Bad Juju

Bad Juju by Dina Rae

Book: Bad Juju by Dina Rae Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dina Rae
Tags: Horror
prepare for.  Maybe we’ll need immunization shots.  And then passports.  I’ve rearranged my schedule to get all of June and maybe even part of July off,” Tom blabbered.  As she fumed, he wouldn’t look her in the eyes and piled more food onto his plate.
    “No, Tom…And you know my feelings about going,” Jessica said.  She wanted to smash his face in the mashed potato bowl for bringing the subject up.
    “It’s okay, Mom.  I didn’t want to go anyway.  Spending my summer working my butt off doesn’t sound too fun.  I’d rather spend more time with Allie and Nikki on their boat,” Natalie confessed.
    As Jessica feared, Henry had a much different reaction.  “That’s not fair!  Dad and I really wanted to go!  I even told my friends that I was going!”
    “Right, like you have friends,” Natalie sneered.
    Then World War III erupted at the dinner table.  Jessica could no longer contain her composure.  “Listen, I never promised anyone I would sign us up for this.  As I told your father, my gut is telling me it’s not safe to go there.  The violence at the refugee camps, the Voodoo, disease…Let’s skip it!”
    “Jess, their Voodoo is really a combination of their African roots and Catholicism.  They’re officiall y Catholic.  The perfect group to evangelize to.  This is an opportunity to preach good words after doing good works,” Tom debated.
    Tom could be so controlling .  No guilt in using their pastor’s words to influence her decision.  He brilliantly reasoned the mission would be no less than a virtuous, righteous, even saintly thing to do , refusing to give her omen any credence .
    “The news doesn’t show you what really goes on inside of the refugee camps,” she mumbled.  Her resolve was beginning to falter.
    “Our campsite will be miles away.  The Haitian police want us there.  They are even giving guns out to those who will be volunteering for the camp’s guard duty.  And Keith says the police are promising constant patrol.  C’mon.  We’ve never left Wisconsin,” he added.
    “Mom, those people need us.  Look at the island, the homes, the way they are living.  Dad was going to show me how to build things,” Henry tearfully interrupted.  He usually didn’t cry unless he was f rustrated.  He looked so dejected.  Even Natalie was warming up to the idea.  Je ssica could no longer stand the pressure.
    “Alright.  I’ll go to church once we’re done eating.  Someone should still be there.  But all three of you are cleaning up and doing the dishes.  Didn’t know it was so important.  One week.  Maybe two if things go well.”  Henry stopped crying and smiled.  “ No more sad faces.  Now Henry, what happened to Jake?  I haven’t seen him all week.  Did you have a fight?’
    “No.  He’s had to watch his step-sister.  Some relative named T.J. died,” Henry answered.  He grabbed the last piece of meatloaf off of the platter and continued eating.
    “Died?  How?  Was Jake close to him?’ Jessica asked.
    “His head was bashed in with a baseball bat .  And no, Jake wasn’t close to him.  He’s not too sad about it.”
    “Let me know when the wake is.  I’d like to go and pay my respects,” Jessica said.
    “Yeah, find out, Henry.  We’ll all go pay our respects,” Tom added.
    ***
    Later that night after signing up the family for the church’s Haitian mission, Jessica read a few chapters from her romance book, stretched out in bed and then fell into a deep sleep.  She seemed transported into another world.  Not sure if she was dreaming, she ended up crouched behind a tree, watching somethin g foreign and undoubtedly evil. Every hair on her body stood erect.  Instinct told to her r un, yet she sat like concrete.  The flames from the bonfire tickled her skin, taunting her of what was to come.   This is too real to be a dream.
    Her fear stemmed from a gathering of tribal Africans dressed in colorful, draped garments and ex

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