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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » The day voodoo died, Part One

The day voodoo died, Part One

Julio rubbed his eyes and thought about his abuelo. When he opened them again, the half-blurriness was still there, his eyes still dry and red; he could see the smoke momentarily wafting around in front of him. Or at least he thought he could. Julio could smell the smoke, anyway.

The breeze on the roof of his building was nice and he could smell rain coming. That made him smile. He was tired of the heavy fucking heat. It was fucking brutal and it seemed to last forever, insisting that it would suffocate anyone stupid enough to wade around in it for too long.

The only person he had never heard bitch about the heat was a crazy old puta voodoo bastard who lived on the floor below his. He had never even see the crazy old bastard before dusk, but somehow the old man’s skin was dark as night. There was always an odd smell in the hallway near his door, too. Like peppermint and ozone and… woman? He couldn’t decide if that was right, but it seemed like it was.

Julio tossed the cigarette butt off the roof and turned around to go back downstairs when he came face to face with the old man.

—whachoo been doin’ up here, boy?
—what?
—been smokin’ dem cigars, no? He laughed, a row of teeth so white and perfect that Julio’s thoughts sort of skipped a note for a second.
—Uh, yeah. Can’t smoke around the niño, you know?

The old loco bastard glided past him to the edge of the building and stared out into the city. Julio began heading for the door, confused but unconcerned.

—You be careful tonight, chile’, de gods are musterin’ some’n strange. He turned around and caught Julio in the eye —some’n fierce.
—Aight, sure.
—You ever had a poor shit? Where it just don’ move right an den it move bad?
—Yeah, sure. Julio had stopped again. Something had the old man wound up—there was a shake in his voice and he wasn’t sweating in the sunlight.
—dis mornin, woke up and da whole worle’ felt like dat. You go’an, get back to ya woman an chile.

Julio went into the dark, and much warmer staircase back down into his building. He could smell peppers cooking and laundry drying and heard the howl of niños and a gameshow on his abuelo’s television. She had taken ill and he was worried about her.

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