Drarinisi crouched in the dark; the flickering light of the candles painting her naked wet skin with moving shadows. Thick curling trails of incense smoke filled the narrow room with a heady
perfume that did little to mask the underlying odour of sweat and blood. For the third time she picked up a handful of bones and oddly shaped stones from the ground in front of her, the objects
felt cool against the warm flesh of her palm. She closed her eyes, mumbling random indiscriminate words, before a flick of her wrist spun the items back into the chalk circle that had been marked on
the wooden floor. The ruins and symbols etched around the circle flickered briefly as the objects danced and bounced before settling into position. An identical pattern reappeared that had on the
previous two throws. She frowned, leaning forward and shaking her head, the long twisted
dreadlocks writhing like snakes. “What does it mean?” The man sitting cross-legged opposite her
demanded, but she ignored him and stared into the shadows. She could smell the fear on him, had
smelt it from the moment he entered her shop, along with the cheap liquor that seemed to ooze
from his pores.
Her shop was unmarked and unnamed, located in a garbage strewn alley in one of the worst
parts of the city. It was a place found only by those who need her specific skills and services. The
lost and damned, those with no other place left to go. She had wanted to tell him to leave, but she
had taken pity on him, inviting him inside. Now she was regretting that decision. She began to
reach for the thrown objects again, but hesitated as a breeze drifted through the curtain of beads
that covered the doorway, making them rattle and dance. Tilting her head to one side she listened
as a voice only she could hear whispering into her ear. Her eyes narrowed at the words, the bones
and stones momentarily forgotten on the floor.
She glanced at the man. “Your soul has been promised to another, there is nothing I can
“Throw them again!” He reached forward and pushed the bones and stones towards her.
“Throw them or damn you to hell, bitch!”
She ignored his outburst and rose from her crouched position. The flames on the candles
flared abruptly, revealing her fleetingly in the warm yellow light. She could feel the man’s eyes on
her, taking in her naked form, the long legs and high breasts, the nipples almost black against her
dark skin. His gaze slide down over her flat stomach, staring at where the shadows still concealed
the hidden pleasure between her thighs. Unbidden he licked his lips, and she almost laughed as she
watched the lust replace the fear and anger. His hand reached for her and her dreadlocks reacted
writhing about her, each strand etched with a blue glow, as they snapped and struck out, leaving
inflamed welts across his skin! He hissed in pain, cupping his injured arm against his chest. Her eyes
blazed with anger.
“You need to leave!” She glanced towards the doorway as the beads twisted and jangled
again. This time the breeze carried with it the scent of rotting meat. “Now!” She emphasized the
word by jabbing a finger in the direction of the street.
Even as the words left her lips some of the candles began to extinguish one by one, casting
the room into darkness. Drarinisi stepped back into the deeper shadows, feeling the rough wood
and earth press against her back.
The background noise of the city had faded, replaced by footsteps that sounded ominously
loud in the sudden vacuum. They came to a halt outside her door, pausing briefly, lingering. The
man on the floor tried to rise on unsteady legs, all thoughts of lust and desire from just moments
before now forgotten. A hand appeared through the bead curtain pushing them aside and the man
whimpered. Drarinisi’s nostrils flared at the sudden stink of urine from the terrified customer in
front of her, the piss dripping on to the floor between his feet. A figure stepped into the darkened
room and the few remaining lit candles guttered and writhed, the flames twisting away. Eyes wide,
Drarinisi mumbled words and incantations beneath her breath. She knew he wasn’t there for her
but the she still felt the cold touch of fear making her shiver involuntarily.
The skull painted face turned towards her and a long fingered hand tipped the battered
black top hat briefly in respect. “Drarinisi….” His voice was soft and mellow with a slight trace of
affection tinged with an accent.
She nodded her head, “Baron Samedi.” She acknowledged. “It’s been awhile.”
He smiled, revealing white even teeth then glanced around the room taking in the rough
walls lined with shelves containing jars of powder and liquids and the remains of various animals.
“Far too long. I’m glad to see your still maintain the old ways of magick even if you are using it to
help the lost, the unfortunate, and the damned.” The last word emphasized as he turned his stare
towards the customer who had been edging towards the door. Baron Samedi’s hand curled and the
man was driven to his knees, held there by a force he couldn’t resist. “Your soul is mine, you
promised it when you died and demanded another year of life!”
“Not yet, not so soon, I never got what I was promised!” The man’s tone was petulant.
“I gave you a year, you wasted it!” The skull painted face grinned. “It’s time to pay!”
“No!” With an unexpected surge of strength the man pushed himself to his feet, one arm
wrapping around Drarinisi’s throat, the other pulling the long blade of a knife from his belt and
holding it against her stomach. “Let me go Baron!” Baron Samedi laughed, it was a low soft chuckle.
“You poor fool!” Pulling a cigar from the top pocket of his jacket and lit the end with a touch
of his finger. “Haven’t you realized that I’m not the most dangerous person in this room?” He
puffed out a cloud of aromatic smoke then inspected the glowing red end.
As the Baron’s words became apparent the man tried to take a step back, suddenly aware of
the danger he was in. He could feel Drarinisi’s warm body pressed against his, distracting him, and
his grip tightened on the knife.
Too slow and too late, the dreadlocks were already reacting, the blue glow turning purple as
they slashed and sliced, scoring his arms and chest and face with deep cuts, thick viscous blood flying
through the air. The knife dropped from his nerveless fingers, blood dripping from the multiple
wounds. He dropped to his knees staring up at Drarinisi but the witch’s eyes held no mercy.
He turned towards the Baron who was gazing at him dispassionately. “No please, can we
Baron Samedi glanced at Drarinisi and once more tipped his hat, then raised a bone white
finger and waggled it at the fallen man, the grin becoming wider.
“No negotiation, no compromise, you are the only one here damned to hell BITCH!”
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