"Erzulie": Freezing a moment in time, the three voodoo spirits that reside at the old Royale Hotel observe Priscilla Kitaen after they had performed a ritual on her to make her a vessel for their power the night before. They hope that she will be able to
- A key, a garter, a playing card. I dreamed somebody placed them on my chest, but when I woke up... Well, obviously, they weren't there.
Appearing in "Erzulie"
- Lieutenant Dave Dove
- Detective Frank Chaney (Dies)
- Mait' "Carry-Four" Carrefour
- Christian Charles
- Angela Jane "Angel" Connor (Appears only as a corpse)
- Midnight Lounge
Synopsis for "Erzulie"
Freezing a moment in time, the three voodoo spirits that reside at the old Royale Hotel observe Priscilla Kitaen after they had performed a ritual on her to make her a vessel for their power the night before. They hope that she will be able to stop the one they call the White Dog - Christian Charles, proprietor of the Midnight Lounge, where Priscilla has just got a job as an exotic dancer.
That morning, at breakfast, Priscilla tells her new friends of the strange dream she had where three items were placed on her chest - a key, a garter, and a playing card. Though she doesn't know it, these are the totems of the voodoo spirits Papa Legba, Maîtresse Mambo Erzulie, and the Baron Samedi. She knows them as Attibon, Freda, and Saturday. They warn her to be careful at her new job, reminding her that many of the dancing girls there have been murdered. Freda offers to spend some time with her that day to show her the ropes.
At the morgue, the coroner determines that the body of the girl known as Angel has been drained of blood. He suggests that she was hung up and bled out. He notes that she has long parallel bruising on her back and legs, like she;d been slammed up against a fence or railings. Detective Frank Chaney suggests that it might have been a cage. Lieutenant Dave Dove wonders if the murder might have been part of some kind of ritual, noting the voodoo charms that they found in the girl's bedroom. Thanking the coroner, Dove decides to investigate the old records to find out what they have on Christian Charles and his nightclub, while Chaney decides to speak to Charles personally.
Dove discovers that the land that the club was built on used to house the Church of St. Benedict, established amid controversy by Father Jean-Pierre LaCroix. Scandal and rumour had plagued the church until it closed nineteen years later when LaCroix was excommunicated. The derelict church was eventually demolished in 1970, and the land was not sold until 1987. It wasn't until the 1990s that the land fell into the hands of Christian Charles, who completely redesigned the club that was there into the Midnight Lounge.
Meanwhile, Det. Chaney stops by the club to question Charles. The club owner provides little information, reminding the detective that the girls who work at the club are usually slave to numerous vices that are likely to get them into trouble. Chaney gives up, but before leaving, he asks whether there are any cages in the establishment for the girls to dance in. Charles denies that there are any cages there, and the detective goes on his way. However, once the detective is gone, Christian Charles runs up to his office and begs his master, Mait' Carrefour to get rid of the detective, warning that he is too close.
Freda has Priscilla sponge-bathe with special water, infused with herbs. She gives the girl a new dress and asks her to wear all three of her wedding bands for luck. Priscilla marvels that Freda was married three times, and the elder woman notes that she was even once married to Mr. D, the man who lives in the attic above Priscilla. With Priscilla dressed up, Freda takes her out on the streets to show her off. They pass by a group of men who recognize Freda as Erzulie, and they remove their hats and bow their heads in her presence, promising to sprinkle perfume on the sidewalk in her honour. As reward, she allows them to touch her smallest finger. Priscilla marvels at how they seem to worship her. Freda responds that she's still got it.
The ladies pass by a book store, and Priscilla is taken by the desire to do some research about voodoo magic, particularly since Attibon warned her about the power in her stage name. Freda warns that she can't unlearn something once it's read, but Priscilla is determined and excited. She purchases a number of books, but when she turns to talk to Freda, she finds the woman has disappeared. Somewhat concerned, she decides to take her books to work with her at the Midnight Lounge. However, she fails to notice the evil energy emanating from it's upper floors.
Inside the club, the patrons all look at her lasciviously. She makes her way to the back room, and asks Purity, another dancer, where all the other customers are. The blonde responds that the girl called Crystal was supposed to open the show, but she hasn't shown up. She wonders if Voodoo managed to find a place to stay, and Priscilla responds that she found a place to stay at the Royale Hotel. Purity claims never to have heard of the place.
Just then, a photo catches Voodoo's eye, as she notices that the old picture showing the church that used to stand where the club now stands has changed. This photo shows the Reverend LaCroix standing in the foreground. The day before, he had been absent. Purity responds that nothing has changed, and Voodoo lets the issue drop.
Purity catches a glimpse of Voodoo's books and hopes that the interest in voodoo ritual is only passing. Voodoo assures her that she has no interest in sacrificing chickens in the change room as Purity heads out to dance on stage. Voodoo reads that Papa Legba is the guardian of the sacred gateway, the road leading from the mortal to the divine world. He grants mortal contact with the loa, the voodoo spirit-gods. However, Attibon Legba is situated beside his opposite - Mait' Carrefour. It is Carrefour who has the power to release the daemons of misfortune and destruction on mortals.
Meanwhile, Detective Chaney returns to Lt. Dove to report that he found nothing. When he returns to his home, he is suddenly attacked by a horrifying monster - Carrefour's demonic form. As the monster rips Frank Chaney's heart from his chest, Voodoo, dancing on the stage, has a strange feeling like something has happened. She is suddenly overtaken by the spirit of the Erzulie, and it has a strange effect on her.
Having apparently lost consciousness, Voodoo wakes to see Purity leaning over her. Apparently, whatever happened caused Purity some fright, though it pleased the patrons. As it happens, Voodoo didn't faint, but rather she danced for a full half-hour and then suddenly stormed off stage without speaking, and after getting to the dressing room, she collapsed. Purity jokes that Voodoo should put less effort into her shows, or she'll make the others look bad.
Elsewhere, Attibon and Saturday complain that Freda possessed Voodoo sooner than they were expecting. The woman defends that she felt Priscilla was ready. Meanwhile they are aware that Carrefour killed Chaney first. The event has apparently agitated Mr. D upstairs, and Attibon warns that he will eventually be moved to act. Freda suggests that if Christian Charles has risked employing Carrefour, he must be close to success in his mission.
Somewhat shaken by her experience, Voodoo walks home in the rain as she is watched over by the Baron Samedi.
- Originally published by Image Comics.
- This issue is reprinted in the Voodoo: Dancing in the Dark trade paperback and the Alan Moore: Wild Worlds trade paperback.
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