SHE HID HER TRUE SELF.
NOW THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEALED.
Living a life of lies under the thumb of her widowed, spiritually-obsessed mother, Celeste has been forced to take on the identity of her dead identical twin brother, Noble. Under her boyish clothes and short-cut hair, she's almost forgotten what it's like to be Celeste -- except for the one thing that keeps her sane: caring for her darling daughter, Baby Celeste. And only Celeste knows the truth about the baby's father. But when Celeste's mother marries a kindly neighbor, a new breed of poisonous secrets and vicious enemies will force Celeste to do what she must to survive the darkness. Will revealing the truth about herself release her and her child from the demons of her family's past? Or will it seal a terrible fate for them both?
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October 04, 2004
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Excerpt from Black Cat by V.C. Andrews
"Noble," Mama called with urgency resonating in her voice.
I turned to see her waving at me from the front steps of the porch. Her hazel brown, shoulder-length hair fell straight alongside her cheeks. She had a radish-red bandanna tied across her forehead, which she said would ward off recent curses whenever they were thrown in her direction, so I knew something had spooked her today.
She was standing there with Baby Celeste beside her, which was quite unusual. Mama never brought her out during the daytime for fear someone, even from the distance in a passing car, might see her and learn that she existed. This secrecy had existed from the moment Baby Celeste had been born, a little more than two and a half years ago.
Today was one of those summer days in July when clouds seemed hinged to the horizon, not a single sliver of one interfering with the orange disk of sun sliding gracefully over the icy blue toward the mountains in the west. I was on my hands and knees pruning weeds in the herb garden. The redolent aroma of rich, wet soil filled my nostrils. Worms, lubricated and shiny from the night's rain, slipped through my muddied fingers. A wisp of a breeze teased me with a promise of some relief that had yet to be fulfilled. I was already quite tan, the farmer's tan, Daddy used to call it, because my arms were dark up to the edges of my sleeves and my neck down to my collar. It was evident only when I was naked.
Mama took another step toward me and away from the house to call again. Through the hot, undulating air that lay between us, the house seemed to shimmer and swell up around her and Baby Celeste as if it were determined to block them from the view passengers in cars along the highway would have. The house would always protect them, protect us. Mama believed that. She believed it was as sacred as a church.