We Thought We Found A Dead Hooker In The Woods, But It Turned Out To Be Something Much Worse

But I guess if I was capable of that, most of my stories would be little more than me going, “I made a lot of logical choices and then nothing cool happened. The end.”

As per official Halloween custom, that night I donned my red-and-green sweater, vintage brown fedora and of course my toy Freddy glove before starting off towards Sheriff Foti’s with a feeling of apprehension that I couldn’t shake.

I was still too young to fully grasp the subtler nuances of human relationships, but I knew I didn’t like either one of the people I was heading to meet. No matter how many lunchtime conversations about comic books we had, I never fully trusted Dwayne or his motivations and Richie just plain made me nervous. So why was I going?

Because they invited me and I couldn’t think of a single good excuse. Because it would make the rest of the school year awkward if I didn’t. Because nobody wants to be alone all the time.

I had been peddling down Marconi Drive and was about a block and a half away from Sheriff Foti’s when I spotted the line of costumed people waiting outside that was already to the sidewalk by this point. The sun had just begun to set and Foti’s wasn’t scheduled to open for another half hour but we had agreed to get there early because we knew there would be a line. Apparently so did everybody else.

I quit pedaling and used my foot to slow to a stop as I reached the corner of the next block. Foti’s was located at one end of City Park and this block of Marconi ran adjacent to a large expanse of cypress trees. The whole area was overrun with a thick layer of Spanish moss that the fading sunlight couldn’t penetrate and everything past the treeline was shrouded in darkness.

FUN FACT: Spanish moss is roughly 90% of the reason why New Orleans seems so fucking creepy all the time. I tried my best to remind myself of this as I turned to check the ever-lengthening line outside of Foti’s. And that’s when I heard a faint voice coming from the park that sounded eerily similar to a woman whispering my name.

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