Michelle, a slender, brown girl of 18 leaned against the
magnolia tree watching them. The couple got out of their car: a
white man around 35 with windswept short blond hair and his
elegant wife also in her thirties with shoulder length black hair.
They looked casually rich in their designer jeans that were wrinkled
in all the right places.
They’d parked their jaguar in the driveway and now stood
on the lawn envisioning, Michelle was sure, lofty possibilities for the
house she’d grown up in as a child.
It was a two story sprawling wooden house with a wide
porch and what used to be a swing; before Katrina had splintered it
into shards of wood that now lay tossed over the lawn and steps
like broken teeth.
The demon storm had destroyed the inside of the house too
– photographs, old hats and clothing she and Simone used to play
dress up in, antique furniture, were gone now. All that couldn’t be
salvaged had been gutted and piled in the front of the house.
But the frame, as if immune to the elements had fought the
hurricane and won. Unlike Grandmere Angelique who’d died of a
She pushed her braids out of her face and fought back tears.
Hurricane Katrina in her fury had torn through New Orleans. Like
a woman scorned, she’d ripped and destroyed the city, leaving its
children homeless, hungry, in shock, crying for their brothers and
sisters, mothers and fathers, tossed to the four corners of America
– like their ancestors before them.
Her parents André and Louisa had fled to Baton Rogue.
André had begged his mother to come with them — had tried to
force her out of the house.
But Angelique refused. “I’ve seen storms before, Cherie.
They come and go. I’m not leaving my house, non – it needs me to
keep it safe…”
Previously published in Genesis Science Fiction Magazine
Cover art and design by Quinton Veal
Copyright Valjeanne Jeffers 2010, 2012 all rights reserved
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