louisiana is so known for, Carlos grabbed Louise by the hand, "Isn't this your song? Let's dance my angel." Said Carlos and the two began to boogie to the song Crystal Blue Persuasion.


EIGHT YEARS LATER

After eight years of living with Carlos's family in New Orleans, Louise found herself walking among the rowdy drunken crowds of Mardi Gras, pregnant, still unmarried, ashamed to go home and a Carlos that was rarely available anymore, but she had to worry about this child. The doctors had warned her of over exerting herself. For the past several months she has been spotting and on two occasions came extremely close to a miscarriage. She was supposed to be bed ridden until the due date of April first, but she knew this would be her last Mardi Gras and this Mardi Gras was a special one. The first one she could give to her child. All the noise, ruckus and jazz New Orleans is made for, but as she entered the door their stood Carlos's angry mother.

"You want to loose my sons baby? You keep ignoring what the doctors tell you, you country ass girl. I don't know what my son saw in your simple ass." Screamed Eve Baptise, Carlos's mother, a curvaceous woman that had obviously had her day but was fast approaching irrelevance in life.

 A verbally vicious woman, the only kind words out of her mouth was to or about her golden son Carlos, who according to her, the Gods themselves came down to bow the day he was born. She married Leslie Baptise, a nervous creole man who was a direct descendant of the voodoo priestess Madame Laveau. She met Mr. Baptise  where she worked as a maid in a hotel only three weeks after she had arrived in America. She came to the country with her brothers and uncle, a popular Cuban musical act that was touring Miami. After her musical family left to return to Cuba, Eve became an illegal alien, until that day she met scrawny Leslie Baptise and saw her ticket to the new world.

 Mr. Baptise had feel in love instantly, but for Eve she saw citizenship. He moved Eve back to his hometown of New Orleans. After three children and becoming a US citizen, Leslie Baptise died of a mysterious illness. He was a successful business man, who was as tight with a dollar as scrooge himself, so immigrant Eve, from the voodoo jungles of Cuba's least known villages had found  herself the owner of two homes, apartments, three successful dry cleaning business, a old timers nightclub and half a million dollars to forget how she slowly poisoned the father of her children. As the years passed the guilt came out as anger and year after year a bitter woman became more bitter and spiteful to anyone near, except her golden son Carlos and no woman would ever be good enough for her son. Especially  this red woman with the twangy accent from South Carolina.

The Glamor, jazz and all the illusions of New Orleans had come to an end. Spring approached rapidly.  The smell of Jasmine filled the air with the faint residue of old beer and vomit. The oak trees turned a deeper green, the moss hanging from them seemed thicker and whispered as time approached. Louise's bleeding had worsened. Carols had been called back home from his traveling job in Houston. He was not happy to be summoned from his fun in Houston to deal with his mother and domestic issues, but their was a chance his first child would not be born, so he came.

"I don told that thang over and over again to keep her ass here in this bed. She hard headed Carlos, you need to send that bitch right back to the cotton fields she came from. That baby ain't going to come out right, you hear me boy?  No matter what they do now that baby ain't going to be right, mark my words!" Yelled Eve Baptise

"Momma please leave her alone, you only going to make things worse. The doctor said the slightest stress and she will lose my child, your grandchild." exclaimed Carlos.

"That baby girl is not going to be right, mark my words. That child going to be retarded or something. I swear that's no grandchild of mine. If the good lord don't take that child, I'll be sending that child straight to the bosom of the good Lord." Eve went on.

"What the hell she talking about? You better not be threatening my child!" Tearfully screamed Louise

"Louise, she's just talk. Pay her no mind." Said Carlos

Louise knew what she had to do. As soon as she was able she had to get back to her mother and family in South Carolina. She knew what type of woman Eve Baptise was. The parade of people into her home having her "fix" things was enough for her to know. She had been raised if you believed in Roots it could hurt you and she was not about to have her child raised in a  home that believed in this type of witchcraft.

Louise lay in bed for two weeks, but on March 11, 1977 upon hearing the news of her mother's heart attack and that she would have to have a pace maker to live, Louise went into pre-mature labor three weeks early. The doctors had told Carols there was no hope for the child. It was the mother or the daughter. Eve stood behind Carlos mumbling, "That child ain't going to be right anyway and the mother with her country ass ain't worth a damn."

"ma'am please! This is serious, your child sir may not make it." Said the Doctor, horrified by Eve's words.

"Just do what you can Mr. to save my girl." Carlos begged.

On March 12 at 1:20 am, during a balmy humid night under a full New Orleans moon, Louise Mae Pate gave birth.

"Well, your mother in law was wrong, if it's a girl, that one hell of a clit she has on her then." Laughed the doctors as he slapped the babies ass for the second time. "Well she's not the first witch doctor to get it wrong at Charity Hospital." he continued.

"Let me hold my child. I don't care what my child is, just give me my baby." Cried Louise in pain.

After returning to the Baptise home, things worsened. Eve, while Louise sat recovering, on several occasions tried hurting the child. First by feeding the infant several baby aspirin, which sent Louise and the child to the hospital to have her baby's stomach pumped. Then Louise screamed as she saw Eve Baptise wash the baby in it's on urine.

"What the hell you doing you  bitch?" Screamed Louise as she rushed to snatch her baby out of Eve's care.

"It's a creole thing, your country nigga ass don't know nothing about that. It's good for the child, gives them our creole complexion." Laughed Eve.

"You crazy ass witch, stay away from baby."

"That baby ain't going to be right girl. Something just don't sit well with my spirit with that child. That child gonna be mixed up I tell you. Need to just take that child on down to Margaret Haughery Orphanage. Or get that child to the Catholic church and have them baptized soon."

"To hell with you. I'm getting my baby out of here and back to my momma."

Eve then picked up a knife screaming, "you ain't taking that deformed child with my sons blood to no slave plantation in Carolina, you fool girl?"

Louise ran down the stairs...down the street. She knew she could not stop running. Even as her baby screamed. Even as the marching funeral precession passed in front her, she could not stop running until her child was somewhere safe. She ran across Lafayette cemetery one , passed Jackson square. Louise ran all the way to the train station with nothing but the clothes on her back and her child in her arms.

"Can I help you ma'am," asked the attendant?

One ticket..one way please...to Florence South Carolina.

As the train pulled out of New Orleans, Louise found herself unable to loosen her clutch from her child. The threats, the attempts on her child's life, the spells Eve had cast, she wondered would she and her child ever be safe. Not until the train had crossed the Mississippi River did she began to relax. She glanced out of the window, forcing her child to look. "That's the city you were born my water baby. I'm sorry we had to leave your daddy, but your not safe around folks like that. I will keep you safe.

To Be Continued.....................................................................................................................

 
 
 
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