ffproject.com Picture


A Saint Beckons
A Day In The Life
Rise Of The Night Creatures
New Day Rising
Bloodsworth Bayou
Golem Gauntlet
Shrine Of The Salamander
A Flame In The North
A Shadow In The North
Escape Neuburg Keep
Any Port In A Storm
Below Zero Point
Tales From The Bird Islands
The Ravages Of Fate
Nye's Song
A Knight's Trial
Return To G15-275
Devil's Flight
Above The Waves
The Curse Of Drumer
The Word Fell Silent
A Strange Week For King Melchion The Despicable
Sharkbait's Revenge
Tomb Of The Ancients
A Midwinter Carol
The Dead World
Waiting For The Light
Contractual Obligation
Garden Of Bones
The Hypertrout
The Golden Crate
In The Footsteps Of A Hero
Soul Tracker
Planet Of The Spiders
Beggars Of Blacksand
The Diamond Key
Wrong Way Go Back
Hunger Of The Wolf
Isle Of The Cyclops
The Cold Heart Of Chaos
The Black Lobster
Impudent Peasant!
Curse Of The Yeti
Bad Moon Rising
Riders Of The Storm
Bodies In The Docks
House Of Horror
Rebels Of The Dark Chasms
Midnight Deep
Lair Of The Troglodytes
The Trial Of Allibor's Tomb

RSS Feed

Bloodsworth Bayou

by Cian Gill

Voodoo Princess
Artwork © Daniel Muchaier
She didn't look like trouble. But then, they never do.

Frenchman Street had been decked with lanterns last night, and the jazz clubs thronged with revellers, their faces made oddly skull-like by the half-lights. A bottle of Restoration Ale firmly in hand, you accidentally trod on somebody's foot when exiting the Black Cat. You turned around, and were instantly transfixed by a pair of brown eyes. The girl was Creole, and young, and startlingly beautiful. Of course, if only you'd known then what you know now... You begged her forgiveness, but her mouth twisted into a snarl, and she muttered something under her breath.

A careless phrase.

Though a little perturbed, you thought nothing of it until the next morning, when you awoke in your room to the sounds of someone whispering in your ear. Strange, you didn't recall the night ending that way... Rolling over, you saw that there was nobody else in the room. Your heart squeezed as you realised that the voice was not coming from anyone you could see. Sitting up dead straight in bed, you reached a trembling hand for the packet of Victory cigarettes beside you. Barely able to spark up, you inhaled deeply as your eyes scanned the room. Early morning light was spreading golden fingers through the slats across the bedsheets. You waited in silence for a moment, your breath held.

'Bloodsworth'. It hissed the name over and over again.

A curse. You were familiar with curses, of course, having grown up in New Orleans. To most people, curses were just another part of the Big Easy's tourist trade, along with factory-made stick-pin dolls and little bags of gris-gris for Northeners to bring home to their friends. But you've known people who, while seemingly rational by day, nonetheless check their pillows for the charms or fetish of an enemy before sleeping at night, and burn whatever they occasionally may find, along with the pillow. In such ways does superstition still grip peoples' minds in the Crescent City.

You knew, too, what the voice meant by 'Bloodsworth.' A cabin in the swamps south of the city, beyond the places where even the tourist boats go. You'd never been there, of course. Too many strange stories were told about it, tales that made you curl up your toes in delicious fear on rainy nights as a child. Even as an adult, some remnant of that fear has kept the place taboo. There was no way you were going to Bloodsworth's.

By six o'clock, the voices had grown louder, and you had changed your tune. No-one else seemed to hear them, but they burst like firecrackers in your skull even when you tried to talk to other people, making normal conversation impossible. After taking the highway out of the city, the voices at last grew quiet as you drove past the still-ruined Ninth Ward district. Battered by Katrina years ago, the brightly-coloured buildings now lay shrouded in ferns and sub-tropical vegetation as the jungle slowly reclaimed its own. The voices in your head hushed, as if in sympathy with the human suffering that had taken place here.

They chattered more as the suburbs passed you by, you remember, chanting that hated name with increased urgency. You couldn't get to Bloodsworth's fast enough now. The road rose above the beginnings of swamp country, its foundations mired in a yellow-green sludge that stretched to the horizon. The cypress trees began to crowd your vision on both sides as the road grew narrow, each seeming to bend and moan under its weight of Spanish moss. You began to wonder how your ancestors had ever eked out a living in this inhospitable environment.

Ramsay's bridge was out - a colossal rusting hulk that towered over you as you parked your car at the dead-end chicane. It didn't matter. There was no way to get to where you were going now except by boat, and since childhood you had known where the Cajun fishermen kept theirs on this river. The sun, a bloated and swollen egg, drifted below the pines as you uncoupled the little fishing craft, turning the woods and river a deep red. You cursed yourself a fool - why had you left it so late to undertake this mad odyssey? But there was no turning back now.

The boat drifted away from the shore, into Deadnettle Swamp. Bloodsworth Bayou was somewhere ahead. The chattering of the voices was now becoming intolerable. You felt as though your head was going to explode. When the solid, wooded shore appeared before you, you grabbed your leather satchel and ran hell-for-leather through the trees in almost perfect darkness.


By the time the cabin came into view, you were capable of little more than collapsing in a shivering pile over the threshold. Sleep overcame you almost immediately.
[Play] [Comments]