"Okay,,so exactly what the heck is a duppy,dude?" I asked him as I pulled out onto and across US#1,,merging
into the still heavy early morning south bound traffic.Since I wasn't dawdling and the car was under changing acceleration
his 'What?' was followed with him making two attempts to turn down the 'Evil People's Lounge' commercial that followed Marleys
By the time I got in the flow of vehicles he had it down so I asked the question again.His answer came
as not much of a surprise,,yet wasn't too clear."Ghosts,,sort of.But sort of like imps or demons too.I allways took it that
some ghosts turn into duppies.They are actually little elf like critters with red feet or pants or legs that live in almond
and silk cotton trees. Like in the roots or something.Some are really bad but most are just irritating and cause bad luck
and stuff like that."
"So,,was that what we seen at the 7-11?" , "Maybe,,I think,,dude,,I don't know but my Mom said she wanted
to talk to you so she will probally fill you in on all that stuff because she said this could be really bad for you,,or us,,since
I had to go and mess with the damn thing!"
Hearing the stress in his voice,,I glanced at him and seen he was getting a little bug eyed.That nagger
of mine threw out,,'NO surprise there,,how are ya holding yourself together?',,to which I didn't subvocalize a response to.I
was too busy driving.This whole thing was definitly a trip,,with out luggage.I was surprised I could actually drive my car
with out swerving all over the road while talking about it.
"Do you want to go to your house,now,,or go burn one first?" , "Well,,my car is still there,,so yes,,allthough
I ought to skip a doob since I know Bob has that sinsei and I'll be too toasted in class anyway,,allthough a quick Busch may
help my head a little." , "I need some more coffee myself,,I'll hold off on the booze till later when I get to the beach."
With that John brightened up a bit and said,,"Hoo-doggy!That's right!You're gonna be courtin' Melissa,ain't
"Courtin'?How old are you,,50?Yeah,ya hep cat,,I gonna be pitching woo to you know who!You gonna find
someone to bring?You don't gotta do anything tomorrow do you?"
"No,I don't.After this one class,,I got nuthin' ta do all weekend.I think I'll call Priscilla and see
if she wants to come.She's a super-freak if ya can get her going."
Carefully keeping the conversation away from the 'too weird weirdness' and focused on the details of
the 'beach party' and 'girls' we drove back to my house.As I pulled up behind Johns car and put it in park we both 'froze'
and stared in astonishment at several shadowy head shapes peering at us from the fogged over back window of Johns car.
With the car still running we watched as the rising suns rays cut through the trees behind the house
and splashed in through the front window of the car illuminating the interior with golden hues.The rays seems to shred the
shadowy heads into thousands of little strings that whisped away like a spiders web caught by a stiff breeze.
For several stunned,silent moments we both sat and stared at the glowing space.Eventually,,I turned the
ignition key off silencing the Buicks idling motor.John turned to look at me,,his dark skin gone a few shades paler,,and said,,"I
think I ought to call my Mom again before I drive my car home,man." , "Do you think they are still there or did the sun really
destroy them?" , "That's just it,dude,,I don't know,,I want to ask my Mom that same question before I drive down the road
Opening my car door and stepping out I looked around at nearby windows in the surrounding buildings and
vehicles to see if there were other 'shadowy images' staring at us.John,,getting out on his own side seemed to catch what
I was doing and said,,"I think it may be getting too bright to see them so easy.Besides,,I do know they allways suggest that
you don't look for them since you may find them if you do.Do you want to see more?"
Thinking about that while I walked around the front of my car and headed to the front door as I got to
the door I responded with,,"Actually,,I think I would rather know if I'm being watched,,so yes,,I do want to,,if they are
Having turned slightly to look at him when I said it,,I almost tripped when I felt something move across
my face.Swatting at it with my hands,,my heel caught on something and I suddenly found my self sitting on the front step with
a slight pain in my butt.
Still brushing at what felt like spider webs across my face I realized John was also trying to get something
off of his face.Wiping and swatting almost manically his feet seemed to suddenly become planted firmly as his body continued
to move.Physics being what they are,,his torso continued moving and that brought his body into such an overbalanced state
that he was soon picking himself up from the dew wet lawn.
"What the hell?",,was the obvious meaning of the look on his face and I was certain mine held a similar
question as the realization came to my mind via my butt that the step was as wet as the grass.Standing to my feet and offering
a hand up to John I asked him,,"Are you sure the sun drives those things away?It felt like something tripped me and it looked
like your legs just got stuck,,are you okay?"
