Saturday, December 10, 2011

Melatiah DeCuir, Chp. 5, Gen. 3, 1750

     As Melatiah reached his twenties, he had for the most part gotten over the sadness of his mother's death.  Still, there lingered the deep hurt of losing a mother young.  But Melatiah had the determination in what a young woman (he struggled to remember her name; he often went to his diary entries to read of her) had told him: to not let the death ruin his life.

     Young Charles was doing well.  Charles had gone to Melatiah for help quite often in coping without Emilie, and in helping his brother cope, Melatiah felt better.   
     Melatiah was hopeful in his younger brother's success.  He knew Charles would do well in the world.  Both he and Charles knew that it would be time to say goodbye to each other, sooner then either one of them wanted.

     But what was concerning Melatiah, at the moment, was the declining health of Bernard...

     Bernard was fifty years old.  He was the oldest man on the street, and proud of it.  He often bragged about his age to nearby neighbors, who sighed and pretended not to care.  Bernard hardly noticed.
     Gray streaked his hear.  He was coughing all the time.  He was getting weaker by the day.  But he had recovered from the death of his wife quite well.  He preferred to think of the fond memories he had had of her instead of losing her.  He often told stories of meeting her as children and teasing her.  He chuckled at the happy memory of putting a frog in her hair.  He daydreamed aloud of their first kiss, of when Emilie struggled to become her own person, of when he came back to marry her from Boston.  
     He described in great detail the joy he had felt at the news of Emilie's pregnancies.  He talked about the day Melatiah was born.  The day Charles was born.  And his sons listened with all their hearts.

     "My dear son," Bernard whispered on one particular day.  He had been feeling more weak than usual, more tired, and the need to tell his son of a few things.

     Melatiah looked at his father, with his pale, sallow face, numb lips, and tired eyes.
     "I'm dying."
     Melatiah sighed.  "I know, Father.  I wish you could stay with us longer."
     "But I want you to know that I'm so proud of you.  As proud as a father could be."  Bernard stopped and sniffed, wiping a tear from his eye.  "You are as strong as your mother was.  Maybe even stronger.  Your mother had to do everything on her own.  Her father was often not there for her.  I want to know if I was there for you."

     "Yes, Father.  You were always there for us.  I believe you must be the opposite of Grandfather Claude."
     Bernard shook his head.  "Not the opposite.  Not the opposite.  Maybe just different.  Claude was a good man.  He had troubles, too.  But there is something I must tell you.  In the privy, underneath a loose floorboard, you will find a painting.  It was one your mother painted before she died.  She hid it there.  I have not seen it, but she told me about it.  Emilie was disturbed by it.  I know not why.  Maybe it will answer questions, or maybe not.  But take it out and hang it up."
     Melatiah nodded obediently.  "Of course, Father."
     Bernard sighed.  He wobbled a bit, then caught his balance.  "I... I think I'd better..."
     "Of course, Father."  Melatiah bit his lip.  He knew it was time for Bernard to move on.

     "This side of the bed, as you know, has not been made since your mother left it on the night she died.  I'm going to sleep on it now."
     Melatiah smiled sadly.  "I think that's a perfect idea, Father."

     "You look so much like Claude... and so much like your mother, my dear Melatiah."

     Bernard closed his eyes.  He never opened them again.


     The painting was of that strange woman... Aphrodisia?  Melatiah struggled to remember her...  How could it be possible that his mother knew her?  Questions swam in his head, but he could not answer any of them.


     Aphrodisia could not bear living.  Emilie was not the first victim she had killed, of course, but Aphrodisia began to think of the families that belonged to the victims.  The number of children left parentless.  The number of brothers left sisterless, the number of sisters left brotherless.  It all added up into an extreme number that Aphrodisia could not stand.
     She looked at the ocean, which had always calmed her on the most horrible of nights.  She thought of this every day.  For almost a decade.  She considered setting herself out in the sun to die.  It would take a few hours.  Or she could turn herself in, claiming to be a vampire.
     But these ideas did not seem right.  There would be no way to redeem herself.  She would just be killed.  And what if Melatiah had seen?  The image of him watching her die scared her more than living.  
     The long years that had passed had not been completely worthless.  Aphrodisia had nearly cleared Melatiah's memory of herself.  Unfortunately, there were a few things she couldn't erase, which made it even more difficult for her to kill herself.  Aphrodisia wanted to talk to him again.  Wanted to confess.  Confessing might make her feel better.

      Yes, that is what she would do.  Confess.  It sounded so easy!  Apologize, and give Melatiah some closure.  And then she would never drink from a human again.


