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Enjoy this entertaining glimpse of one of the intriguing stories awaiting you in MASKS. Remember to look for the keyword/phrase and take a note of it!
Ah Mardi Gras! The colors, the sounds, the smells of this modern spectacle of debauchery can’t be found anywhere else. Not with the bombastic flare of the Big Easy. Mardi Gras might take its roots from medieval European festivals in Venice and Rome, but New Orleans has transformed Fat Tuesday into something else.
Fat Tuesday is a time of feasting, of last hurrah excess before the sacrifices of Lent. Where even the dead can taste the smoke of barbecue and bourbon. Where the spirits dance with –>US<– amid flashes of purple, green, and gold….
My anthology piece, Roll the Bones, features siblings tried and tested by tragedy.
Annoyed to be missing the biggest party of the year on baby-sitting duty, Josh convinces his younger sister to join him in Mardi Gras celebration. But when she is abducted by a spirit, Josh must brave the malevolent entities of another realm to bring his sister home, if he can convince her to come back at all.
As strains of laughter and music filtered through the window screens, Josh glanced over at his sister with no small amount of loathing. The biggest party in the state was happening right outside, one his parents had promised he could attend once he hit senior year, and here he was, stuck on babysitting duty.
“You can stop glaring,” said the object of his ire as she calmly turned the page of her book. “I don’t like this any more than you do.” Despite her objections, he stared at her another minute as she read, just to make her uncomfortable. What twelve-year-old read Lord of the Rings while the song of Mardi Gras filtered through their open kitchen windows?
Josh sneered at the sweaty can of Pepsi in his hand, the chilled, syrupy beverage a small relief against the overbearing heat in their apartment. The air conditioner had finally kicked the bucket last week, and rather than buy a new one, their dad kept saying he’d fix it. Josh snorted at the thought. Their father rarely took a day off, and he was pulling a double tonight. He’d only come home long enough to change into a fresh uniform.
The man himself strode into the room, affixing his badge to his shirt front. His radio was already active, emitting sporadic squawks amid the tinny voice of the dispatcher relaying messages to the on-duty officers keeping the peace tonight.
“Make sure she gets to bed at a decent hour,” their father said to Josh via the mirror, checking his son’s reflection for a response. “If you don’t, she’ll stay up all night reading.”
“Least I’m not doing drugs,” said Helene.