HELLVIS: The backstory

The story is set in Louisiana, before the start of the civil war.

Our anti-hero was the accidental result of a rich, arrogant and sadistic plantation owner (who is also an important military General, thus frequently away on military maneuvers) who was in the habit of forcing himself on his younger female slaves. One of these indiscretions resulted in a pregnancy. The plantation owner bursts in on the birthing, and steals the child from the mother as she is having it. The mother is told the baby has been killed.

The plantation owners wife is horrified at what has taken place, but being deeply religious, does not allow him to kill the baby to erase his mistake. The child is essentially locked away in a dark basement room, banished, and looked after only by the house servants, who are told the child is "abnormal". As the child grows, there is much speculation and gossip among the slave community about the mysterious boy.. Eventually, the child's birth mother (a practitioner of Voodoo) comes to know the truth about her child. Under the guidance of the birth mother, the house servants take him under their wing, teaching him to speak, and carving him Jack-o-Lanterns for light and companionship.

20 years go by, and the Civil War has broken out. The General who leaving for battle, is aware and embarrassed by the fact that his secret is not such a secret after all, and decides to erase his mistake like he should have done 20 years ago. (By this time, the boy has also learned the truth about his birth mother.) The General opens the door to the boy’s room, knife in hand, and advances on the boy. The boy panics, grabbing a jar of lamp oil and throwing it in the general's face. The general, angry now, charges the boy, who grabs the only other item in the room, a burning Jack o' Lantern, and hurls it at the general, setting his face and upper torso ablaze, and giving him a chance to slip past him and escape. The boy flees to the slave village, and has a brief encounter with his birth mother, who urges him to flee, knowing the general will not be far behind.

The general (badly burned, facially) and a few of his men catch up with the boy in a wooded clearing, and prepare to hang him. In a cruel act of revenge for his own disfigurement, the general brutally carves a garish Jack o' Lantern into the boy's face with a knife, and they hang him. On their way back through the slave village, he arrogantly tells the mother where she can find her boy.

The slaves go and retrieve the body, and the mother (now a much more powerful practitioner of Vodou) prepares a ritual, begging Papa Legba for vengeance. Legba appears, and in a fiery ritual of the supernatural, re-animates the corpse, but it is something different now. The mother stares in terror at what has been created, and regrets her decision, as this creature with it's vacant stare, is clearly no longer her son. Legba, satisfied with his creation, tells her, "He belongs to me now".