The La Roux Plantation House
Abigail scurried back through the trail of death to her boat, and from there to the La Roux plantation. She called Billy as she sailed. The call was short. Abigail told Billy where she was going and Billy thanked her for telling him. Before hanging up, Billy was sure to ask if Abigail would be alright. Abigail did not know.
She reached the plantation’s pier. It was larger than her own, and the walk along its creaking wooden planks started to strain Abigail’s nerves. At least she was shaded by the towering cypress trees.
The plantation loomed ahead. Abigail approached from its backyard, which contained a garden maze. Small though it was, it was overgrown, and Abigail could not see over its green walls. She skipped the hassle and walked right on around it. Abigail’s walk along the side of the house revealed that all its windows were either boarded up or covered in dust. It was impossible to see inside.
Then she reached the front. The area was mildly manicured and featured two rows of oak trees that lined a dirt road leading from the plantation. The plantation itself was primarily white in color and had six columns across the front porch. The windows were as cracked as the paint job of the entire house. For a piece of America’s history, it was a dump.
Abigail walked around and stood on the dirt driveway before the front porch. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. But before she could proceed, a rough man’s voice called out to her. Abigail turned and spotted an older black man approaching her. They made eye contact when he got close. The man’s expression of frustration turned to recognition.
“Abigail?” he asked.
“My god. You’ve grown.”
“I see you’re still ticking, Mr. Joe.”
“Yeah, still the groundskeeper.” No smile crossed Mr. Joe’s face. “What are you doing here? I thought this would be the last place you’d ever come to.”
“I don’t want to be here. I have to be here.”
Mr. Joe nodded. “I get it. Facing your fears and all that.” He sighed. “I’m sorry, Abigail.”
“Me too. I wish you hadn’t been there, but honestly, I’m glad you were.”
“I feel the same way.” Mr. Joe looked at the house. “Lights only work in half of the rooms. Be strong, little Abby.” He walked back to resume his work.
Abigail approached the house. She walked up the front steps and to the front door. There, she paused, staring at the doorknob. Her hand just would not move, and it was trembling when it finally began to rise. It gripped the handle but that was all Abigail could handle. She started slamming her fist against the door again and again and let out a long scream as she did. Abigail was on the brink of tears when her phone began to ring. She had to take several deep breaths before she could answer. It was Billy, and he sounded awful.
“Abby! You have to help us!”
“What? What’s wrong?” Abigail started running back to her boat.
“The Rougarou. He’s here.”
The line cut out. Abigail called the police as her boat sped across the water to Acadiana Swamp Excursions. They could barely hear each other but the message got through.