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opium den

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Fandango’s FOWC is amicable, the Word of the Day Challenge is mea-culpa, Paula’s 3 Things Challenge words are salon, mystery, elephant , and Teresa’s Story Starter Challenge phrase is “What are they for?”

Long ago, under the light of the honey moon, I lounged on a divan in The Dancing Elephant, a well-known opium-smoking salon on the back streets of New Orleans. Young men and women, no more than twenty if a day, brought tiny black tar balls to fill the hookahs and served hot jasmine tea 24/7. Distorted by the demon opium, their amicable faces were leering as they poured the tea.

I reached out to touch one of the young men and he said, “My body is a mystery known to few.”

As my brain reeled with his statement, soft hypnotic music began to play. A belly dancer of extraordinary beauty pushed through the beaded curtains and began to dance around me. I swear to this day that her eyes turned neon green when she smiled. As the music intensified in its beat she danced closer until she knelt at my feet. The music stopped. Her face looking at the floor, she held something up in her right hand. There were two kidney-shaped stones that glowed like fire.

Trying to keep my composure in my fuzzifed state, I said, “What are they for?”

She said nothing, remaining as she was, hand raised, glowing stones on her palm.

I took the stones. The music began again and she gyrated away and back behind the curtain.

The next thing I remember was waking up the next morning. I remembered the stones and looked around but they were nowhere to be found. In the now sunny room, I gathered my things and prepared to leave. Almost to the door, I felt as if someone was watching me and turned around.

Upon one wall was a life-sized painting – of the young man who had served me last night. Instead of eyes, there were two glowing kidney-shaped stones.

16 thoughts on “Mea-Culpa

    1. Really?? What kind of business was it? If you click on image link it takes you to an neat article about a person who started out collecting opium memorabilia and ended up becoming an addict. Some neat pictures at that site as well.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Really good…
            I do also… Ethiopian, Vietnamese…. all the way around the world. I can’t afford to go around the world but I love trying the food

            Liked by 1 person

                1. That’s because Nashville is a tourist destination. I think one of my friends and her husband and family rented a condo there and went to a moonshine distillery. She brought back so many good flavors. We have breweries and a few cideries around here but no moonshine 😦

                  Liked by 1 person

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