"So what's your story?"
I down the scotch, and I eyeball the gentleman before me. Dressed well enough, but still a shabby aura. He wore of all things a top hat, and he had a smile that would be always called a leer. He held the bottle of scotch and refilled my paper cup. His choice of furniture was odd, disturbing, and macabre.
"My story you don't need to hear. It is old and boring. Now this old boy. Here is your story." He smiles/leers again and kicks against the coffin he has been sitting on. Not just a coffin, but the king of coffins. Made of lead and the size of a king size bed. It was the coffin made for someone you might not be too sure they were dead enough.
"Ok, I'll bite. What's his story?"
"Ah, now that's a story. Here lies Renny LeMere. The greatest hoodoo man of his time."
"Hoodoo? Do you mean voodoo?"
"Dear Sir, if I meant voodoo I would say voodoo. While hoodoo is related to voodoo they are different schools. Like the difference between the German language and English. There are many similarities, but they are very different in flavor. Now Renny here was known as a fixer. You had a some one throw a hex at you, and Renny could take it off. He was as smooth as silk and fast as hare on fire."
I take another snort from the paper cup.
"So, is there a reason that Renny is taking the big nap? He couldn't have been that fast."
Again that smiling leer, or leering smile.
"Oh Sir, no one is that fast. No one at all. But, it is true that Renny's work finally caught up to him. See there was another hoodoo man at the time named Pappy Lupe. Now Pappy Lupe was the opposite. You payed him to throw the curse, the bones, and a dead cat just for fun. Thing is though, every curse Pappy Lupe threw, ol' Renny he takes it off. Gets ol' Pappy hopping mad. Just so mad he could bite tin clear through I say."
"Well, one day Renny was getting himself ready to go stepping out. He was dressed sharp and enjoying what he saw in the mirror. That is til he saw Pappy behind with a gun. Before Renny could turn around it was all over. There was a big hole where Renny's heart was. Well he turns around, and he says, 'You foolish old man. You don't think I didn't see murder in your heart. The Barons are my friend and I'll be coming back for you." With that he falls down dead, deader than sin on Easter morning."
The man takes a swig from the bottle and cocks his head back as if he was letting the scotch slowly flow down his throat. Finally, he takes a sighful breath and turns to me. His eyes blacker than night. I felt very chilled.
"Dear Sir, Pappy was no fool. The Barons are not ones to fool with. So he grabs the bag of bones and takes it home. He had his own plans you see. There at home there was this coffin all ready. He places the body within, then begins pouring molten lead into the coffin with it. When the coffin was full he puts the top on and bolts and welds the box shut. He then draws on his voodoo to forever seal ol' Renny in the box. Let the Barons bring Renny back, but he'll always be Renny in a box."
"So what went wrong, something had to go wrong or there be no use telling me the story."
"Oh dear, dear Sir, nothing at all went wrong. Pappy's hoodoo was strong, and Renny is in the box still. Will always be in the box."
The man kicks against the coffin with a sullen thud. Suddenly, the coffin lifted into the air. His leering smile was now far bigger than his face. It hurt to look at him.
"Renny, learned to move his prison. Dear Sir, I tell you Pappy was never so suprised when he was hit by several tons of metal at the speed of a locomotive. Not much left of Pappy after that. At least in the body, the rest fell to us. We Barons can be petty when we feel someone tries to cheat us. Now Renny is still with us as you can see, and certainly he can help you. He has a price, and you can consider me his manager."
The man's mouth opens and he eats the bottle.
"Now Sir, Dear Sir, what is our help worth to you?"