The Morrigan was waiting for him in a dark of the alleyway of the Pinch, the edges of her form blending in to the shadows.
“And here we thought you’d abandoned the old Irish ways. Conor, son of Matthew.” Her voice was echoing and ageless, like the howl of wind through the mountains.
“I’m a good Catholic,” His accent was thin, the lilt barely there. “But that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten what I was taught about you and how you can help me talk to the dead.”
“And if the dead do not want to talk to you? What then, prodigal?”
Conor’s mood darkened at the thought.
“I’m willing to risk my immortal soul by trafficking with whatever you are just to see my family again, and try to put right what went so wrong. Can you help me or not?”
The phantom queen narrowed her eyes at him.
“Samhain will be in three days. The light of the year will give way to the dark of the year, the veil will be at its thinnest. Set a fire in a grove of trees, and I will meet you there. Then we will see if the dead have forgiven you.”
Before the Civil War, the largest immigrant population in Memphis was the Irish. They worked the docks and police force, and lived in neighborhoods north of downtown, collectively known as the Pinch district. So named because of the starved and pinched look so many of the Irish had. Samhain is the original Irish holiday that we base our modern Halloween upon. It is the day when the boundary between this world and the next is thinnest, and spirits can cross over if they wish.