*Lakou is a Haitian term for bayou, and means ‘place in the swamp where we live’.
The boy is birthed beneath a gory moon, his mother dead before dawn.
Blood smears the tiny face, destiny writ large upon pale velvet skin. “Him yours now,” she says, pressing the mewling scrap into his father’s arms.
“I’ve many a brat,” Teague growls. “Taken none to me heart.”
“Dis one different.” Eternity aches in her bones, caged and restless, but the boy makes her blaze with hope. “Him for de sea.”
Later, when his bright sprit has drowned and teardrops burn like candles in the lakou, she wonders if she should have kept him safer, and closer to home.