Swampland beckons where Voodoo and Magic charm a spell

Whenever people ask me where I live, I say “Las Vegas,” and pause a beat, and add “Not near the strip”. As if defending myself that I am not a gambler, nor a drinker or a smoker. It elicits opposing reactions; a blank stare, a sneer or downright hostility.

Fortresses and Castles that time forgot

Dressed all in black with a shawl draped over her shoulders, her voice is melodic but earthy. By 12:10, emotionally tangled into the music, when everyone gets up to leave the Swede and I stay behind.
Ten minutes later, we make our exit grab a cab arriving at the hostel at 12:35 to closed doors.
My fists hammer at the huge double wooden doors but no answer. The Swede tries a couple of rounds. After 30 minutes it’s useless, they have enforced the curfew and are trying to teach us a lesson.