Part 2 of 1 READ PART I
Four thousand miles away, in the small clearing surrounded by trees about fifty yards off from the main house, half-naked Haitian women danced around a fire while drums played a fast, rhythmic beat of chaos. The night air was hot and dense. Black sweat rolled down their cheeks as they bounced from foot to foot swiftly with their backs low, not missing a single beat while swinging their heads to the rhythm of this frantic dance.
The women knew evil was afoot. They’d felt its presence the first time a dark angel made its appearance over a month ago. At first there was one, and then there was another and then another. Soon they could not turn a corner without locking eyes with a red-eyed devil. Every night, more villagers went missing as proof of the devil’s presence.
They had seen this type of evil before. These women were natives, true, pureblooded Haitians. They lived like their ancestors before them in the presence of pain, evil, and slavery. Their bloodline, still unpolluted, drew directly from the shores of Africa. They still worshipped the same spirits of their original home, just like their ancestors.
Tonight was a very special night, for the few husbands, brothers, and sons that remained in the village told their women that they were close. The end was near. Over the past month, every able-bodied male had been tasked to work in what was maliciously called Le Trou by the natives. It was French for The Hole. At first the villagers thought it was going to be a simple dig. They were accustomed to hard work in the hot sun because that had been their history. They thought the hole would be complete in a day or two at most.
Unfortunately, they were wrong. The dig turned into a twenty-four-hour operation, with most of the heaviest work done at night. The hole had grown nearly twenty-five feet deep and claimed almost as many lives. In this final week, the dark angels had pushed even harder.
The men knew they were getting close to the bootie. They had no idea what they were digging for, but they knew tonight was special. There was no science to their logic; the natives just felt it in their bones, and they knew that soon they would reach what the dark angels sought.
Deeper into the woods was another clearing. It was the same clearing where the women focused their sacred dance to Le Trou. A string of lights ran along the muddy path to the dig site. Beneath the poorly lit path was another line based on backbreaking labor. It was a string of natives winding around trees and across ditches down to Le Trou. Twenty-pound buckets filled with rocks and debris were passed up the human line, one man to the next, until the debris was dumped at another site at the end of the line, and then the empty buckets were passed back down to be refilled.
The natives were entangled to the rhythm and tied to the beat as their shovels struck hard ground and created natural movement in the human line. Each time the shovels hit the rock-ridden soil, the natives would release hummp on their exhale. One solid hummp would be repeated back up the line as buckets of soil and rocks were removed. Somewhere above the tree line, the women’s chants and the drums mixed with the men’s rhythmic beat. The woods were alive underneath the bright stars with the excitement and anticipation of what was to come.
A lingering shadow scoured over dirt paths leading back up to the main house. It was Smenkhkara’s as he stood outside on the east balcony of the Citadelle, listening to the natives’ music. He too sensed their excitement. They know their end is near.
The drums continued to play as the intensity grew and the chaos in the women’s dance matched the beat. They spun around and dipped low to the ground, pulling from Mother Earth’s power, all the while still swinging their heads in the maddening dance that looked more like possession. Another woman swallowed a mouth full of eighty-proof dark rum and then blow it into the fire.
The fire rose even higher in Hatshepsut’s pit. Meryt could feel the flames against her skin . . . or was it lust? She was unsure. There was so much heat generated in the small room that it almost seemed like a fantasy. Clap, clap . . . spin around, and there was Rene’s touch. It burned clean through to her heart and down to her belly with the same intensity. She felt a pool of moisture collect between her legs. Only the palms of his hands touched her bare skin along her shoulders just beneath the golden lace. Just his simple touch made her long for something more. Is this even humanly possible? She thought.
Rene leaned forward and tried to inhale every inch of Meryt’s flesh. Her curly, brown hair smelled of warm honey. The beads of sweat that formed along her hairline smelled of a warm summer’s night, and her breath as she exhaled smelled earthy, warm, like brown sugar. He could not take his eyes away from his mark on her neck, which beckoned him to for a little taste. He could see the delicate throbbing artery matching Meryt’s heartbeat that complimented with the drums playing in the background. It all called to him, demanding that he lay claim to his true love once more.
Rene’s eyes flashed red, and his fangs slid out. Meryt saw the lust building in her lover’s eyes. It was the answer she needed to satisfy her burning need. She could barely contain herself as she felt the familiar pull against her neck. Meryt released the tension in her tired body and gave into Rene’s love. She exhaled again, closed her eyes, and fell into ecstasy. Once again she saw the burning red flames as bright as the sun.
Hatshepsut saw the flames as well and heard the fast, rhythmic beats of the drums, but they weren’t from her drummers. As if she had eyes of an eagle, her vision panned out and she saw a castle far off in the distance. She zoomed in and found Smenkhkara standing on a balcony. At once she knew the location by reading his mind. It was the Citadelle Laferriere in Haiti. The Citadelle had always been a hush-hush place, reportedly built by wealthy French men who supported freedom for the Haitians. Yet no one had ever laid eyes on the French men; only a castle filled with weapons supported any proof of their existence.
Suddenly, a woman’s cry caught Hatshepsut’s attention. It was a dancer calling out in tongues. Another woman called out in English, “They found it! They found it!”
Frantically, Hatshepsut followed the woman’s cry to another trail. It was a long winding path of men dumping soil and waste. She quickly followed it to the other end. There she saw Le Trou, and in it she found three men with shovels digging in the dirt around an outline of an old wooden crate with the sacred cross of the Knights Templar etched onto its lid.
A whisper escaped from Hatshepsut’s lips, “Oh, my God. Smenkhkara has found it . . . ”
To be continued…
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