Curse of the Voodoo Man

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Tom Bauer has a little too much to drink and heckles the night club entertainer, a magician called "Dan the Voodoo Man."
Tom angers the entertainer, who places a death curse on him. Tom laughs it off until things start happening...

Submitted: October 09, 2006

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Submitted: October 09, 2006

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I was convinced that Tom Bauer was cursed. In the space of two months, his house burned to the ground, he was fired from his job as chief engineer for Tektronik Industries, he lost control on a curve and totaled his new Mercedes, and he was beaten and robbed in a parking lot.

From the first time I met Tom, several years ago, we struck up a solid friendship. An odd couple we were: he was a successful professional man, a Georgia Tech graduate, and married to a beauty who had modeled for one of Miami’s largest stores. Neither Tom nor Mitzi were native Floridians; they hailed from Milwaukee.

I’m a Seminole, native to Florida. I’m a high school grad, married to a beauty who served burgers at Wendy’s, and I make my living by performing for tourists in The Gator Glades, a tourist attraction near Miami. Among other things, I milk rattlesnakes and wrestle alligators.

Tom was a practical man, and when I suggested he’d been cursed he laughed it off. “Sammy Bearclaw, I never figured you for the superstitious type,” he said. “I’m having a terrible run of luck, that’s all. Things will work out, I’m sure.”

But Tom’s run of bad luck continued. He lost a large sum on the stock market, and his savings were dwindling. Nobody, not even smaller companies, wanted to hire him. The insurance company balked at paying for his fire loss--they suspected him of arson.
###
We were sitting in Havana Joe’s, our favorite watering hole, having a few drinks.

“I hate to admit it, Sammy, but maybe there’s something to this curse business.” He took a sip of his Guinness. “And concerning that, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

I suspected something was on his mind. I sipped on my Bud and waited for him to continue.

“A few months ago, in December, Mitzi and I attended a company pre-Christmas party at the Jamaica Tavern. There was a performer there called Dan the Voodoo Man. He was performing magic tricks, reading minds, and such. The man did some kind of mumbo jumbo and put a hex on me.”

I’d lived around the Miami area all my life, but never heard of `Dan the Voodoo Man.’ Probably from somewhere in the Caribbean, I guessed. “Just like that he put a hex on you? Why the hell would he do that?”

“To make a long story short, I’d had a little too much to drink and was heckling him. He got real upset when I called him Dan the Doodoo Man. The crowd cheered him when he put the hex on me.”

“What exactly did he say?” I asked. “Can you remember?”

“Not exactly. But he said something about ill luck following me until...” He looked around, as if to see if anyone was listening. He lowered his voice. “Until the one I love most is murdered in her bed. That...that’s got to be Mitzi. In light of all that’s happened, I can no longer laugh it off. Sammy, I’m scared as hell.”

“Maybe we can find the Voodoo Man,” I ventured. “If you apologize--and offer some money to soothe his feelings--maybe he’ll call off the hex.”

He shook his head. “I thought of that. I called the Jamaica Tavern and found that he’d already returned to Haiti. But I have a plan to get Mitzi out of danger. I’m going to tell her there’s another woman and I want a divorce. She’ll be hurt, but she’ll leave and be out of my life.”

“It won’t work,” I said. “If she left you, would you love her any less? The Voodoo Man hexed you and `the one you love the most.’ Nothing would be changed.”

“I never thought of it that way.” His fingers turned the glass nervously. “But what the hell can I do? Just wait for Mitzi to be murdered?”

“How does she feel about it?” I asked. “Have you told her your feelings on this?”

“No,” he said, “I don’t want to upset her. As far as she’s concerned, we’re having a phenomenal run of bad luck. She’s forgotten about the incident at the Jamaica Tavern. Anyway, If I told her, she’d probably think the stress was getting to me. Maybe it is.”

“Maybe. And maybe not.” I signaled the waitress to bring another round. “But I think you should take this Voodoo Man seriously. Tom, I may know a way to find out if the hex is genuine.”

His face lit up. “I’m ready to try anything. Just knowing would mean a great deal to me.”

“I have a great uncle who is a shaman,” I told him.
He raised his eyebrows. “A shaman?”

“Yes. In these times, Seminoles live pretty much the same as everybody else. But there are still a few who cling to the old ways, and my uncle is one of them. He lives in a chickee near Big Cypress Swamp, living as our ancestors did. Many modern Seminoles--and even some whites--go to him with their problems. I’ve seen him in a trance. It’s scary.”

“Shamanism,” he said. “Isn’t that just magical mumbo jumbo?”

“Yep. Just like Dan the Voodoo Man.”

He threw up his hands. “I get the point. Okay, I said I’d try anything and I meant it. What do I have to do?”

“Nothing,” I answered. “I’ll handle it. I’ll take a day off from Gator Glades and go to my uncle. Just give me something that belongs to you, like a tie clasp or something. Also, a little cash as payment for his services. In the meantime, I’d advise that you don’t leave Mitzi’s side at night. And if you can, keep a gun handy. Even if the Voodoo Man’s a phony, he might send an assassin to make his hex look real.”


