The Syncopated Rhythm of the Loa's Kiss
Date: 11/8/2018, Categories: Supernatural, Author: MadMartigan, Source: LushStories
The Old Absinthe House is dead. The French Quarter is a cemetery. The bar’s doors are thrown open to the elements and a gentle breeze drifts in with the dancing notes of a street corner clarinetist. I recognize the tune, but it takes a second to place it. I remember a Janjaweed commander who wore out an old vinyl record during an impromptu interview. Sidney Bechet. ‘Blues in Thirds.’ I shiver, the tune dredging up the kind of memories you wished you could forget, but are carved into you. Outside, the rain falls in softly patterned splashes, turning the street into a slick black mirror, the reflected neon lights beckoning empty streets. It’s useless though. The breeze. The rain. The night. Nothing cuts through the oppressive New Orleans heat. It’s claustrophobic. Elemental. Insidious. It has a way of slithering inside your skin, changing you. I remember the first week I was here, on assignment for The Globe. I remember jogging along the river walk on a night not so unlike this one. The heat was just as torturous then. I remember an unfathomable thirst, the taste of cotton in my mouth, and the smell of cigar ash. I remember the beat up old shanty that popped up out of nowhere. I remember the hunched figure of a weathered Creole woman rocking back and forth in a wicker chair, a crackling hum reverberating from a throat like dried leaves as she sucked on a tobacco pipe. My first news editor was the romantic sort when it came to life. Liked to believe there were certain moments ...