That Old Black Magic


Image Source: New Orleans Online

Tim and Shaien weren’t particularly Catholic, or particularly anything. But when in Rome, or in this case New Orleans…

They were on the sitting balcony of the honeymoon suite of the Creole Gardens, making the most of Fat Tuesday with beignets, king cake and a pitcher of Hurricanes. The B&B was just off the French Quarter, allowing the young couple pockets of quiet in between waves of Mardi Gras revelers, and they were greatly enjoying their own private festivities.

The evening was warm, comparatively speaking, the gentle breeze an intoxicating perfume of Cajun and Creole cooking, flowers, horse leavings and the salt of the gulf. The atmosphere was heavy with the usual Mardi Gras enchantment, of course, but there was something else.

“Do you believe in ghosts?” Shaien asked.

“Yeah, I guess I do,” Tim said. “You feeling it?”

“I’m feeling…something,” Shaien said. “Something kind of …dark. Like …voodoo and mystery. It’s kind of eerie.”

“Now that you mention it…” Tim said.

They were quiet for a few minutes.

“Like, I can almost hear ghosts whispering from the past,” Shaien said. “It’s almost like some spectral presence has kind of wafted over me. I know it’s nothing…..but…..”

“I do believe in powers that are beyond us,” Tim said. “Obviously I’m not very religious, but yeah, I’m spiritual. And I believe in spirits of all religions, including voodoo. So yeah, there’s something here. Some…kind of presence.”

“So you think there’s something out there?” Shaien asked.

“Yeah,” Tim said, taking a pull from his drink.

“Do you think there’s something here?” Shaien asked.

“Yeah,” Tim said. “I’m not sure what. But there’s something …or someone… here.”

“Whooooooohhhhoooooo!” Shaien said, breaking the spell. They pulled their chairs together and held each other a little tighter than usual.

Later they fell into an unsettled sleep, with more questions arising than answers as the night went on.

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36 comments
  1. Very nice. Love the setting and the mood. Talking about ghosts and other unworldly things can make them seem more real. Even wondering about them, too.

    • Right? I’ve definitely felt external presences at certain places before. It’s a humbling experience.

  2. Very nicely narrated.. I could feel being with them in the room seeing and feeling what they were experiencing.. I like the way you used the ghost theme linking it with the atmosphere of the room, the photo attached for sure has add a very significant truth to enforce the theme too

    • Man, as soon as I saw that photo, this thing wrote itself. ;)

      • :) you done well .. keep the good work .. Love to read more

      • I shall do my best, thanks.

  3. Creepy in a good way…love this!

    • Good creepy is good!
      Thanks.

  4. I’ll have what they’re having.

    • Y’want fries with that spectral presence?

      • morezennow said:

        Yes, please! And an exorcist.

      • The power of Cuervo compels you!
        The power of Cuervo compels you!
        The power of Cuervo compels you!

      • morezennow said:

        Bwahahaha! I love you, Father Damien…

      • Bless you, my daughter.

      • morezennow said:

        I’ve made a new post in your honor, oh beloved one. Better grab the Holy Water.

  5. Lisa said:

    Nothing beats bonding over some good old fashioned Voodoo. I like the mood of this, very much.

    • I’ve found that Santeria is a great bonding agent, also. ;)

  6. writerwendyreid said:

    I like the mood as well and I assume that you are going to continue this story, right? You said that once you saw that pic, the story wrote itself and I notice that many people use photos in their posts…believe it or not, I have never really thought about that…about using pics as some sort of prompt for a story. Do you do this often? Does everyone do this and I’m the last one on earth to figure it out? (It wouldn’t be the first time that I was last to know…lol) :)

    • Wendy, good questions! I would say that 90% of the time for me it’s find an image that starts whispering to me and go from there. Maybe 5% of the time I have an idea and then look for an image that fits the idea. This is one of those cases. I had the idea of that unsettling feeling in the air, but as soon as I saw that image, it all came together and I was able to write this one in about an hour last night. But most of the time it’s image first. For me it’s about finding a story in an image and fleshing it out. There *may* be more to this story. Or maybe not. I just take it as it comes, and I’m more than happy to step back and let the reader fill in their own blanks.

  7. I nominated you for the Best Liar Award: http://wp.me/p1Cvgh-CN

    • Excellent (does Monty Burns finger twiddling)

      1. I once did the Neutron Dance with Ruth Pointer
      2. I once smoked a joint in class
      3. I have crossed the International Date Line seven times
      4. I once blanked in a job interview and said that the most innovative thing I had ever done was made a spreadsheet to keep track of …stuff
      5. I was born in Norway
      6. I pitched a no-hitter in high school

      • I’ll go with 2, 4, and 6. They all seem pretty fun and I’m guessing you’re a fun guy.

  8. Nanda said:

    it gave me the creeps. i hate those kind of conversations… haha.

    • Gulp! Hope you’re not *too* creeped out! But yes, it’s definitely a strange sensation being in a place like that and feeling those “ghosts.” Thanks so much for commenting, Nanda! Great to have you here.

      • Nanda said:

        haha, not so much. i’m kinda coward about those things, ahaha.
        you’re welcome, it’s my pleasure.

      • You’re in luck! A new non-creepy story less than 12 hours away!

      • Nanda said:

        yay! ;)

  9. You’re saying 2,4 and 6 are true? 2 out of 3! The correct true answers are 1, 2 and 4. Thanks for playing! Oh, and nominating!

    • You should do the liar thing as a post. It is so fun to see what your readers guess.

  10. If they were having both beignets AND king cake this was clearly a sugar over-dose as opposed to paranormal activity…not to mention the sickly-sweet hurricanes they were also drinking. : )

    Nice bit of Mardi Gras magic Brian! I enjoyed it.

    • Maybe it was the ghost of the treadmill back home…?

      • LOL!!

        Or the ghost of the following day’s hangover. : )

  11. Oooh spooky. I must turn up the heat here as I have the shivers…

    • Gulp!

  12. Wow… can feel and smell the atmosphere.

    • Breathe it in and enjoy.

      Well, try not to breathe in too much horse crap…

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