The alley stinks. Piss and rotting vegetables, mainly, along with diesel smoke.
Mirsky looks out of the alley’s mouth to the boats tied to the wharf across the street. It’s the middle of the night, and cold and wet, but the harbor is still busy. Freighters are being offloaded as fast as they can with supplies for the Allied forces to the south and to the east. The workers are mainly North Africans of all nationalities and colors. Americans and British scurry around with clipboards in their hands, adding to the general sense of chaos with a chorus of yells and commands in English which very few of the longshoremen understand.
“And you trust this guy?”
The man standing next to him coughs out a laugh. “Trust? The fuck you talkin’ about, Benny? Yeah, ok, I trust him. I trust him to be a greedy son of a bitch. I trust him to know that I’ve got more money than I say I do.” Jones turns to Mirsky. The Hoodoo man’s eyes are serious. “And I trust you, Benny, to have the money that you say you do. Cuz if you don’t, I trust Kaztankis over there,” Jones jerks a thumb at a nondescript and battered freighter tied up opposite them at the wharf. “to get real pissed off and then things might get bloody.”
“Hey. I can handle my end. I got us this far, didn’t I? I showed you the roll I’ve got. I cashed out all my deals I had running, got us one hell of a stake. So, yeah, I’ve got the money to pay off this mook. But that roll has got to last us a long time. He tries to gyp us, I guaran-fuckin’-tee that it’ll get bloody.”
Jones nods. “I hear that. No need to convince me, man. I never did expect to see you again, especially after I heard those officers talking about how all those walking statues were destroyed killin’ monsters. And them officers didn’t sound all that broken up about it. So I figured you for dead. And then you come back in that Nazi jeep, all on the QT and shit, find me. Well, I gotta say, Benny, I know now, for a pure Dee fact, you say you gonna do somethin’, you gonna get it done.”
Benny shrugs off the compliment. “I’m doin’ all for my sister. So let’s get movin’. Enough with the talkin’.”
There’s a rattling sound from down the alleyway and a door opens. A guy, a North African, wearing a stained apron, comes out into the alleyway carrying a full garbage can. He maneuvers it out the door and then looks up. The light spilling from the open doorway perfectly illuminates the zombie staring at him. The zombie, a dead American who’s missing the back of his head, moans a bit and moves towards the man. The rest of the zombies start to moan as well. The guy screams, pisses himself, drops the garbage can, and falls back inside the building.
Jone’s speaks to the zombies, his voice low and powerful, the Creole words are clearly commands. The dead men move away from the open door and shamble down the alleyway towards him. The houngan looks at Mirsky. “Yeah, I think you’re right. Let’s get out of here before that poor fucker get’s people believin’ in what he saw.”
As the two men and the zombies walk as quick as they can across the wharf to a small battered and rusty freighter docked there, Jones sniffs the air and looks north, across the Mediterranean. “We’re headin’ into some fierce shit, Benny. The Nazis are brewing up a powerful death magic somewhere up there in the North. I can feel it all the way down here. Ghede can feel it too and he’s none too pleased that some fucking white guys are starting to mess around in his garden. Let’s go get your sister out of that shit.” He looks back to make sure all of his zombies are following. “Us and all of Ghede’s horses.”