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fate. It’s the only way we can justify in our own minds the fact that we live so much better than they do. The same is true for all our outcasts and pariahs. Have I ever told you the secret of the zombie curse?”

“The zombie curse? Where did that come from?”

“It has to do with AIDS, both here and back home in Miami. But not just AIDS. Lots of other stuff, too. I’ll tell you about it as we ride to the airport. We really do have to go.”

Marlon and Jerry were at the airport to see us off. They were already planning our next visit. “You’ll come back, won’t you, Dr. Fournier? Come for Carnival.”

Se sèten, Marlon ak Jerry. Ayiti te met yon wanga sou mwen” (“For sure, Marlon and Jerry. Haiti cast a spell on me”). I put this phrase together from the book Junia had given me a few hours before. It took Marlon, Jerry, and all the people in our group by surprise, and they broke out in laughter. I needed a laugh myself. If I couldn’t dance, at least I could laugh. Haiti had cast a spell on me. But it had also freed me from the zombie curse that had enslaved my mind all these years. A magical land. A magical people. A land of contrasts. An onion, and I’d only peeled away the first layer.

“I must come back.”

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