Shadows on the Teche
Felecia LeBlanc, in the summerhouse behind The Shadows, watched the Louisiana Bayou Teche flow by, carrying her memories and anticipations. Teche meant snake. The bayou was named by the Indians for its writhing curves. The summerhouse was supposed to be haunted. As a child she’d heard that, but how or why she never knew.
The swollen red water and the summerhouse held many associations. On these steps, she and Etienne had decided to marry when they were older. And right out there Blaze Devalcourt came down the bayou paddling that log pirogue he’d hollowed out himself.
Those years ago when she and Etienne told Blaze their marriage plans he’d laughed. Then, shaking the coal-black hair out of his eyes he invited them for an engagement boat ride. Delighted, she and Etienne had scrambled into his small unsteady log canoe. Sure enough, in the exact center of the bayou, the crude boat overturned.
Felecia, coming up furious as a cat, yelling and hitting about wildly, knew Blaze tipped over his pirogue on purpose. But Etienne only laughed lazily – laughter, which to her further fury joined Blaze’s hooting and hollering. She’d hated them both. Even now those memories were razor-fresh.