     Melatiah was walking around town in the late afternoon when he heard some loud, angry shouts and cruel laughing.

     It only took a second for him to realize he was hearing the sounds of a slave auction.  Since it was later in the day, and most of the auctioning had been done earlier, there were not too many people interested.  Melatiah entered the auction house out of pure curiosity and dread.

     He smiled at the memory of Exeter and Nancy, but that smile was put out like a fire when he saw the slaves and heard them.

    "Papa, will I eva see you  'gain?  Papa?" A little girl cried.  "Papa, don't let dem take me!"
     The mother, crying as well, put a hand on the little girl's shoulder. 
     "Hey! Get over here, you stupid slave!" Yelled the slave owner.  The mother reluctantly hurried over, hoping to avoid a slash from the owner's whip.  She stood in place and looked at the ground.
     "This fine wench is healthy and is able to give birth.  Obedient and great for cleanin' and cookin'.  Nice an' young. Who's interested?"

     Melatiah was horrified.  He couldn't believe how terribly these poor slaves were being treated.  Melatiah did not know what he would do if he were split up from his family.
     "I'll- I'll take them all!" He shouted, surprising himself at the force of his voice.  The owner, too, was shocked.  "Mister Melatiah DeCuir?  You want the slaves?  Isn't your family the one that don't have any slaves?"
     "Yes, sir.  We don't have any, at the moment.  But I have a small kitchen and area for slaves, and I intend to put it to good use, mind you."
     The owner laughed.  "Well, wouldja lookit that...  You can have 'em all, Mister DeCuir, if you pay up."
     Melatiah smirked.  "How much?"
     The owner look shocked, again.  "I'll have 'em ready for you tomorrow, DeCuir.  I'll bring 'em to your house at noon."
     Melatiah nodded.  Of course, he had no intention of putting these innocent slaves to work.  He was going to set them free, and no one was going to stop him.  He turned around and came saw someone very familiar.

     Suddenly, every single memory Melatiah had of Aphrodisia came back to him, as if everything he had said to her, everything she had said to him, happened yesterday.
     "It's you," Melatiah said softly.  
     "It's me," she replied, gazing deeply into his eyes.  For the first time, she realized that she was falling in love with him.  He had listened to her words, all of those years ago, and he was better.  He had grown into something she had always wanted to be.  He had warm, understanding eyes that she felt she could trust.  
     "Who are you, Aphrodisia?  Why aren't you disappearing like you said you would?"
     "Do you want me to disappear?"
     "You didn't answer my question."
     "You didn't answer mine."
     Melatiah sighed.  Aphrodisia was even more beautiful than he had remembered.  He wanted to marry her.

     "It was really nice of you to buy all of them like that," Aphrodisia admitted.
     "Thank you."
     "Melatiah, I came back because..."
     "I love you, Aphrodisia.  I do.  I'm not sure if you love me back, but ever since I saw you as a young child, you've mesmerized me.  Maybe I'm making a fool of myself, but when you told me to marry a girl next door, I knew that I never could.  I only thought of you."
     "I love you too, Melatiah.  I knew there was something about you that set you apart from the other boys in Detroit.  There was something different about your family.  I wish I could marry you, but there are so many things about me that you don't know, would never want to know..."

     "I want to know everything about you, Aphrodisia.  All you have to do is start telling me.  Whatever your secrets are, I'll listen.  And I will accept every single one of them, because I love you."

      Aphrodisia gulped.  Confessing was going to be a lot harder than she thought it would be...

*The Antique Legacy*
Melatiah DeCuir


  1. This was incredible!! :) Looking forward to the next post, and hoping it will be out soon! <3

  2. Oh boy! So amazing! You'd better write books in addition to whatever else you choose to do for a living!

    I can't wait to see how Melatiah reacts when he finds out that Aphrodisia killed his mother. He's in love with her, but I don't know if he can forgive that!

    This was so good!

  3. @CatherineBell: Thank you!!! I, too, hope it won't be too long until the next one... at least not two weeks D: I will do my best not to let that happen this time!

    @Daisies: Hahaha! Thank you so much :) I hope I can write a book someday -- that would be great. I've always wanted to write one. Who knows?

    I so do agree! It can be so hard to forgive people.

    Thanks for reading :)

  4. Oh my gosh! I got teary when Bernard passed, it was more tearful than Emilie since Emilie's was a bit more violent and his was so sweet with the memories...
    And yay for Melatiah freeing the slaves! :)
    But wow, I wonder what is gonna happen next with Aphrodisia!!! o: