All the denizens of Terrebonne Parish had their suspicions about how little Iphigenia Boudine had come to be so odd. “Oh it must have been a maid or that creepy cook got her started, I’m sure of it,” one would say, and then someone else would bring up Iphigenia’s Aunt Sybilline, who could be considered “eccentric” by only the most generous stretch of the imagination. Or perhaps the rumored voodoo queen who had taken a shine to the girl had something to do with it. But whatever the reason, the wan, solemn child was drawn to the occult from the start, fascinated by Ouija boards before she could talk, spelling out cryptic messages and teething on tarot decks. By the time she discarded her plush teddy bear in favor of a taxidermied opossum named Gumbo that rode around on her shoulder, her parents were nearly mute with horror. However, it was difficult to discount the fact that after her father began finding tiny gris gris bags tucked into his briefcase, he never again lost a case. Also, the migraines from which Iphigenia’s mother had suffered for years vanished after a single cup of foul smelling tea. And woe to the classmate with the bad judgment to taunt quiet Iphigenia! No simple unexplained tummy aches or streaks of bad luck, no. The unfortunate child would simply turn completely and permanently blue. Given Iphigenia’s – talents – it is hardly surprising that no one felt particularly inclined to intervene. If Iphigenia wanted to spend all afternoon sloshing around the bayou to dig up fresh St. John the Conquerer root, well so be it. If the only thing on her birthday wish list was a pickled spine specimen, who was to argue? And if a seven year old girl had the wherewithal to somehow acquire a Malaysian loris named Beignet for a pet, it was probably best to let her keep it. However unsettling her presence, it never seemed to deter those who would wait until the shadows of the day grew long before sidling up to Iphigenia and whispering their troubles and longings in her pale translucent ear. She would wordlessly trail into the bedroom no one dared to enter and glide back out to press something discreetly in their palm along with instructions scrawled in crayon. Perhaps Iphigenia will be just the thing for your troubles and wishes as well.
This original artwork and story are copyright Ramona Szczerba 2009. Copyright to this material is in no way transferable with the sale of this item. The buyer is not entitled to any reproduction rights – neither image nor story can be reproduced without my express written permission. Thanks!