Mea-Culpa

opium den

image link

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 Comments Add yours

  1. Sadje says:

    Oh, wow! An absorbing story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 I had no idea how that story would turn out lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        That’s the mind of a writer!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 says:

    Love the picture… I have went to a place called the Laughing Elephant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      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. badfinger20 says:

        A Moroccan restaurant I ventured into…
        I will do that…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          I love checking out new restaurants of all kinds. Was the food good?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. badfinger20 says:

            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. msjadeli says:

              The international cuisine around here is VERY limited. We have Chinese, Italian, Greek, Mexican, and one Indian restaurant. Wishing there were more, but it would mean a drive over to GR.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. badfinger20 says:

                Nashville has a bunch for some reason.
                Now I’m the little town I live in there is only Mexican and Italian..

                Liked by 1 person

                1. msjadeli says:

                  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

                  1. badfinger20 says:

                    lol yea they are all around. It’s got more diverse in things in the past 20 years… in the 70s-80s it didn’t have all that much.

                    Liked by 1 person

  3. badfinger20 says:

    That article was great but scary…that is really getting into collecting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Idara-abasi says:

    so spooky and mysterious. loved it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you! I just re-read it and have to agree. 🙂 It was like a dream where the lines between reality and fantasy blur.

      Liked by 1 person

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