As I looked into the crowd, I saw Papa Etienne looking back at me. He tipped his top hat, smiled wryly, and disappeared into the alleyway where I’d found the bar. Before my very eyes, I watched as dozens of large copperhead snakes slithered into view and piled on top of one another, their markings matching the brick façade. One by one, they bridged the gap between the two buildings until they reached the very top. By the time I made it out of the hotel to check, I found that they’d solidified into a surface no different from the buildings they were made to mimic. It was as though the alleyway had never existed.
Ten people went missing that night. Three were confirmed dead in the weeks following, and the rest were never found. I can’t help but wonder, if I had resisted Papa Etienne’s influence that night, would I have been one of them?