The Dance of the Voodoo Handbag

By Robert Rankin

This is the tale of Billy, whose Grandmother left him the "voodoo purse" in her will, after he had bought her soul to technology. The stories it tells Billy will swap his lifestyles forever—and the lives of alternative humans as well.

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They dined upon mince and slices of quince, which they ate with plastic forks, because the runcible spoons have been away being wiped clean. “What are the possibilities of discovering my Billy? ’ requested his mum, munching loudly and damn her plate approximately. ‘Very good,’ stated the Inspector, studying his raw mince. ‘After all, we've but to set up no matter if he's truly lacking. you assert he took a packed suitcase. it truly is probably that he has simply long past off for it slow and may touch you presently. ’ ‘He’s by no means long gone off earlier than. ’ ‘He’s twenty-three years of age, Mrs Barnes, might be he simply desired to get somewhat house. unfold his wings. extend his horizons. ’ ‘So you don’t imagine he’s in any probability, then? ’ ‘Let us now not be pessimistic with out due reason. ’ ‘Fine,’ stated Mrs Barnes. ‘Then let’s omit all approximately him. If he turns up useless in a canal or anything you could continuously supply me a choice, can’t you? ’ ‘Well certain, yet I— hear, do you… I suggest, are you on their own right here now? ’ ‘My mum lives with me. She’s an invalid, she’s upstairs. ’ Now this was once a lie and a planned one. Mrs Barnes had no purpose of declaring her mum’s disappearance. Mrs Barnes accrued her mum’s pension a week and she or he wanted the money for her Tuesday night actions. ‘I’d prefer to meet your mother,’ acknowledged Inspector Kirby. ‘She’s asleep. might be yet again. ’ ‘That will be great. This quite is an interesting room, Mrs Barnes. a standard museum. That carved ‘cabinet at the mantelpiece, the place did that come from? ’ ‘Haiti. My grandfather used to be the governor there on the flip of the century. the cupboard is a reliquary, it holds the family’s most beneficial ownership. ’ ‘Absolutely interesting. and what's that, precisely? ’ ‘A plaster forged of a voodoo purse. The purse of Maîtresse Ezilée, the Haitian incarnation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. ’ ‘Incredible. I did an evening university direction at the occult a few years in the past and we studied the voodoo pantheon. Papa Legba, Agoué, Loco and the remaining. Isn’t the purse alleged to own sure powers? Act as an oracle, or whatever? ’ ‘They say it speaks, even supposing I’ve by no means heard it. Billy acknowledged it used to talk to him, inform him tales. ’ what sort of tales? ’ ‘Tall ones, i believe. ’ ‘Fascinating,’ stated the Inspector. ‘Do you're thinking that i would see it? ’ ‘Absolutely now not! ’ Mrs Barnes bashed her giant fists down upon the desk. ‘Far too risky. The purse is a transitus tessera. it could actually take you from the area of the residing to the realm of the offended useless. ’ ‘You suggest i'd die if I observed it? ’ ‘If you have been to the touch it you are going to die. ’ ‘I see. Is it then, impregnated with a few poison from the Amazon? ’ ‘Possibly. yet belief me, if you happen to opened that cupboard and touched the voodoo purse you’d die. ’ ‘Incredible,’ stated Inspector Kirby. ‘Absolutely wonderful. ’ ‘I consider so. ’ Mrs Barnes shrugged noisily. ‘But you get used to objects, don’t you? and also you research via your error. ’ ‘Indeed. ’ the phone started to ring. ‘That should be your Billy,’ stated Inspector Kirby. ‘No, that’s no longer his ring. ’ Mrs Barnes forked up a few quince and wolfed it down.

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