Miss Jeanette smudges the circle while Tara shakes on the ground, wriggling, sickened and groaning: "Spit, smoke, root." Water, air and earth. "Cleanse the body, cleanse the soul. Snake, seek, search, find, bring it to the light. Ohhh, the light..." It starts to come; Tara groaning and cramping on the ground: "Fuck, my stomach!" She's got the bends, digging herself up from the deepest places, the darkest place, where she put the demon. "It's angry," Miss Jeanette says. "It's digging its claws in, so it can hold on. Don't you fight back! Let your body be the battleground." It always was. When people talk about their alcoholic parents, they're never talking about the alcohol:
"You let that demon destroy itself," Miss Jeanette commands, and Tara suddenly sits up. "I feel sick..." Miss Jeanette watches her heave, pushing and straining to bring it up. Her body was the battleground. That smart little girl, breaking her mother's bottles, fighting the demon before it had a name. Lettie Mae was her maker, so entranced by the eyes looking back at her in the dark that she couldn't even see her daughter except as another problem. She changed her daughter, broke her apart, and in doing so she broke herself. She was a pale caretaker and a monstrous maker. She was a vampire:
At Georgia's house, Jonathan took out one of her famous actor father's dramatic recordings, and played it, to make a point: Macbeth, Act V, Scene v. It's about a woman who died too late. She helped destroy her husband while she was creating him:
"She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word... And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death... Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing..."
"Let it go, let it go. Let it go. Let go of all that sickness, all that rage, all that anger, all that hate, all that self-pity. It's just fuel for the demon inside of you." Tara finally barfs for like a million years, when Miss Jeanette standing above her. "Come forth, demon! Leave this child in peace! Come into the light! Show yourself!" A child walks out of the forest, jumping in space and time, black-eyed and small, afraid, weak. Tara shakes her head and Miss Jeanette asks her what she sees. "Momma," says the demon quietly. "It's me, standing right over there," she says, nearly weeping. "It's me." Miss Jeanette shakes her head. "The demon will take on any form to stay alive. It knows your weaknesses. It preys on your fears." They're both right: