Discussing Punished Ch. 23 Beautiful Spirit


Thanks for joining us! We’re on chapter 23 now – almost through with this book. Please give me some recommendations for our next book discussion. If you’re the first person to recommend a book I choose, and you participate in the discussion, then I’ll have a little prize for ya.

Ch. 23 Beautiful Spirit

After regaining her composure Arelia noticed the big house was all lit up. A ball was taking place. Voices floated from the front porch. Arelia wondered if Lucus was in attendance. She also wondered how he’d take her in her present state – covered in mud and blood.

“You don’t have time, Arelia. Come here,”…

Brise tried to hurry Arelia along. She told him about keeping her previous promise to him; she had told Erzulie about him.

“Thank you, Arelia LaRue,…She thinks I’m beautiful. She called an ugly spirit like me beautiful.”

Brise then told her that the one who could help her was the one she loved. Arelia was frustrated by this – not having a clue who or what he was talking about.

“Lucus,…Silly Arelia, you leave a little piece of your soul behind everywhere you go, and in every year you live.”

Someone interrupts.

“Are you a spirit?”

Lucus. He was leaning against a tree drinking from a bottle of whiskey. Arelia was shocked at how different Lucus looked. This Lucus didn’t carry around the sadness that the present-day Lucus was buried under. Arelia told him that she was a spirit and needed to find the swamp. Lucus assured her that he’d help, but then questioned her about her bleeding. Arelia informed him that spirits were capable of bleeding. Lucus used his jacket and some of his whiskey to clean the blood off her face. He then asked her about her hand and ripped off one of his shirt sleeves to wrap her hand.

“Why aren’t you at the party?”

“She’s not there. Can you believe she said she was too busy to see me tonight? So I’ve decided to drink her away.”

Arelia couldn’t imagine how anyone would stand Lucus up. He told Arelia that the girl may be in love with someone else, but that he suddenly couldn’t even remember the girl’s name. Lucus then professed to not imagining his life without Arelia and wanted to show her New Orleans. Arelia questioned his sanity. He responded by pulling her close.

“Not insane, I simply know what I want, and I want you.”

Lucus tried to kiss her, but she stopped him. Arelia found herself wishing she could go see New Orleans with this happy Lucus. Brise warned her that she needed to get going, but Lucus continued his coaxing as he buried his face in her neck. They continued flirting and Arelia found she immensely enjoyed it. Lucus said he’d follow her anywhere – even to live with her in the swamp.
Bade then cut in to warn Arelia, but Arelia continued to be distracted by Lucus. She finally convinces him that she needs to leave. He starts taking her towards the swamp, but then stops.

“I would do anything to make you stay,”…

Arelia told him that she was a spirit and had to go back where she came from. Lucus ran his fingers through her hair, cupped her cheeks, wrapped her in his arms and kissed her. She thought of how easy it would be to just stay in his arms forever.
Bade warned that she’d be trapped.
Brise ordered her to get to the swamp.
Arelia reluctantly pulled back.

“Will I ever see you again, beautiful spirit?”

Arelia thought with jealousy that he wouldn’t even remember her in the morning due to his drunken state.
Lucus yelled out to her that they belonged together and that she’d come back to him – that he LOVED her. Arelia said that they’d barely had five minutes together, but Lucus said it was more than enough for him. {I thought of his parent’s story.}
Arelia walked away and whispered these words:

“Be safe, Lucus LaPlante,…You’re a beautiful spirit, too. I’m sorry I can’t stay and save you from your miserable fate. I can’t wait to see you again.”

So we get Lucus back. I missed him – despite all of Arelia’s silliness. It’s crazy that they finally kiss & it’s in the past. I’m hoping this will change her behavior towards him in the present! Ican’t believe that she still couldn’t even bring herself to tell him that she loved him there in the past. I liked this more aggressive Lucus of the past, but I also love the maturity in the present-day Lucus. I hope when things finally get resolved for Arelia and Lucus that the story won’t just end there.

Discussing Punished ~ Ch. 20 – 21


If you’re just joining us, we’re discussing Kira Saito’s Punished, the second book in the Arelia LaRue series, chapter by chapter. If you’d like to discuss it with us, you can pick up here, or go back to any of the previous chapters I’ve posted on. I LOVE comments!!

Ch. 20 Out in the Cotton Fields

Arelia marched out with the hundreds of other slaves to the cotton fields.

They varied greatly in age and height, but all of their faces told the same sordid tale of utter misery.

The slaves began strapping on large sacks and grabbed large baskets, but Arelia stood shell-shocked. Louis told her to quickly get to work before she was seen, but she asked, “Why?”. Louis wondered aloud what had gotten into her. He went and placed a sack around her neck and a basket in her arm.

“Don’t draw attention to yourself. They aren’t going to accept any less than two hundred pounds…”

Arelia reluctantly started picking, realizing there was no possible way she’d ever pick 200 pounds. She kept waiting to wake up from the nightmare, but she continued picking for the next eighteen hours.

My hands were raw and sore. My feet ached in excrutiating agony, and I was thirsty as hell. I was ready to take the strap straight off the bag and make a noose out of it. I didn’t because I had nowhere to actually hang myself.

For a moment Arelia felt absolute rage towards Lucus, but she knew it wasn’t really his fault. She did, however, finally understand why Louis would hate Lucus. {Kira made me feel rage myself for what many slaves had to endure. She painted very vivid pictures in just few words.}
At the end of the day Louis realized Arelia didn’t have nearly enough cotton and began scooping handfuls of his into her basket. Arelia went ahead of Louis to have her’s weighed, and the driver “passed” her. Louis was next…,”Fail.” Louis was thrust into the corner and whip met flesh as Arelia held back tears and vomit. As much as Arelia hated the present-day Louis, this one had taken her beating. Sousson Pannan tempted her with his own form of “help”, and she was just about to give in until Bade showed up.
The beating finally stopped and Louis stumbled over to Arelia.

“Back to the cabin, you’ll know what to do,…”

This seems to be another sign that this Louis, not just the present-day Louis, knows Arelia. Or, is he thinking that she is her great geat-great grand-mere, maybe? He is calling her Arelia, though. What do y’all think?

Ch. 21 Healing Louis

Arelia helped Louis back to the cabin and he laid down on his stomach.

“Arelia, go get the herbs.”

Arelia told him that she didn’t know where they were, but he told her that she needed to quit playing games. She thought about where they’d be hidden and remembered the journal. Arelia dug until she found a box.

“Hurry, Arelia. I’m supposed to meet her tonight,”…

{So, Arelia is not “the girl”. I’m definitely still confused about how he’d know her, then.}

Arelia realized that if Louis left, then that would be her chance to escape. She wondered who he was going to meet. It was a major struggle for Arelia to even look at Louis’ back. She put the oils and herbs on and Louis cried out. Then he told her to hurry because “she” would be waiting by the river. Arelia told Louis to tell her about the girl as Arelia sliced open her palm to sacrifice her blood for his healing. Louis said that the girl worked in the big house.

“I love her; we’re going to be together forever. She’s promised me that already. When I’m with her, I forget all this misery, and I know redemption is close for me.”

{How can you not feel bad for Louis here?}

Arelia called to Erzulie, and Erzulie accepted her sacrifice for Louis’ healing. Louis stated that the spirits always favored Arelia.

Louis got up to leave and gave Arelia a kiss on her cheek. She had a strong sense of deja – vu. She wracked her brain over how she knew him. {I’m thinking this totally has to be Ivan. Ivan is such a tortured soul.} As Louis was leaving, Arelia thought to ask what he thought of Lucus. He seemed taken aback. He didn’t really have any strong opinions of Lucus, claiming he was nice enough.
Louis then thought that Arelia was asking because she was interested in Lucus. Louis warned her away from Lucus and suggested somone like Edward. Arelia wondered who Edward was. {Is this Edward going to be someone significant?} Arelia sent Louis on his way, wishing him a good night.
As Louis left, Arelia thought of Mrs. Dreaux. Arelia thought of how she didn’t want to waste her whole life trying to prove that she was good enough for Tony – good enough for Mrs. Dreaux’s life. {I’m hoping this is enough to keep her permenantly away from Tony.}
Arelia then searched the cabin for cornbread and a blue-grey candle. She changed back into her green dress running purely on adrenaline. She also thought to grab some oil and herbs in case they were needed and headed out of the cabin.

If I didn’t escape now and reconnect with my soul, I would be a prisoner for eternity in this plane. My life would be a never-ending battle that would consist of rotten food and intolerable amounts of labor. Escape was my only option.

These last two chapters have been a bit rough. It’s never easy looking at the evils of our past.
At this point, I’m certain that Louis is Ivan, but I have no idea as to who this mystery girl is. Any ideas???