8:26 PM <sapph> <Henry> It was a fairly quiet night and Henry was working late, which wasn’t out of the ordinary for him. The little occult museum was closed for the day, even if the lights still shone into the darkness. Some might find it a little creepy, the old tools of voodun and it’s history on display in macabre glory. Perhaps some might even find that the rather normal looking Welshman added to the creepy vibe with his sometimes

thick accent and

8:26 PM <sapph> ability to go spout off Haitain Creole and Louisiana creole as one that was born to it, his accent switching to match. In all reality, The lone researcher was actually a shy man who just happened to have enthusiasm for his work and found some small delight in entertainment. He was actually a deeply caring and gentle man that was driven by intense curiosity. In the back of the little museum Henry was intently looking over

a shipping

8:26 PM <sapph> manifest for a collection of crated boxes that had arrived earlier in the day from an estate sale. It was an old collection of voodun tools and paraphernalia with some rather rare tomes written by a practitioner.  While the work of going through these boxes could have been accomplished at another time, Henry had two good reasons for being here alone. First, he was terribly curious about the items and second, he was

worried there might

8:26 PM <sapph> actually be items of power in this collection. It wasn’t something he could explain, but every now and then an artifact made it’s way into his museum that didn’t fee quite right and made his hair stand on end. Those items were tucked away into a private collection that wasn’t ever on display.

<Storyteller> Being alone there, with only the roaming security officers that would come by now and then could be disconcerting when it was late at night. The fear that some of those artifacts, even as mundane as they looked, could be items of actual power was something that wasn’t totally unfounded. This shipment arrived from an old plantation house, or rather the slave

house that was out in the back of it and had been untouched for over a century. Apparently, despite slavery’s official end, the long wooden cheap house had held ‘servants’ within it up until 1911. In 2011, the wealthy relatives of ancestors who were around back then began to claim that the place was haunted. In 2016 an archaeologist came out to the house and dated some of the items and

claimed she could help remove the curse set on this place, if there indeed was one, by getting rid of certain items found in the slave house, and some buried beneath the flooring in the main house….

<Storyteller> This is the story you get anyway. She promised that these items would be sent off to a museum, where they could be kept and that the family would be spared anymore harm. They ended up in a Baton Rouge museum for a few years in crates, seemingly harmless, though sometimes the security guards would complain about sounds… and now they were sent to this museum

because your exhibit was considered superior and the items were originally closer to New Orleans.

<Henry> had always been overly curious and this place was almost a second home to him, even late at night. He even knew the security guards by name, at this point and they’d often take turns getting coffee for each other. The history behind this shipment had been terribly exciting and Henry was eager to delicately rifle through them and document the properly… and tuck away any that seemed off to him. Not that he could do anything with

them beyond that. Looking over the manifest one last time, Henry sat it down and began to pry open one of the crates to begin his work.

<Storyteller> The manifest concerned 3 crates. There were rugs rolled up, that when unrolled would reveal symbols in chicken blood. There were bones woven into some clothes, particularly around the midriff section of dresses or the collars of a man’s suit. There were voodoo ‘dolls’ made out of hay and some other materials with sewn clothing that resembled some of the attire

that had sewn bones within them. There was some jewelry as well, made out of bones, certain shiny stones, mostly of quartz. There was also an old wardrobe that had symbols all along the back and sides within it.

<Storyteller> Then there were a few books, hand written with pictures and symbols. There were no actual ‘words’ within it. Just pictures as if the people who wrote them had no words to write. The pictures seemed mostly to be white men around gatherings of black men, women and children.. very detailed, selling them as property, hanging them, feeding children to the alligators

to capture alligators.. all sorts of stuff.. piercing black people to maintain them as property..making a black servant read the others the Bible.. various things.

<Henry> Each artifact was laid out with painstaking care. He may not be a practitioner of the religion, but he had a deep respect for it and the people who did hold to it. These were not toys or frivolous items, but objects of belief and importance. As important as his own religion. Once all the items were laid out to be catalogued, Henry was drawn to examine the books, carefully turning each page to examine the pictures. They were

terrible reminders of a brutish past, but the past needed to be remembered so that it was learned from. He’d make sure these books had a display. Then he moved on to the other items with a scrutinizing eye. Ghost stories might be stories, but some oddities were rooted in reality and he wanted to make sure that nothing here was actually dangerous to the public, even if some colleges might laugh him off for that concern. Unlike most people

though, Henry did believe in things that went bump in the night… to an extent.

<Storyteller> also one additional thing..there was a leather satchel rolled that had various cutting and sewing implements in it, like for surgery and stitching.

<Storyteller> Some of that jewelry, Henry can tell, was made from other pieces of jewelry, maybe snipped from some of the plantation owners or their guests (?) while others were rocks like shiny quartz, found in the yard probably, or teeth from animals.

<Storyteller> some lines were even made from reinforced plant matter, to make collars and such.

