Dianthe’s gaze swept across the modest grounds of the plantation. Buildings stood in need of painting. Fields went untended. Starved slaves averted their gaze from her as her carriage came to a halt in front of the shabby big house. She inhaled. Sickness filled the air, but beneath it was the faintest hint of who she had traveled in search of. The slave woman she sought had not been on the land, but there was no mistaking the blood that ran through the runaway slave’s veins lingered on the grounds.
Dianthe did not have a need for the carriage. But there was no need to strike fear in the simple humans. She could use them to her purpose which was to find her son. My sweet, sweet Frederick.
The man who greeted her was a remnant from the south as was his attire. He did not know his death was coming.
If she did not need him, she would bring death to him quicker to feed her growing thirst and strengthen her diminishing resolve from the sun. She extended her hand at his beckoning, and the touch of his rough course skin annoyed her. She wanted to withdraw her hand, and wipe it clean; but instead, she smiled and with a slight curtsy educed the role of a demure woman of the south. Sickening recollections of her pretending to be the happy wife and mother crawled to the forefront of her long memory. She fluffed the silky folds of her skirt in an effort to distract herself from each hated thought.
John Brown, her oblivious husband, had believed each clever bloody thought to be his own. His devotion to the slave afforded her every opportunity to beguile him and convince him that the Africans needed a champion willing to act ruthlessly in favor of a greater mission.
Massacre upon massacre. Grave upon grave. No one noticed that she feasted on the men and women who had fallen, least of all John Brown.