BooksFrom the Wire

Dust In My Veins by Antuan Wilbon

In the captivating novel “Dust In My Veins” by Antuan Wilbon, set in 1862, Archibald Campbell, a slave owner, makes a desperate deal with a powerful Voodoo Priestess named Simbi to ensure his control over his slaves and his own unnaturally long life. As the United States teeters on the brink of change with Abraham Lincoln’s proposed Emancipation Proclamation, Archibald’s fear of losing his slaves and plantation drives him to extreme measures. Fast forward to present-day Chicago, where Jaxson, facing a difficult homicide case, receives a letter awarding him property in the mysterious town of Derniere. Teaming up with Angela Allen, a professor searching for answers about the town, they uncover its dark secrets and work to unravel its deadly mysteries. Get ready for a thrilling journey into a world where the past intertwines with the present, and curses have lasting consequences.

Dust In My Veins by Antuan Wilbon

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Background

Introduction

In 1862, as the United States faced the impending change brought by Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, one man, Archibald Campbell, found himself desperate to hold on to his slaves and the plantation he prized. Fearful of losing everything, Archibald made a deal with a powerful Voodoo Priestess named Simbi. In exchange for his loyalty and soul, Simbi granted Archibald immortality and bound his slaves to him forever, ensuring their servitude and preventing him from aging.

Archibald Campbell’s deal with Simbi

Archibald Campbell, a slave owner, made a deal with a powerful Voodoo Priestess named Simbi to bind his slaves to him forever and grant him an unnaturally long life because he was afraid of losing his slaves and plantation. Archibald’s desperation to hold onto his slaves and prevent the imminent changes brought by Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation led him to seek out supernatural means to secure his power and control.

Setting in Derniere

For centuries, Archibald and his slaves lived in isolation in Derniere, a hidden town nestled in the depths of a forest. Derniere served as a sanctuary for Archibald and his bound slaves, shielding them from the outside world and preserving the secret of their immortality. The remote location of Derniere served as a protective barrier, allowing Archibald to maintain his power and control over his slaves.

Plot Summary

Jaxson’s homicide case

In present-day Chicago, Jaxson, a detective, finds himself entangled in a difficult homicide case. As he delves deeper into the investigation, he uncovers a web of secrets and intrigue that leads him to an unexpected connection to Derniere. Jaxson’s pursuit of the truth leads him to take temporary leave and receive an unexpected inheritance: property in Derniere.

Temporary leave and property in Derniere

After a near-death experience, Jaxson is put on temporary leave from the police force. During this time, he receives a letter informing him of a property inheritance in Derniere. Curiosity and a desire for answers drive Jaxson to travel to Derniere, a place shrouded in mystery and legend.

Meeting Angela Allen

In Derniere, Jaxson crosses paths with Angela Allen, a professor seeking answers about the town’s history and the secrets hidden within its borders. Angela’s research and knowledge intertwine with Jaxson’s investigation, forming a connection that will propel them on a shared mission to uncover the truth about Derniere and the curse that binds its inhabitants.

Uncovering secrets and unraveling mysteries

Together, Jaxson and Angela engage in a quest to investigate the hidden secrets of Derniere. They explore its dark history, searching for clues and evidence that will shed light on the mysteries that have plagued Archibald and his slaves for generations. As they delve deeper into their investigation, they discover the true nature of the curse and the consequences it holds for all those involved.

Excerpt

Chapter One: New Orleans, 1862

The changing times

In the midst of the changing times brought on by Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the streets of New Orleans are filled with whispers of revolution. Archibald Campbell, a slave owner, witnesses the tearing down of the Confederate flag and the raising of the new American flag. The sight ignites a fury within him, as he contemplates the loss of his slaves and the uncertain future that awaits him.

The frustration and anger

Archibald’s frustration and anger are palpable as he grapples with the notion of losing everything he has worked so hard for. He questions the sanity of a world that welcomes such drastic changes and wonders if there is a hidden strategy behind Lincoln’s actions. The fear of losing his slaves and the power and control they afford him drives Archibald to make a solemn vow to protect his way of life.

