Saturday, August 20, 2011

French Quarter Morning


I loved the quarter, especially in the mornings.  Lazily I swung my legs off the bed letting them dangle a few moments before sliding to the floor.  My room over looked the river front and already the bustling sounds of the vendors and sailors on the street below were drifting threw my shuttered windows.  This was my last morning in New Orleans and the start of the entertainment season.  Tonight was the opening of the Opera House; this meant that everyone who was anyone in New Orleans would be there.  Yesterday I had gone to one of the local shops that lined Royal Street and found a new evening gown.  Sophie would be proud, she still thinks I will be wearing the usual black one just as I had the past two years. Yesterday had been different and  I actually, for the first time, was excited about the upcoming season.

 The shutters sprang open when I pushed on them, greeting me with the cool soft breeze blowing in off the river.  Walking out on the balcony I leaned over to watch the passersby wondering where they were all going at such an early hour.  A streak of pink and orange crossed the sky and within minutes it was met by a brilliant yellow sphere.  The clouds reflected the yellows, oranges, and reds taking my breath away with its beauty.  This I would miss when I returned to Mobile.  The sunrises and the quiet bustle of the early morning, was the only thing I would miss though.   The isle of Dauphine was something I looked forward too every year, it was a way for me to be free.  As I turned from the iron railing a man standing across the street caught my eye.  I froze in fear my stomach tied in a tight knot.  God please, it can’t be him.  Slowly I turned back toward the street trying to not show that I had noticed the man and pretending that I had suddenly became interested with a vendor nearby.  Taking a deep breath I smelled the air searching for any hint of it being Fallon.  His smell was dirty and deathly.  The smells that crossed my pallet were nothing of the sort; a mixture of salt, sweet dough and oil,  breathing a sigh of relief the man was not Fallon.  A closer look revealed that the man stood a good head taller.  His cape was made of dark wool and appeared to be well worn but his boots and hat told a different story, the man had money.   They were made of the finest soft leather. Why was he looking at me or in my direction?  Slowly I turned to see if there was something behind me and saw nothing of direct interest.  He was watching me.  Acting as if I never saw him I retreated back to my room then peeked around the window facing to get a better look.  His hair was shoulder length and the color of fine honey.  I tried to get a better look at his face but just as I moved to reposition myself he turned away from the house and walked up the street toward the bars.  That was interesting?  I wonder who he was.



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This morning was like any other, the darkness around me was mixed with the smells of last night (cigar smoke and fine rum) and the morning smells (fried salt pork, biscuits and fresh coffee) Bones was up cooking.  He already had my plate and mug waiting on me when I entered the kitchen.  We did not speak any greeting, there was no need.  Bones had been my loyal servant for way to long for that type of formality.  Finishing my breakfast in silence I grabbed my cape the smells of the past greeted me reminding me who I was and why I was still here.  The salty humid air hugged the sidewalk as I made my way up Canal then to Royal St.   New Orleans had been my home for way to long, it was time for a change but it would be a few more months before I found my next assignment or if I would be staying.  The “Undertaker” a bar located on Bourbon Street had been by home and station for the past five years.  The job had been fine but the duty had been hard.  Those like me had appeared to flock to the quarter and all its darkness leaving me with the huge job of judge, juror, and executioner of my kind.    The “Undertaker” should have been a sign to many that there was a noble in town.  The bar itself played with death.  It was long, like a coffin.  The servers all wore mortician attire and served cheap whiskey and rum mosalium styled drawers.  I guess it made the patrons feel like they had looked death in the face and lived.  This is the part of the human psyche that I have never been able to understand.  Taking a left on Royal I walked several yards before I stopped.  Why?  I still am not so sure.  Maybe it was destiny or my time. 

She was standing on the balcony across the street.  My heart flipped in my chest leaving me numb and motionless.  Her long white hair blew back from her creamy olive skin by the breeze from the river.  Her cotton night dress clung to her body revealing her exquisite curves and stirring feelings I thought I had killed hundreds of years ago.  Who was this angel?    Skull and Bones will both be excited to find that they had a mission.  I hope they were still honed up on their skills.  This is one person I wanted to know about and protect.  Why?  I am not sure but something inside my soul had awakened and I needed to find out why.  I watched as she retreated from the balcony and cringed as an aching filled my being as I had never felt before, she was mine and I would stop at nothing to get her.