<Henry>Didn’t know much about medicine, but the museum had a few pieces in it’s collection. Each piece of the kit was removed and turned over in his delicate hands with interest. The jewelry also caught his eye, he had a few associates that might be able to help him identify the animals and stones more precisely. He picked up one necklace to admire the craftsmanship and get a better look.

<Storyteller> The surgical tools are definitely ‘crude’and not like what medical staff would really use, but whoever crafted them made them very efficient with what they had to use.

<Henry> Was curious, as always. He couldn’t help but wonder how effective these tools would actually be, even if they were crude. Perhaps he could find a physician that would take them seriously enough to actually give him an honest assessment… and maybe even tell him what they were likely used for. Now that would be a fascinating conversation.

<Storyteller> Henry would hear footsteps approaching him before he would be able to take notice of a very tall, slender man with an impeccable suit tailored to his 7 foot some inches frame. His face was long and drawn, quite pale, though his eyes were a brilliant light brown. His hair was long and black, kind of stringy on the ends, as if it could use a trim to get rid of

the dead ends, but the guy was apparently not willing to sacrifice a couple inches. His fingernails were yellow and longer than a man’s nails were usually alotted..maybe longer than probably most women’s who weren’t wearing fake nails.

<Henry> set the tools down and looked up as the man approached. He was wearing a steal grey suit and a Navy dress shirt. The tie and jacket had been left in his office though and the dress shirt was rolled up to the elbows to give him time to work. He stood and gave the man a curious look. Perhaps someone had forgotten to lock up properly, “Ah, pardon me, Sir. I am afraid that we are currently closed for the night, but we will be open

from 9 am to 8 pm tomorrow evening.”

<Storyteller> The man snorted in response and looked over at the items. “The contents of this order are mine. I can see you have already decided to rifle through what is not yours. There should be an order to not do exactly what you are doing, written in the directions for this shipment.” He had a notable Russian accent. “Now pack this back up so I can be on my

way.”

<Henry> squinted at the man, “I beg your pardon?” That was a rather bold face lie and Henry wasn’t certain where this man thought he was, “This shipment was has been properly transferred to the museum from Baton Rogue and I assure you that the paperwork is quite in order.” He tapped a light finger against the manifest, “These items are exactly where they should be, good Sir. However, should you with to dispute it, the curator shall be in

tomorrow, but in the meantime, no item shall be leaving the premises and you do not have permission to be in the museum after hours.” Henry placed his hands on his hips and gave the man a rather stern look, “Now, I am afraid I must ask you to leave.”

<Storyteller> “Funny thing about that… I am from Baton Rouge and have come here for your job, little man. You are being replaced. The curator will tell you later today and that shipment was mine. You have the rest of tonight to enjoy your job.”

<Henry> his mouth gaped, “Little man? My job?” Now that was simply preposterous! Henry wasn’t being replaced and he knew it. “Now see here, you uncultured ingrate. I haven’t the foggiest idea where you are getting your information, or what game you are playing, but if you do not leave immediately I will have no choice but to call security.”

<Storyteller> You feel a very bad dread come about you. It’s just really out of nowhere, as he looks at you with eyes that turn into orbs of fiery pits, you’d swear, for all of three seconds. “We shall see come tomorrow night.” He’d then turn and walk off…though to where, you aren’t certain. He just kind of disappears in the shadows of the night.

<Henry> Couldn’t help but shrink back as the sensation of dread washed over him and those eyes burned embers at him. That couldn’t have been real? Could it? If it was… what was he. Once the man was out of sight, Jacob hurried to the phone to call for security to come and check the area and the doors. Then and only then, did he double check the manifest. He was -certain- there was no note. This shipment had been sent to the museum, not

some crazy and clearly delusional burglar.

<Storyteller> The security officers, all three of them for the night, came around to police the area and see if anything was amiss. They would tell you that tomorrow they could go over security footage if you asked in the day time but they couldn’t access it this late at night without a really good reason and there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary around.

<Henry> Henry would agree to bring that up in the daytime and thank the men for their time and patience. He would be looking into this the following morning. For now though, he was a little shaken and would spend some time packing things up for the night, carefully marking his place. He’d continue his work tomorrow since it is getting to be late into the evening. Even shaken, he wouldn’t shirk his work and things would be done properly.

<Storyteller> The night otherwise goes pretty uneventful, though maybe now and then you hear the sound of a child crying… you think. When you focus though, there’s nothing there.

<Henry> eventually grows weary enough that the sounds he is mishearing and the advanced hours overcome his curiosity and it is time to head for home. After stowing his notes for the evening, Henry returns to his office to collect his suit jacket and car keys. He’d let security know that he was heading home for the night and slip out the front door, locking it behind him before he heads to his car. He closes his eyes for a moment as he

walks, breathing deeply of the night air. Hands are stuffed in his pocket as he begins to whistle a soft tune. It wasn’t far to his car and he didn’t live far from the museum.

