GENRE: YA urban fantasy
I knew better than to linger by the river after work. That was one of Mom’s rules: stay away from the river. Right up there with it was the rule that when I went out, I walked straight to work and straight home afterward, and heaven forbid I stayed out after dark. Lately I found myself breaking her rules a lot, more than I had in the past anyway. Perhaps it was my recent liberation from high school or the summer heat somehow affecting my brain. Or maybe it was just a phase.
I left the comfort of the Moonwalk and the breeze off the river, strolling inland toward the labyrinth of streets I knew well. Mom would never notice the few minutes here or there I wasted soaking up my surroundings.
From the Moonwalk, I navigated through the tourists congregated around Jackson Square who gazed around in confusion and awe at the mixture of history and constant carnival. I passed fortunetellers and mimes, street musicians and pigeons, until I lost all the noise of people living and the toxic perfume of spices, cigarettes, and beer to the residential forest of the French Quarter.
My entire life had been spent in this city, save for a handful of months Mom and I lived in Memphis after hurricanes, and I planned to keep living in it. All my friends from high school clambered to leave New Orleans after graduation, like to remain here was akin to a death sentence. They never understood why I wanted to stay.