The Dolls
begins calling out loudly to someone or something called Eloi Oke— El-ooh-ah Oh-key. “Come to us now, Eloi Oke, and open the gate. Come to us now, Eloi Oke, and open the gate. Come to us now, Eloi Oke, and open the gate.”
    She pounds on the ground with a big, gnarled stick, while Chloe holds up a huge silver triangle dangling from a string and strikes it once before dropping it. I half expect the earth to open up beneath them, but all that happens is an unnatural calm settles over the cemetery as the air goes completely still.
    Peregrine releases the stick and joins hands with Chloe and Pascal, whose eyes are closed. All three of them look like they’re in some sort of trance, and I wonder for a moment if they’re drunk, or maybe even high. Peregrine says something else, in a language I don’t understand, and then she repeats the phrase twice more.
    Chloe and Pascal begin to dance slowly, their feet thudding against the ground in an unhurried, deliberate rhythm, their hips swaying in time. After a moment, Peregrine joins in too, and I realize I can hear a distant, musical tinkling sound. Then I see the moonlight glinting off tiny bells attached to all of their wrists and ankles. The breeze that has picked up out of nowhere carries the sound skyward.
    The dancing gets faster and wilder as Peregrine chants more urgently in a sultry, velvety voice. Soon Chloe is singing along with her, her voice sweeter and higher. Pascal is the last to join in, his voice gravelly and low. Audowido is coiled in the middle of the circle now, and as the song gets louder, he begins to rise up toward the half moon, his body weaving in time. Suddenly, he turns his head toward me and freezes as his eyes lock with mine.
    It takes all my self-control to keep from screaming. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the damned snake had just cracked a small, satisfied smile. After a long moment, he turns his gaze skyward and begins swaying to the music again.
    I fall back against the tomb as Peregrine, Chloe, and Pascal abruptly let go of each other’s hands and open their eyes. Audowido retreats back into the studded leather bag, and Peregrine waits for him to vanish before she kneels in the dirt and begins digging with her bare hands. After a moment she stands and brushes her hands off.
    “It shall be done,” Chloe says solemnly. She pulls a cloth bag out of her pocket and sprinkles some sort of black powder in the shallow hole.
    “It shall be done,” Pascal echoes, pulling a cloth bag from his own pocket and doing the same thing.
    “It shall be done,” Peregrine says solemnly, sprinkling powder of her own into the hole.
    They join hands again, and this time, while their chanting is louder, I can’t understand most of the words.
    “ Fantom nan sot pase a, tande sa pledwaye nou an ,” they say together. “ Move lespri a sot pase a, tande sa pledwaye nou an .”
    There’s a sudden chill in the air, like the temperature has dropped twenty degrees. I shiver and begin to back away slowly, but I stop in my tracks when I hear them say a familiar name—Justin Cooper. I also hear them chant the name of a guy I don’t know, someone named Beau Fontenot. I squint into the darkness to see what they’re doing, and my eyes widen when I see each of the girls holding up a small rag doll.
    They throw the dolls into the shallow hole, then kneel on the ground and smooth dirt back over the open space. When the ground is flat and the dolls have been buried, each of them spits on the earth. Once they’re standing again, Peregrine begins to chant: “Dandelion and mojo beans, sandalwood and lemon balm, we draw your power. Spirits, open the gates of Carrefour on Saturday night.” She holds up a handful of herbs to the sky, then she drops them on the ground, reaches for the stone that dangles around her neck, and joins hands with the others.
    I hear them say twice in unison something that sounds like “Mesi, zanset.” But before they can say the words a

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