Monet is a live wire waiting for her next meal, which is why she now sits in Toussaint’s Tea Room, a guaranteed meal. As she waits she finds ways to distract herself, take her mind off of the murderous pang of hunger burning through her body. The thrum of the air conditioner kicking on sends a thick cloud of patchouli and sandalwood floating around the room. The tension in Monet’s muscles ease. Cleo has taught Rose well, she thinks as she sees a woman walking toward her.
“Thank you.” Monet says to the fiery red head that sits a cup and saucer on the table in front of her.
She breaths in the aroma of the specially made tea. It reminds her of when she first came to the city. Her eyes drift to the ornately carved oval wooden frame on the wall beside her. Her fingers trace the lines thinking of the day she received it many years ago. How things have changed in all those years.
In a mostly uncertain world, change is inevitable, rolling constantly over those aware enough to notice. Unless you belong to a particular subset. As unique and hauntingly beautiful as its inhabitants, New Orleans is a city constantly renewing, not really changing, merely reviving. Each rendition seems to feature the same parts, merely played by different people. The outside may change, the buildings may rise and fall as surely as the sun will soar into the sky but in spite of such menial outward differences, the heart of the city, the very soul remains the same. This is a truth Monet feels each day, a fact that thrums in her slow-pumping blood as she stares at the portrait. It doesn’t matter that she barely recognizes the beautiful woman peering back at her. It matters even less that anyone else glancing at this painting would scarcely notice the lively excitement lurking in the woman’s honey-brown eyes, feel the excitement she exudes even through the canvas, see the shine of her lustrous hair. Monet wonders if the girl she’d been, the girl in the picture would ever have recognized the woman she is now.
The shop bell above the heavy, wooden door jingles loudly, startling Monet from her thoughts as it creaks open. A rush of humid air burst through the opening like water through a dam. It is another hot day, which means stray tourists that wander too far from Bourbon Street will find their way into the small curiosity that is Toussaint’s Tea Room. It is good for business and anything that is good for business will please Cleo. Monet shrinks back into the shadows of the corner where she sits alone at a small table sipping her tea. She eyes the newcomers warily.
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A tour of New Orleans turns sinister when Monet Cormier takes unsuspecting patrons on a mystical journey. Explore history as only she remembers it through a series of interwoven short stories inspired by some of the greatest music of all time. Drink the potion if you dare, but once you fall into Madame Cormier’s New Orleans, you’ll never listen to the radio the same way again.