The fifolet (fee-foh-lay) is rarely encountered in Louisiana. It refers to what people elsewhere call swamp gas or will-o'-the-wisp. Typically, it is seen as a eerie light blue or white light. There are a number of local legends about fifolets. One common legend is that Jean Lafitte, the notorious pirate, had buried chests in the swamp here and there. With each deposited chest, the pirates shot one of the diggers and buried him along with it. The superstitious purpose for doing that was so the slain pirate would guard the booty from intrusion in the future.
Seeing a fifolet is something to wonder about. Some react by fear; not wanting to run afoul of the alleged pirate spirit that lingers around the supposed burial site. But there are the daring, greedy others. And there are some who just like to see what it's all about.
Marie and Etienne were a pair of teens out having a private moment with each other in a car on a back road in a swamp when they saw a fifolet in the distance. Marie, having gotten curious, said, "Let's go and take a closer look." She left the car and started walking toward the swamp gas blue-and-white light.
Etienne followed, looking for an adventure and wondering about the pirates' gold. Etienne and Marie followed the moving light until it stopped above a slight rise in the swamp. They brazenly approached the spot, and started to dig with their hands. The marshy soil was quite easy to dig in at first.
They had dug only a foot or so when they hit what was apparently the top of a wooden chest. However, the earth began to take on a quicksand mushiness. And Etienne was sucked into the sand and had a hard time with it.
Marie got out and screamed! Etienne had further difficulty and through his struggles seemed to get deeper in the quicksand. Marie said, "Etienne, pray with me. It's our only hope!" So they did. Whoo-eee! A real scare!
Finally, Etienne was able to struggle out of the sand.
A week after their scare, they returned to the same place. They saw no quicksand nor a hole.
Years later Marie and Etienne married others. And neither told family or friends about their scary misadventure together. They might ask too many questions.
Lovely Lady Friday CCCXVI
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