The Quarter

Photo by Becky Strike, French Quarter, New Orleans LA

Jean rested in the relative darkness of the tiled alley. The fan, incongruous against the ancient brick, did little to improve the sticky New Orleans heat pouring in from the open courtyard. Why couldn’t he have died somewhere cooler, he grumbled to himself.

He’d certainly had the opportunity. Born the younger son of the old city elite, he had craved adventure and excitement. The river had offered both, and his father had been only too glad to send his troublesome offspring north with the traders, away from the gambling halls that threatened the family fortune and reputation.

Ironic, then, that it should be fever from the delta swamps that took his life after all. Why he had been cursed to eternal boredom skulking in the darkness he had never learned. Two hundred and fifty years had brought bewildering change to the old city, at times almost its destruction. He would have welcomed that; perhaps he would have been released from his spectral prison.

He sighed at the sound of amplifiers whining on the other side of the wall. The courtyard still reflected the brilliance of the coastal sun through the dirty arched panes remaining overhead from some discarded doorframe. Apparently it was never too early for nightlife in the new old city. If only he could be part of it.

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