Archibald’s determination

As Archibald sits in the solitude of the night, he contemplates the repercussions of Lincoln’s proposed emancipation. The weight of the impending changes and the potential loss of his property and livelihood bear down on him. In the face of uncertainty, Archibald’s determination to hold on to his slaves and preserve his way of life grows stronger. He vows to fight against the forces that threaten to dismantle his world.

Consequences of Emancipation

Archibald’s fears and concerns

Archibald’s fears and concerns revolve around the impact Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation will have on his life. He views the freeing of his slaves as a personal attack on his power and control, and it deepens his sense of vulnerability. Archibald is determined to maintain his dominance and preserve the social order he has grown accustomed to, even if it means resorting to supernatural means.

Impact on Archibald’s family

The impending emancipation poses a threat not only to Archibald’s slaves but also to his family. The loss of their support system and the potential upheaval of their privileged lifestyle leave Archibald’s wife and children feeling exposed and uncertain about their future. The family’s privilege and social standing are intertwined with the institution of slavery, making the prospect of change deeply unsettling.

The future of the plantation

With the future of slavery hanging in the balance, the once-thriving plantation faces an uncertain future. The forced labor of Archibald’s slaves has sustained the plantation’s success, and without it, the business may crumble. Archibald’s worries extend beyond his personal loss, as he contemplates the economic repercussions of emancipation on the entire plantation and the community it supports.

The Curse of Dust

Archibald’s discovery

Archibald’s discovery of the curse of dust becomes a turning point in his life. As each slave escapes from Derniere, Archibald ages while his slaves turn to dust. Archibald becomes aware of the price he must pay for his immortality and the cost of his desperation. The curse becomes a burden he must bear, forcing him to consider the consequences of his actions and the lengths he will go to maintain his power.

Aging with each escaped slave

Archibald’s immortality comes at a great cost. With each escaped slave, he not only loses control but also experiences the physical toll of aging. The curse becomes a constant reminder of the choices he made and the dark magic that binds his fate to that of his slaves. Archibald’s desperation to preserve his immortality drives him to extreme measures, ensuring the bloodlines of escaped slaves remain in Derniere.

Keeping the bloodlines in Derniere

To prevent the curse from sealing his fate, Archibald must keep members of each escaped slave’s bloodline in Derniere. This ensures the perpetuation of the curse and his own immortality. The cycle of capturing and preserving the bloodlines becomes a haunting task, as Archibald grapples with the ethical implications of his actions and the preservation of his power.

The Protagonists

Jaxson – The detective

Jaxson, a seasoned detective, finds himself drawn into the web of secrets surrounding Derniere. As he navigates the complexities of his homicide case, he becomes entangled in the dark history of the town and its residents. Jaxson’s determination and thirst for truth propel him forward, despite the risks and challenges he faces along the way.

Angela Allen – The professor

Angela Allen is a professor with a passion for uncovering hidden truths. Her research on Derniere leads her to cross paths with Jaxson, and together they embark on a shared mission to unveil the secrets of the town. Angela’s knowledge and expertise become invaluable in their quest for answers, as she unravels the mysteries that have plagued Derniere for generations.

Their shared mission

Jaxson and Angela join forces to investigate the secrets of Derniere and uncover the truth about Archibald Campbell’s deal with Simbi. Their shared mission becomes a journey of self-discovery and redemption, as they confront the darkness that resides within themselves and the consequences of their actions. Together, they face the challenges that arise as they delve deeper into the mysteries of Derniere.

Unveiling the Secrets

Investigating Derniere

Jaxson and Angela’s investigation takes them deep into the heart of Derniere. They explore the hidden corners and delve into the town’s dark history. The duo uncovers long-buried secrets and uncovers the truth behind Archibald’s deal with Simbi. As they unearth evidence and piece together clues, they come face to face with the consequences of the curse and the lengths some will go to protect their immortality.