<Storyteller> You make it to your car, seemingly just fine. You even can get in your car and all is well…until you hear something moving in the back seat.

<Henry> Pauses at the sound. That wasn’t right. No… there wasn’t supposed to be anything in the backseat. Henry’s car was rather tidy. With a tiny bit of dread, Henry turns his head slowly to look. Dear God, don’t let it be a rat.

<Storyteller> No, it wasn’t a rat :(. In fact, it was much bigger by the sounds of it. A low grumble could be heard and whatever was back there wasn’t very comfortable. Maybe there was a chomping sound.

<Henry> Really really didn’t need to be given two hints. With a burst of speed that was rather impressive for the awkward man, he threw the car door open and flung himself from the vehicle, turning to retreat backwards as he check to make sure that nothing horrid was chasing him. Did someone put a bloody dog in his car?

<Storyteller> You get the fuck out of the car, as clumsy as could be, but you do it! You hear a loud thumping in back and out of the back window, you swear you see this scaley big tail come up. That was definitely no doggo.

<Henry> “The bloody hell!” Henry gasps as he spies the tail and inches back towards the car to very very carefully peer in the back window. Was that… a ‘gator’? How in the name of the nine Hells did a gator get in his car?!”

<Storyteller> Yes, it was indeed a gator and it is very unhappy, and has done some great work on your back seat interior.

<Storyteller> It seemed to be stuck there with some kind of bloody meat.

<Henry> Very firmly closes the front door, but at least the animal was in the car and contained. He really -did- not want to know what the bloody meat was, but he was so damned curious and moved just a little closer to peer in the window, making sure that the meat was… dear God, not a person… At the same time her fumbled for his phone. He needed to call… animal control? 911? the zoo? Someone.

<Storyteller> You think you can see the hand of a human back there. 😦

<Storyteller> A little hand too. And it’s dark skinned.

<Henry> Yes, that scream was Henry’s as he throws himself back from the car, hands fumbling with his cellular phone as he tries to unlock it to call 911. No. Dear God No. Who could do that? Who would do that.

<Storyteller> You reach 911. “911, how may I be of service?”

<Henry> “Yes.. I.. there is… Dear God. There is an alligator in my car… and… a child. I’m at the Historic Voodoo Museum. Please, for the love of all things holy, send someone.” His voice was shaken and trembling.

<Storyteller> “Well send someone. Please stay where you are. Police are enroute.” The woman’s voice tries to be comforting. “Was your car broken into? Are you okay?”

<Henry> “I… yes… I think I am ok… I don’t know. I came out of work and there was… in my car!” Henry couldn’t quite articulate. His wide eyes kept going back to the horrific scene in the back of his car.

<Storyteller> “Alright sir…just stay where you are. The authorities are on their way and about 2 minutes out. Is there anything else nearby that seems unusual?”

<Henry> Blinks almost dumbly and looks around for anything out of place, but he was rather flustered, “I… don’t think so? I… it’s rather dark.”

<Storyteller> There’s this feeling of being really really alone that washes over you but it seems to dim as you can make out the flashing lights of a cop car approaching, and then a second one behind it. There were no sirens because it was late and there just wasn’t a reason as traffic was more than reasonable this late in this part of the city. It wasn’t the hot night spot

area, after all. The cop cars pulled into the lot and then headed over to you and your vehicle, as well, you were the only one outside standing by a vehicle and the parking lot was nearly bare otherwise. After a moment, the first cops get out of the cop car and approach you. One is a tall muscular guy and the other is skinny beat cop woman with her hair in a pony tail. “Hello, sir. You

the one that called about the gator in the car?”

<Henry> Shivers and hugs himself as the feeling of being alone hits him. He tried to focus his breathing, not hyperventilate, not panic. The cop cars take forever to show up as Henery clutches his phone and fidgets near panic in the lot, “Yes… ” He answers, gesturing with clear distress to his car, “There is a bloody gator in my back seat and… Dear God… I think… I think a child.” He goes pale at that and trembles.

<Storyteller> the cops nod and then head over rather urgently. The second group of cops gets out and one stays with you..while the other three cops go over and start making in calls for animal control. Whoever the child was once, the cops are calling a coroner as well as ambulance. You are stuck there for quite some time and then brought to the police station as your car is

impounded to be researched by forensics.

<Storyteller> We shall pause here as the cops, though they understand, have to keep you in custody reasonably because there simply are no other suspects at this time and it is around 4 am by the time you are put in the cell. They tell you in a few hours you can make your phone call for a lawyer if you wish, but the forensics report was going to take time and tomorrow night

they’d have more information for you.

<Henry> Cooperates completely with whatever the cops ask of him, as best he can. He’s innocent and that counts for something, right? He understands being locked up, but that doesn’t make it any more comfortable or make it feel better. He’d never run afoul of the law, he hadn’t even had so much as a parking ticket. If they thought that he’d somehow managed to get an alligator in his car, they were crazy and there would be surveillance

footage of him in the museum all night.