Story re-posted with Maps:
Marie jumped from boiling shrimp in wok oil for dinner in the Philippines to St. Louis, Missouri.
“Talk about an assault on the senses!” Marie exclaimed as she reminisced of exotic spices while sail down the Mississippi River on the River Boat Queen. Closer to shore near one of the smaller towns south of the city she spotted a peach vendor in long johns and overalls. Despite the vendor’s idea attire she found herself daydreaming about the taste of juicy, sweet peaches instead of the previous exotic spices.
“So must be the life of a time traveling witch,” Marie sighed.
“Why did I use that word. I am not a witch. I am not like her. I am a time traveling adventurer.” Marie tried to convince herself with clenched jaws. She was no villain. She was no witch like the old shoppe keeper who had taught her to leap through time and space. She would not use her knowledge to manipulate and harm others.
“I am a good person.” Marie continued.
“And a good lookin’ girl too,” one of the crew added.
Marie rolled her eyes and continued to stare at the passing scenery in front of her, lost in thoughts of true love and the witch keeping her from her king and of the decadent foods she explored through her travels. How she longed to share these experiences with her white king.
A sudden crash and call to port brought Marie back to her senses.
“I guess I’m here.” she said hesitantly as she climbed on to the dock.
Marie had made it down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. She headed over to Basin Street and ended up at a roaring little jazz club. The music was delicious, like frozen mangoes covered in chocolate sauce. So gooey you needed a spoon. The trumpet player was a monstrous man who clutched the tiny instrument like it was his favorite toy and he was never going to let go, not even for bath time. In total contrast the, base player was the runt of the liter, but artfully wield his instrument like a weapon. Marie wished she could stay and listen to the music some more and indulge on some of the fine New Orleans fare, but she was here for answers. Voodoo was still one of the existing forms of real magic still in practice and Marie was searching for a Voodoo seer in New Orleans.
Marie exited the club and made her way to Jackson’s square where fortune tellers, palm readers, and tarot card readers had all set up shop in the pale moon’s light. None of these merchants were the seer Marie sought answers from. Because Marie was magic she would know magic when she found it. As she rounded the corner to avoid Cafe du Monde, a shop down the street caught her attention. When she made her way down the street to the shop she noted that it sold souvenirs and voodoo trinkets, but in the back through the netting, led to a room. Marie followed it back, despite the signs the did not read, saying, “Employees Only.” Marie knew her seer was beyond the netting. All she was focused on was getting her answers. Nothing and no one would stop her tonight.
The air was still in the back room, yet a single flame from a candle flickered.
“I’ve been expecting you.” a dark woman with braids and colorful markings motioned Marie to sit at across her.
Marie did so cautiously. Her experience with proprietors of magic had not been stellar.
“You will not find the one you seek in this time, child,” the see said as her eyes glazed. Marie’s heavy heart sank.
“You have many trials still ahead, but you will find him again. True love is the most powerful of all magic. And will triumph.” At this Marie smiled.
“To find your love you must first understand the mistakes of the past and the power that you should not hold.”
“I’m sorry I don’t understand.” Marie asked with a new sense of boldness or urgency, she didn’t know which.
The seer entranced, motioned to her crystal ball,
“Long ago, on a moonless night when the kings were appointed the guardians of man. The goddess crooned of duty and honor. The red king, the blue king, and the white king, each knelt before her granite temple solidifying their oath by cramming down the caramel colored acid she offered. An eavesdropper gave a low shriek of disapproval.”
“The witch!” Marie interrupted.
“Yes,” the seer replied possessed,
“The kings banded together to rid the world of the magic folk. The few they allowed to stay bought bought their peace with gifts and offerings. Man was now safe from the magical beings, though this was not what the goddess had intended the kings to do with the honor she had gifted them. The kings angered the goddess and so she paid them a visit on another moonless night.”
Within the crystal ball Marie could see the scene unfold.
“Good eve, Red King.” The goddess commanded as the red king knelt before her beauty.
“Good eve, Blue King.” again the King she commanded fell to his knees. Before she could speak his name the white king knelt and bowed before his goddess. She smiled, “Good eve, White King.”
“You have taken advantage of the honors I have bestowed upon you.”
“Your Beauty, let me explain,” the red king started.
With a flick of her hand the silenced the red king.
“I am very disappointed in all of you.”
“Your Grace, if I may,” the blue king tried, but was also silenced.
“If you do not change your ways you will all fall to ruin. If you can turn to your true purpose, you will find true riches,” goddess finished. She gave a lasting and knowing look in the white kings direction. The only king who did not interrupted her. Perhaps there was still hope yet for the kings. Perhaps there was still hope left for humanity.
I don’t understand,” Marie asked more confused as the scene ended. “I need more information.”
“Who are you? You shouldn’t be here! We’re closed!” The seer back to her normal self demanded as Marie raced out of the shop.