Chapter 1 - 1I had never truly been on a trip to the Deep South before. They tell you it's a different feel, but, the truth is it's more like a whole other country. Traveling down one back dusty country road after another. The sweat beginning to pour down my brow the closer I get to my destination. Damn the AC that gave out a few hundred miles back. Pulling into a fuel station I swear I can hear Dueling Banjos playing in my head as the attendant comes out of the rusty building that serves as the garage. His narrow eyes show little intelligence. The almost built in violence behind his shiny small eyes reflects more of a life he has learned to accept like his daddy and his daddy before him. The Dixie flag painted and faded on the side of one of the walls of the dilapidated building reflects where his loyalties lay and his thick accent followed. I felt a little foolish unable to understand a bit of what he was saying at first. He was questioning what a Yankee was doing down in these parts. The slight Cajun lilt combined with more of a backwoods southern made it sound more like a completely made up language.
He got my pump started for me as he cleaned the bugs off my windshield. I explained I was down here to write a story about some of the strange creatures the locals claimed lived here down bayou. The man seemed to find the idea amusing. Although he did shake his head warning me that though we city slickers may find their swamps and shacks to be a fun tourist place to visit the truth was he had seen more than one of my kind go out there searching for legends and never coming back out. I found myself smirking at the man's ridiculous old wives tales. I paid for my fuel and continued on my way. By the time night fall had finally come it was no less hot and the bugs still seemed to be an endless source of drain on my blood. Checking into the hotel I had made reservations for the next couple of weeks though to be honest given the looks of the place reservations hardly seemed necessary. Thank god the Ac unit in the dirty window seemed to pump out at least some cold air. I could not attest to and it made me wish I had stopped instead in New Orleans with its more vibrant culture and zydeco bars. Unfortunately my publisher wasn't looking for a piece on Mardi Gras though I had spent the night there the previous evening. I finally collapsed into bed and closed my eyes the woman at one of those bars suddenly filled my mind.
She sat alone at a table sipping a crimson drink that for all the world looked like fresh blood, but, I was sure was nothing more than my imagination after all I had heard all the stories of this town. There was a reason Anne Rice fans flocked there. It was a city of night creatures and not the place where you could even trust what your eyes were seeing as you downed your shots of Absinthe trying to forget your troubles and there were a lot more frightening things to discover than that damned green fairy at the bottom of the glass. And a lot more stories to be found behind the voodoo head shops. It was ridiculous to believe what the locals tried to warn you of when you were stone sober in the light of day, but, too it wasn't the least bit unusual to believe in the light of early morning after the full moon of the night that they were not lies anymore, but, the Gods honest truth. Nightmares brought into reality. Tonight as I lay in my bed in my hotel room the lull of the AC the rhythm putting me to sleep. I saw her once again. The woman from the bar.
In my dreams she seemed to be cloaked in her own special light. I could not see her whole face instead all I could see was her smooth finger tips lifting the glass to her full lips. I could feel her eyes on me though I couldn't see them. A small knowing smile flitted across her lips. I kept watching her as she placed her glass back down on the table and beckoned with her slim finger for me to come to her. I was drawn against my better judgment to her side though I am not sure most normal people could have resisted her pull though I tried with everything I had she was just too strong. I sat down in a chair across from her. Lighting the candle that had gone out in the middle of the table I was finally able to see her whole face.
She was beautiful. Her dark eyes sparkled with knowledge. It was as though she could see straight in my soul. I was unable to look away. Whatever she saw seemed to make her think. After a few more moments she shook her head at me. "Foolish man,' she began,' it is unwise to seek out those things which we do not understand. Perhaps for you this is, but, a laugh a chance to prove that we are the ones who are foolish. "Sitting back her back grazing the wall she tilted her head. Her long silky black hair falling over half of her face like a curtain. This was my dream, but, this felt far too real. I let my gaze slip down to the candle on the table. I looked up again at the sound of her voice. "Mister it is time you understand the folly of your trip here. You can deny it all you like and make those that know better sound like the liars, but it is time you learned the truth." Reaching across the table and over the candle laying a palm against my cheek she whispered, "Fatter". I blinked my eyes and she had blown out the candle leaving most of her face once again in shadows and all I could see of her face was a satisfied smile as she seemed to fade into nothing more, but, mist. I sat up in bed and tried to clear my dream addled mind. My sheets were soaked with my sweat.
7 chapters, created 10 years
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