Finding clues and evidence

Jaxson and Angela’s journey is riddled with clues and evidence that shed light on the mysteries of Derniere. Through historical research and interviews with residents, they uncover connections and discover the truth about the curse of dust. The duo’s determination and intellect guide them as they uncover a web of deceit and manipulation that has spanned generations.

Unraveling the mysteries

As Jaxson and Angela unearth the truth, they become entangled in a complex web of power, control, and dark magic. They unravel the mysteries surrounding Derniere and the curse that binds its inhabitants. Their pursuit of truth leads them to confront their own demons and make choices that have far-reaching consequences. Together, they bring the secrets of Derniere into the light and confront the darkness that has haunted the town for centuries.

Themes Explored

Slavery and its aftermath

The theme of slavery and its aftermath is at the core of “Dust In My Veins.” The story delves into the complexities of power dynamics and control, examining the consequences of slavery and the desperate measures some would take to maintain their dominance. The exploration of slavery’s impact offers a stark reminder of the lasting effects of systemic oppression and the quest for freedom and equality.

Immortality and its consequences

The theme of immortality highlights the allure and consequences of eternal life. Archibald’s pact with Simbi grants him immortality but comes at a great cost. The curse of dust reveals the dark underbelly of immortality and the toll it takes on both the immortal and those bound to them. The pursuit of eternal life becomes a complex exploration of morality, sacrifice, and the price one is willing to pay for power.

Power and control

The theme of power and control permeates the narrative, showcasing the lengths individuals will go to maintain their authority. Archibald’s desperate desire to hold on to his slaves and plantation highlights the destructive nature of unchecked power. The exploration of power dynamics raises questions about the limits of control and the consequences of wielding power without empathy or conscience.

Emotional and Historical Context

The impact of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation

The historical context of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation provides a backdrop for the story, highlighting the societal shifts and tensions of the time. The proclamation triggered a wave of frustrations and fears among slave owners like Archibald, who grappled with the loss of power and control. The emotional impact of the proclamation on individuals and communities underscores the significance of the historical event.

The frustration and fear of slave owners

The emotional context of frustration and fear among slave owners offers insight into the mindset of characters like Archibald. The impending loss of their slaves and the uncertain future engender a sense of vulnerability and desperation. The emotional turmoil experienced by slave owners sheds light on the complexities of their motivations and actions, humanizing their fears and anxieties.

The struggle for freedom and equality

The struggle for freedom and equality is a recurring theme in “Dust In My Veins.” The story examines the desire for liberation and the lengths individuals will go to attain it. The parallel journeys of Archibald and his slaves, as well as Jaxson and Angela, provide a nuanced exploration of the fight for freedom and the sacrifices made along the way. The struggle for equality becomes a driving force behind the narrative, underscoring the importance of justice and equity.

Conclusion

Resolving the mysteries

As Jaxson and Angela dig deeper into the secrets of Derniere, they unravel the mysteries that have plagued the town for generations. Their collective efforts culminate in a resolution that unveils the truth behind the curse of dust and the intricate network of power and control. Through their determination and collaboration, they expose the dark underbelly of Derniere and confront the consequences that come with unearthing hidden secrets.

Lessons learned

The journey undertaken by the characters in “Dust In My Veins” offers valuable lessons about the dangers of power, the consequences of unchecked actions, and the importance of empathy and understanding. The exploration of themes such as slavery, immortality, and power dynamics serves as a cautionary tale, urging readers to consider the implications of their choices and the impact they have on others.

Final thoughts

“Dust In My Veins” is a captivating and thought-provoking tale that intertwines history, mystery, and the supernatural. Through its richly drawn characters and intricate plot, the story immerses readers in the complexities of power, control, and the pursuit of truth. With its exploration of themes such as slavery and immortality, “Dust In My Veins” offers a unique and compelling narrative that leaves readers reflecting on the lasting consequences of our actions and our pursuit of power.

Source: https://joelbooks.com/dust-in-my-veins-by-antuan-wilbon/