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Chain Dance- The Third Book Of Joy
by Alexis Brooks de Vita

Category: Suspense/Thriller
Description: The Third Book of Joy: Chain Dance is the second notebook of family lore, the collection of Joy's magical stories about her enslaved ancestors, researched by Professor Bo Wolfson in Burning Streams; the first notebook was published in Blood of Angels. When Heaven's heartbroken death in childbirth and Whip Man's torture at her father's hands lead her to resurrect herself as a death dancer, magic and terror drive the plantation's owner off of his land. Most of the men and women who labor on the haunted plantation flee, following Heaven's brother to his Louisiana swampland.

But not everyone runs. A winged angel, a dancing coven of witches, a shapeshifting wildcat, and a ferocious pack of werewolves defend Solace's plantation from attack. Marauding patrollers and opportunists clash with the cunning, the blood thirst, and the supernatural powers unleashed by women determined to free themselves and the men and children they love.
eBook Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing/Double Dragon eBooks, 2011 Double Dragon Publishing
eBookwise Release Date: November 2011

eBookeBook

Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [441 KB]
Words: 111628
Reading time: 318-446 min.


CHAPTER ONE

JOHN THE CONQUER AND THE DEVIL'S DAUGHTER: RHEA, BORN 1778

My man used to have a real name and a title, too. His name used to be John and his title used to be Conquer because he killed more drivers than any other man in the Quarters.

Maybe I sound proud of my man. He was a good man, while he was alive. Now that he's dead, he still tries.

I can't fault him. John never went out to stud even when Mr. Dennis offered him money. Mr. Dennis said, "John, look here. You go do up these young women for me, get them big with babies all strong-armed like yourself, and I might just give you something for it."

But my John said, "No, sir," because we made promises to one another.

Promises in the dark. Folks talk down about promises between people who ain't even free. They say what kind of fool takes a notion in your head to break your own heart, swearing to be true? "You are both a fool to believe in anything your owner never signed his name to."

But my John said, "If we can't have each other, we don't want nobody." And we promised to live together till we die.

And we did, too. I have gone beyond our promise and been with John long after he's dead. And I never held it against him, either.

That is, not until the devil's daughter showed her face around here.

That Mr. Dennis is the very devil. Folks on his farm had no religion, no knowledge of good and evil between the earth and sky and us trapped, running scared, in the middle.

But I come from a ma'am who taught me how to pray. Can't say my prayers turn out much like I want them to, though.

Like how I prayed to get rid of that Mr. Peter, the meanest overseer who ever clapped eyes on a woman.

I told you my John has killed many a driver. But I was scared to think what might happen if John up and killed this overseer, Mr. Peter. Because an overseer ain't no driver. And Mr. Dennis might not take it kindly if his overseer turned up a mass of rot and moss in the woods, like his drivers steady be doing.

But that Mr. Peter had his eye on me like I ain't never seen no man do no woman. Nasty man, that Mr. Peter. Brought disease and pestilence to the plantation and went around killing folks like a walking plague till we feared to farm the land for digging up dead bodies. The burying pit wasn't so far off that we didn't have to worry about where the wild animals dragged the body parts off to.

So I ain't told John nothing about this Mr. Peter and his mean old nasty eye on me. I figured, if Mr. Peter is so deadly he ain't even got to lay a finger on folks to kill them, I sure didn't want him to lay hands on my John.

But neither did I want his hands on me. So I up and said my prayers. "Powers that be, get this nasty Mr. Peter away from me," because spirits like it if you kind of sing to them.

And I said, "Powers in the sky, don't let my John the Conquer die," because what if Mr. Peter dragged my man off to the grave with him some way I didn't figure out when I said that first prayer?

The spirits must have been listening good. But sometimes what you fear is go'n creep up on you, no matter what prayers you say.

So that devil's daughter came on out from the spirit world, where she must have been hiding. She came out of the woods where her and her brother grew up wild as beasts and bloodthirsty as the bogeyman.

They wasn't free for one day before her brother committed to murder the man who stole them from their devil daddy. And only once he had blood on his hands rich and thick did the devil's boy come back on home.

But now that wild devil boy had got him a taste for murder. Couldn't stop killing up on folks. Wasn't home a minute, standing to wed one of the prettiest gals from out the cotton fields, and the devil's boy jumps up and blasts a hole straight through that walking disease, Mr. Peter.

His devil daddy don't say nothing but, "If you have finished with that business, son, let's get on with this wedding."


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