###


My great uncle was glad to see me. In earlier times, he would have brought out his home made wine, and we’d have gotten drunk together. But he was old now, and much frailer than I remembered.

“Sammy my boy, it’s good to see you. It’s been a long time.” His teeth were all gone now, and I had to strain to understand him. “How’s the snakes and gators?” He laughed and made motions like he was wrestling. “What brings you to see your old uncle?”

I got right to the point. “I’m here to ask your help for a friend of mine.” I went on to explain Tom’s situation to him.

He was silent for a long time before answering. “Voodoo,” he said. “Pretty powerful stuff. I don’t know if I can handle that...it’s risky.”

“Uncle, I don’t want you taking any risks, but thanks anyway for hearing me out.” I rose. “I’d better hurry back and try to find some way to help Tom deal with this thing. Time may be running out.”

He glared at me. “Sit down. I only said it was risky. I didn’t say I wouldn’t try. Matter of fact, it’ll be a challenge. Did you bring something of his?”

I handed him a tie clasp and an envelope containing five twenty dollar bills. He closed his eyes and held the tie clasp for a moment. “Good. This’ll do the trick. Sammy, I’ll need to go into a deep trance, and I must not be disturbed--no matter what. Understand?”

I’d seen him in a trance before and knew what he meant. I nodded.

At first he lay perfectly still, almost as if he were in a coma. He began to tremble. His eyes flew open and he looked around wildly. He then went into convulsions, kicking, swinging his arms, and moaning. After a few moments, he was still again. His eyes came into focus, and he asked for water. I got him a drink, and he sat up, still breathing hard.

“I met this Dan the Voodoo Man,” he said. “Our spirits struggled in the ether. I couldn’t hurt him, but he damn near did me in--I barely escaped with my life. But I remembered to keep my identity shield up, so he didn’t know who I was and couldn’t follow me.” He paused to catch his breath.

My uncle didn‘t have air conditioning--not even an electric fan, and the heat was stifling. I wiped my brow with my already damp handkerchief. “So you weren’t able to learn anything about Tom, then?”

“Oh, I was able to do that. Your friend must have made Dan real mad--he put a bad one on him. You’d better hurry back, Sammy, because the person who’s going to murder Tom’s wife is Tom himself.”

He handed me the tie clasp. “I did a spell on this,” he said, “and made it into an amulet--it can chase off the hex. You’d better be on your way, boy.”

“But what about you? Will you be okay?”

He shook his finger at me. “Don’t you worry about me. I’ll be okay when I rest up. But tonight may be the night that your friend kills his wife. Now go.”

I looked at my watch. It was already seven o’clock, and I was looking at a four hour drive--much of it over rutted roads through the swamp. I’d never make it in time.

I tried calling Tom with my cell phone, but no one answered. They had caller ID and didn’t answer any caller they couldn’t identify. My cell phone didn’t register my ID on their system.

I jumped into my Suzuki Sidekick and set out as fast as I could over the rutted road. When I finally reached the paved road, I stepped on the gas and hoped there were no State Troopers around.

If Tom killed Mitzi while under a spell, I didn’t think he could live with himself once he’d discovered what he’d done. In my mind, I pictured finding both bodies lying together on the bed. At that point I made up my mind: If Tom and Mitzi were dead, I was going after the Voodoo Man. I would find a way to make him pay--and I hoped he was picking up my thoughts.


###


I had a little trouble remembering the location of the temporary place that Tom and Mitzi had moved into when their house burned down. I finally found the street, and it was already past 11:00 PM when I pulled into the driveway.

I pounded on the door, but there was no response. My adrenaline pumping, I put my two hundred pounds behind a hard kick. The door splintered and flew open, and at the same time the lights came on.

I found myself facing Tom. His eyes were glazed, and he was holding a 9mm pistol. He raised the weapon and aimed at my chest. I held up the tie clasp, praying that it would have some effect on him.

He stared at the clasp, then at me. His eyes cleared and he lowered the gun. “Sammy! What the hell are you doing here?”

“I’ll explain later,” I said. “What about Mitzi? Is she okay?”

“My God! I was having a terrible dream about her. I was standing over her, aiming the gun at her head. But then I heard a pounding...damn, it wasn’t a dream, was it?”

Just then, Mitzi came into the foyer. “What’s going on? Sammy, what’s the matter, are you in trouble?”

“I was driving by and saw someone breaking into your house,” I said. “When he saw me pull into your driveway, he ran.”

Mitzi accepted that, and no more was said about it.

###


Tom’s luck took a turn for the better in only a few days. He accepted a job offer paying better than the one he left. The insurance company paid in full for a new house. And Tom never lets that tie clasp out of his site.

Tom is the new owner of Gator Glades. He hired me to manage the attraction, but you’ll still sometimes find me milking rattlesnakes and wrestling alligators. It’s what I do.

***THE END***




© Copyright 2018 Donald H Sullivan. All rights reserved.

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