Trouble in the Vieux Carré
The key to planting revenge magic in the Vieux Carré is that you have to get in and out before some stupid tourist drunk from Bourbon Street sees you sneaking around. Or worse, a local catches you. Breaking and Entering is only illegal in New Orleans when you’re exiting. Then it’s worth the paperwork, and the chase I’d give them, to try and arrest me. Breaking in usually isn’t an issue because the cops wait for me to leave, pockets full of surprises. Good thing there’s the French Market to palm off the things I steal in the same hour I’ve stolen them.
Tante Opallina Mortisse gave me a task this afternoon. A task and a strict time limit. I have to be in and out in no more than five minutes. She must believe in me. Or I’m being set up by my own damn family. The trip from our house to the Quarter’s going to take at least thirty. I’m in my room deciding between wearing all black or something a little more conspicuous.
“Lucien,” Tante Opal calls from the front room. “Dispoze twa pakètas, souple.”
Tante’s got customers out there, so she can’t come out and say she’s sending me on a hexing mission. Not even in Créole. You never know who’s listening these days. Plus, she never really says anything in English or Créole. Everything’s in how she says it. The way her eyes bore holes in my skull. The way she places a hand on her elbow, tapping it with her finger. She doesn’t want to say “Don’t get caught” because that’s implicit.
“Wi,” I shout back, trying to find my hoodie in the mess I call my room.