From Chapter 4, In which we are invited to a ball inside of a cemetery

As each of her two elder daughters turned nine, the mother continued her explanation, she took them to their first Sabbath, where they vowed to love and honor Satan and all things foul in a ceremony equivalent to the one nuns have when they commit to love the Lord and his church. Instead of wearing a bride’s white dress, a decked veil, and pearls and flowers woven in their hair, however, the two girls wore black gowns and bones of dead animals in their hair; and to complete the ceremony, instead of kissing a crucifix, as a bride of Christ would have done, they bent and kissed the Devil’s second mouth, the one in his posterior. The Devil found them agreeable and pretty, and after eating their offerings—a chubby unchristened baby each—he gave them a swarm of flies and a black toad as their familiars, to serve them in every matter in return for blood.

One year later, around the time the youngest turned six, the witch reckoned that the little girl was old enough to be introduced to the pleasures of infernal partying and began preparing her for the occasion of her first Sabbath. They walked to Third Street in Santa Monica and the woman bought for her a black dress and a pair of shoes at a pawn shop for twenty cents.

“It was a complete waste of money,” the woman interrupted her own story with a growl.

From a flight on the back of a goat to celebrate sin at a ball hosted by the Master of All Badness, to the smoky interior of the Gas House Café during a beat poetry reading; from a werewolf’s apartment in Bunker Hill, to the gaudy mansion of a closeted vampire, Love, or the Witches of Windward Circle is a wildly imaginative tale that spans five decades, connecting the otherworldly occult to the out-of-this-world bohemia of fifties Venice Beach.

 

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