A Crossroads Mystery

The day started off like any normal morning.  I woke up, crawled out from under the pile of snoring cats, staggered out to the kitchen, and started the coffee maker.  Leaning against the counter, waiting for it to brew so I could pour liquid consciousness down my throat and get my brain fully online, I poked blearily at Facebook on my phone.  I know, it’s a terrible idea, but it’s either that or I glare at the coffee slowly dripping into the carafe, and that’s not much better for my temper, to be honest.  As I scrolled, not exactly registering a lot of what was passing by, one image caught my attention.  I stopped scrolling and centered the image on the screen.

It was of a perfectly unremarkable hallway in a generic professional building- white tiles, neutral wall color, insipid landscape paintings, the usual- but in the middle of the floor there was a circle of reddish-brown bark mulch, neatly flattened and carefully shaped, with a large compass-like symbol drawn across it in some sort of yellowish powder.  Huh.  Well, that’s something you don’t see every day.  Weird meme?  I looked at the name of the person who posted it, to try and figure out what I was looking at.  It was my boyfriend’s post, and it wasn’t a meme.  It was a photo he’d taken in the building he was working in, and while it answered the location (the work site he was on was in Boston), it only opened up more questions.  For starters, what the chicken-fried fuck?  I dropped a Supernatural gif in the comments as a placeholder for later, to come back to when I had enough brain to communicate in words.  (The Supernatural fandom has a gif for everything, and it’s remarkably useful, especially pre-caffeination.)

Look, the coffee was still brewing, and I am not at my best mental capacity before I’ve caffeinated.  I wake up about as easily as a bear coming out of hibernation, and am about as personable and coherent.

Something about the symbol was bugging me.  A lot.  It looked really familiar, but I couldn’t pull the information out of my sluggish brain, and it was annoying.  I hate mysteries first thing in the morning.

The coffee finished brewing, finally.  I poured it into a mug and spent several minutes staring blankly out the window while I worked on drinking enough of it to kickstart my brain into a semblance of functionality.  I could feel the inner librarian in my head rifling through the stacks and card catalogues, trying to place the symbol.  It was bugging me that I couldn’t remember it, and would do so until I figured it out.

About halfway through the coffee mug, I remembered why it looked familiar.  The answer still made no sense, though.  Maybe I was mistaken?  Going to my office, I opened my laptop to double-check, and no, I wasn’t mistaken.

What the hell was the veve for Papa Legba, the Vodoun loa of crossroads and doorways, complete with proper ritual placement and components, doing in the middle of the hallway of an office building in Boston?!?

Yeah, this was going to need some looking into…

(Originally posted on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/riversdaughter.)

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