Paul and Brady Get Hoodoo with the Voodoo


By Jennifer Rardin

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Two young college students end up in over their heads after making a deal with a voodoo queen, in this short story from author Jennifer Rardin.


Paul and Brady Get Hoodoo with the Voodoo

How do I look?" Paul's hands shot out straight from his sides, and he began to take tiny, little circle steps so Brady could get the full effect before commenting. Since becoming his roommate, Paul had learned that Brady could be depended on for a lot, but fashion tips were always right at the top of the list.

Brady said, "You look nervous, okay? I haven't even parked my bike yet! Hang on. This darned kickstand will never just—oh, there. Wait, spin the other way. Yes, just as I thought." He picked a piece of road dust from Paul's lily-white shirt, tightened the knot on his tie, and said, "Fix your hair. Oh, and I don't think she'll be very impressed by that, either." He pointed to the clip that kept the right leg of Paul's trousers from flapping into his bicycle chain.

"Oh! Right." Paul pulled off the clip and shoved it in his pocket before smoothing down his unruly, brown hair. Brady's hair, blond and limp as that cheerleader they'd found in the lobby after the first home game, didn't need flattening. He just shook his head the way he did now when he wanted to "fluff the do" and waited until Paul said, "Now?"

"You're fine." Brady's expression said he wasn't so sure about the neighborhood. "This is the right address?"

Paul checked his map. "One-twelve East Locust, yes, that's what she told me."

Brady looked up and down the street. "Somehow I thought a voodoo queen would live in something a little more… palatial."

They stood next to a long metal fence through which they could see tall weeds waving cheerfully, like kids playing hooky from school. Beyond the neglected lawn squatted a building that reminded Paul more of a frog than a house. All that green, he guessed. Siding, shutters, trim, even the shingles on the roof were the color of pond scum.

"Maybe she's not actually a queen," Paul ventured. "I mean, this is Wisconsin. Maybe she's more of a… CEO."

"We could ask," Brady suggested.

"Only if she has time. She's probably pretty busy." They nodded at each other wisely, and then Brady went to the rusty old gate.

"Wait!" Paul patted himself down. "Okay, I remembered to bring the money." Thank goodness Mom and Daddy still gave him a weekly allowance, or he'd never be able to afford to pay Voodoo Queen (or maybe CEO) Vicky to do the job.

Brady, his hand already on the latch, a handkerchief guarding against the germs his Sweet Mama Jo had warned him were like ninjas that would kill him in his sleep, said, "Calm down! You look fine. You're here ten minutes early. You've got the money. What could go wrong?"

Paul sighed. Nothing, of course, especially not when he was in the company of the best-dressed freshman from Wisconsin University State School ever. It was a real pleasure to share a dorm at WUSS with a trendsetter like Brady. Today, despite the heat of the mid-September afternoon, he'd chosen to wear a black suit coat over his baby-blue dress shirt. The red tie, he said, was for energy, as were the red pants. The best part was his signature tube socks, pulled up high to his knee and then carefully rolled down to the tops of his steel-toed boots, which he kept in pristine condition. Paul looked down at his old jeans and Reeboks and wished he had Brady's sense of style.

"Are you ready to pay the voodoo queen to break up with your girlfriend for you?" asked Brady patiently.

Paul marched himself over to stand beside his new—and only—friend. "Open the gate."


* * *


Brady pushed the latch up and kicked the arched bars out of Paul's way. Paul stepped through the gap, jumping forward as he felt Brady's shoulder bump into his at the same time that the gate screeched shut.

"Heh-heh. That's loud," Brady said.

"Yes. I should fix that. I'll get my tools." Paul spun around, heading back toward his bicycle, a red Roadmaster that his grandfather had once ridden clear to Baraboo to see Perry Como in concert.

Brady grabbed his shirtsleeve, pulling him back with short tugs that almost worked like Morse code to communicate his get-back-to-business message. "I appreciate the fact that you want to be helpful. Even more so, that you're always prepared to be."

"It's the Eagle Scout in me."

"Obviously. But Sweet Mama Jo says it's the height of rudidity to be late for an appointment you have made. And"—he checked his Timex—"yes, we only have one minute to get to the door. I'm afraid you'll have to fix the gate after the voodoo queen CEO agrees to help you."


On Sale
Jul 15, 2011
Page Count
33 pages

Jennifer Rardin

About the Author

Jennifer Rardin began writing at the age of twelve. She penned eight Jaz Parks novels in her life. She passed away in September 2010.

Learn more about this author