Diary of Lenobia Whitehall - winter 1788
February 13, 1788
I learned this morning that my half-sister- the legitimate child of my father- has died. My mother has sent me to take her place on the ship to the new land. I will go to America, as Cecile and wed the man she had been promised to. I cannot say I will grieve for her, we shared nothing save a father in life, and her death has given me a new chance. I cannot explain the pain I am feeling, I will never see my mother again, nor my home.
I pray my mother will be well, and that our deception will not come to harm her. And that one day, maybe after death, we will once again be together.
I am told that in another day we will reach the port and I will be able to begin my journey to New France and my new life.
February 14, 1788
We arrived at the port yesterday afternoon, and was greeted by a kindly nun and the other girls, few older than I, who will travel across the ocean to our new home. And the man my mother sent me away to shield me from has joined us on the Minerva. I just pray that he will not reveal me as an imposter.
To avoid the bishop, I have feigned seasickness. I will continue to play ill, until we reach New Orleans.
February 16, 1788
I am in luck, after the first few days on our voyage, all the guest aboard the Minerva have been plagued by seasickness. We have all remained in our separate quarters for days, eating very little. As I am not sick, I am becoming very hungry. I must see if I can make my leave this evening, after my bunkmates are asleep, and explore my new surroundings and find sufficient food.
March 9, 1788
The sickness raged through the ship for two weeks. Because of that, I am able to explore a bit at night. I have found that far below deck, there are two beautiful grey mares. I felt instantly better, upon seeing them. I also met my first true friend on my voyage to my new life. His name is Martin. He is the first person I have allowed myself to be genuine with. He questioned me only briefly on my parentage, and I learned that he, like me, though he does not know, is the bastard child of someone of class. I wish, with a strange urge that I do not understand, that I could tell him how alike we are. But I must keep up the travesty to protect my life. I will see him again.
March 10, 1788
I have been discovered. The bishop betrayed my true identity. I feared greatly that it would upset sweet sister Marie Madeleine, but she protected me. She stood up for me to the bishop. I do not know what will become of me, but I believe that the kind sister will protect me, as she did when my secret was first revealed. She has agreed to shield me further from the bishop, which I cannot express my gratitude for, in proper words. She has even guaranteed me a place in the convent we travels to when we arrive.
As I believed would happen, Martin has heard of my deception as well. I fear he and I will losing the trust that we have grown over the past few weeks. I will need to confess to him.
March 11, 1788
He told me that he loved me. I truly believe that he meant it. My joy seemed as if it would be futile at first. He says that in America, we will not be able to marry because he is of mixed blood. I may have convinced him that we can be brave enough not to care what they will think. That we may be brave enough if we stand together.
I am told that the ship will arrive in New Orleans in just a few more days, and it couldn't come at a better time. Bishop has made many more advances in the recent days. Sister Marie Madeleine has kept her promise, and I have remained by her side.
March 13, 1788
He has killed her. During Morning Prayer, the bishop lit the candle with flames from nowhere, and during the prayer, I watched as he seemingly drew the flame up. It rose high and leapt from the candle onto the sweet sister. I watched as her clothing became a blaze. He himself added water to the flame, angering it. It consumed her within minutes.
She threw herself into the ocean, saving us from having to watch her burn, and saving herself from the flame. Before she jumped she looked at me, and uttered words that none but I could hear, her voice mixed with that of a woman's it sounded familiar, yet I cannot identify. But her words will remain with me until I die. "Follow your heart, child. The Mother shall protect you." She looked at peace, as she died.
I am now without protection.
March 15, 1788
I have remained in our quarters since Sister Marie Madeleine's death, dwelling within my own mind. I have come a brave decision. Seeing that kind woman die, and hearing her words has changed me. I will tell Martin all I feel.
The bishop found me not long after I confided my true feelings to Martin. He again tried to take me. But Martin came to my rescue. Using his blood and an incantation, he bound himself to me as my protector, using the magic of his mother's people. He fears the laws in America will prevent our life together in America. He has decided that we must flee soon after the ship reaches land to find a safe place to live together.
I believe the stress of remaining on this boat is beginning to weaken me. I am beginning to feel ill.
March 21, 1788
We have reached land. And the end of our voyage cannot come at a better time, I have developed a wracking cough. It make my ribs ache. But thoughts of Martin, and our life together are enough to keep my spirits high. I will go to the convent the rest of the girls, until Martin comes for me.
Tonight I both met my first vampyre, and became one. At the convent, I met a beautiful woman, with a delicate crescent tattoo on her forehead. That same woman, came as I was alone with the bishop. With a gentle touch and an exclamation of the words "Night has chosen thee", she branded my forehead with the outline of an incomplete crescent tattoo. Immediately my cough ebbed and the pain in my chest faded. The Vampyre commanded the bishop to go. And he did. Martin and I will now travel to what the vampyre called The House of Night in Savannah.
The bishop did not go as far as I hoped. As soon as Martin and I were alone once more, he appeared. He set the stable ablaze, as he had with Sister Marie Madeleine, and my beloved Martin along with it. But Martin fought him, and the bishop burned too. I will now have to live forever without him. I willed the vampyre to let me burn with the city, but her kind words and a horse have convinced me to live on.
She believes I have an affinity for horses, but I have always loved them and have known how to read them. I will live my life without Martin, but with the creatures that drew us together. I will live the life he and I never had the chance to, with happiness and horses.