After seven years away from his home, Sebastian West is forced to return home when his father is murdered. As he tried to uncover the truth behind the murder, he is exposed to the chaotic theater of supernatural activity that New Orleans has become in his absence.
Chapter I: Homecoming
Seven years... It's been seven years since I had last set foot in this corner of Louisiana. New Orleans, the city that Care forgot, the city of magic. It's not like Salem which became a symbol of magic because mass hysteria and the hanging of a bunch of people.
There's something in this crack of the world that breathes magic and bring out the crazy in people. I should know, it's what made me leave in the first place. You can't cross the street without bumping into a would-be voodooist.
The trip from New York to my home was uncomfortable to say the least, I'm still not sure if it was because of the bad accommodations of discount airlines or because of the destination. After landing, I slowly walked through the terminal, my only bag in hand, I wasn't planning on staying for long.
Elisabeth was waiting for me on the tarmac, she looked tired and almost ghastly with her blonde hair falling carelessly around her shoulders, with bags under her eyes. She was wearing her disheveled uniform and I had the feeling that she had been up ever since the previous dawn.
"Sebastian?" She tentatively asked as I walked closer, hardly recognizing me under my now unkempt mane of hair and the heavy subtle on my chin.
"It's been a long time, hasn't it?" I asked my sister. She stepped forward and hugged me for a moment. When she pulled away, she loudly slapped me.
"Seven years, you don't visit, you call only on the holidays to say you aren't coming and now you decide to drag your ass back here, that's what it took, a death?" She asked, berating me.
"I'm sorry..." I weakly apologized as she opened her car's door. "Can you tell me what happened?"
She sat down, obviously still boiling with anger but she complied regardless. "He was walking home from the bar he frequently went to, Papa Zaka's lounge, when someone jumped him, there weren't any witnesses but there was a struggle which ended when he was stabbed through the chest nine times... Police is calling it a mugging that went wrong."
"You sound like you don't agree with the rest of the homicide department." I carefully noted.
"His wallet and jewels were left there intact on his body."
"The perpetrator could have just freaked out and run away?" She nodded but she didn't look convinced. "Beside, who could possibly want the old man dead? He wasn't a saint alright, but he was a taxi driver without history. I don't see why anyone would have wanted him dead."
"Neither do I, but it's a feeling I can't shake... Call it womanly intuition." She said confidently. There was a bit of silence between the two of us, somewhat filled by the sound of the local Jazz radio station where a new upcomer of the scene played his recent hit. I found myself unkonwingly huming to the tune of the music.
"You like it?" She asked me, taking me out of my thoughts. TO which I just shrugged. "The artist is a local celebrity, Kephas Bach he calls himself, the force had to contain a riot or two after his concert got out of hand." She then mentioned. "What about you, what have you been up to?"
"Writing I guess. I got picked up by a magazine, the pay's nothing great, but it pays the bills. Mostly fantasy and science-fiction. What about you, are you still with AJ?"
"Sure am. Although he's getting promoted to sergeant next week."
"And when are you two getting married? Christ you two have been together since the end of high school."
"Well, both of us are rather career oriented as you might have guessed. Beside, I don't plan on settling down and having children until a good while."
She finally turned on Basin St and parked the car in front of the cemetery. She closed the engine and got out of the door. "There's still a while until the service begin." She noted, looking at her watch. "There's something I have to give you. I guess now is as good as any time..."
From her pocket, she took out an envelope and handed it to me. I took it and carefully read the document that was inside. "What is this?"
"The deed to the house, Dad wanted you to have it. It's not much, it's all he had and I don't want it."
"But--" I started before getting interrupted.
"Just take it. look, you might have left us, but you are still part of the family, 'pa never stopped caring and thinking about you, even when I was so furious I wished you had never been part of us." She took my hand as she spoke, pressing it and the envelope against my chest.
"Please, take it, if not for him, then for me, as a peace offering."
"You aren't going to let me say no, are you? I'm not planning on staying Eli..."
"Then sell it, I just don't want it."
"Alright, alright... I'll think about it all. Come, let's go see father."