6. Hide and Seek (3)

Whatever his real identity, his name loosened tongues.

“What do you know of Arnotine Ferucand?” sneered a tall young man on the second day of their investigation in the vicinity of Jacmel. He regarded Ryu with suspicion. Then he looked at the photo of Miura and chuckled. “Oh, yes this man is dead. Talk to Ronan Duras,” he added, looking down with disdain at the rumpled form of the translator. “Ronan will tell you about Arnotine. Tell Ronan I sent you.”

There was no laughter in Ronan Duras. He was a wizened old man with pencil-thin limbs and hair like white spun glass. “I hate him,” he said simply when asked about Arnotine. He is a monster. He makes a mockery of our sacred rites. We punished him. But Arnotine Ferucand is not dead. I can show you the rock under which you can find him,” he said and spat. Then he handed the translator a handmade business card.Come to this hounfour,” said Ronan Duras. “Come tonight.”

What an invitation! A hounfour is a gathering of a Vodou société, a secret gathering to which strangers are rarely admitted. This one took place the next night in a room in a boarded-up factory, a low-slung concrete bunker of a building with a roof of corrugated tin. Ryu went alone. He almost got into a fight at the door. He had a hand on his knife, a fine Kyoto blade the size and width of a letter opener, and was ready to slit the throats of four angry men who’d put rough hands on him, when Ronan Duras intervened.

“Let heem in,” said Ronan Duras. “Theese man is my guest.” The four men stepped aside.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 6.3/Hide and Seek


  • boldlow

    Hi Erin – these tidbits from your story make Fall seem so far away…I want more! Look forward to the next “episode” – perhaps you can share more than one a week? Yeah!