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.