"Yeah,,I'm allright." was his reply as I helped him up."But,,I gotta call my Mom,man.Is the door unlocked?"
Stepping to it,,carefully,,I tried the knob and it twisted."Yep." I said and stepped in.John allmost
knocked me down as he hurried past me to get to the phone."Are you sure you didn't trip me,man?" I teasingly said to his back.He
didn't reply at all and had allready located the phone and was dialing as I walked past him on my way to the bathroom.
Closing the door behind me I could hear him saying,,"Come on Mama,,pick up the phone." The sound of my
urine hitting the toilet and subsequent flush drowned out anything else.
Coming back out,,I headed to the kitchen to see if there was any coffee left in the pot.As I walked through,,I
overheard John saying,,"Yes,mam,,they did.It looked like the sun just fried them away." , "Well,,we both tripped before we
got in the house."
Getting to the kitchen,,where I picked up my coffee cup I had set down by the coffee maker when John
started to turn into 'Black Thunder' earlier.The one sided conversation from the other room was still clearly understandable
even while I rinsed my cup out.
"Yes,,it felt like it could have been spider webs.",,"When I fell it felt like something had a hold on
my legs.",, My little inner voice said,,'yeah,,wasn't that weird?And what about how you went down?Your butt got soaked.'
I silently shushed it and poured a cup of still fairly hot coffee from what was left in the pot that
hadn't have been turned off long.Turning and leaning my back against the counter I continued to listen to Johns side of the
"Really?",,"What about the ones in my car?",,"No?Good,,are you sure?",,"How long?",,Well,,how do I know
how strong it is?",,
The tone of that made me wince thinking how his Mom would probally react to it. "Sorry,Mama.",,,"Yes,ma'am.",,,"I
His tone being appropiately adjusted he then asked,,"What should we do?",,"No.Only the pointer thing.",,"I
hope so.Hold on."
"Hey,you!" , "What,John?" , "Is that pointer still in the trash?" Not at all tickled at this turn of
events I suppressed the urge to say,,'I ain't going nowhere near it.' and instead said,"I'll go look." Stepping that way I
set my cup down on the table as I paused before opening the back door,,looked at Johns strained face in the other room,,and
grimaced in a way that made him smile through his tension,turned,opened the door,then with a "Geronimo!" I bounded out the
door and over the steps as though I was storming Normandy.
Landing,I heard John say,,"Yes,,he's okay,Mama,,he just had to psyche himself up to go look is all.I
My little nagger said,,'hey,,did you forget that something you didn't see tripped you earlier,,whatdya
wanna do,,get your face slammed into the concrete?' which prompted me to say out loud,,"Ooh,,yeah,,that's right."
Paying much more attention,,I stepped to the trash can that we stuffed the Ouijie game box into last
night.Figuring I wouldn't benefit a bit from thinking about doing it,,I just snatched the lid off with a 'shninck' and looked
There was the box.A rounded rectangle.All crammed into the bottom of the can with the paver tile still
smashed down into it.
Leaning over and sticking my head down a bit into the can,,I listened to see if I could hear anything
like the skittering that was freaking me and John out when we put it in there.Not hearing anything except the sounds of the
city around me echoing down,around and into the metal can,,I leaned a little further down to try to cut more of it out.
Remembering the way it seemed to react to the location of my hands last night I stuck my right hand down
into the can and touched the near corner,,well,,what used to be a corner.Nothing.I realized I was holding my breath and let
it out.Sucking in a fresh lungful of air I fully expected 'the nagger' to chime in with a comment of some sort.It was silent,,but
it was like I could feel it and something else paying close attention to me.As I looked at the far upper corner the sensation
became one of apprehension,,,tinged with anger or something like it.Removing my finger from where it was I went to touch that
corner.Before I even got close enough to make contact,,that skittering sound erupted.Sounding as loud as a string of firecrackers
down inside the can it freaked me out enough to make me recoil like the can was one of those human cannonball cannons.
Before I knew it I was back on other side of the kitchen door closing it with a huge sense of relief.Looking
through the window in the door,,,I was surprised to see that I had put the lid back on the can as Johns voice said,,"Yes,Mama,,it's
Turning around to look at him,,I could see a smirk on his face as he looked at me while his ears were
focused on what his mother was saying.Then the smirk disappeared and he said,,"Why?" His face went pale again,,and his eyes
bored into mine in a weird sort of imploring way,,it didn't look like what his mom was saying was going to be something I
would like to hear either.
"Really?",,"Okay.",,Yes,ma'am.",,"Okay,Mama.",,Okay,Mama.",,"I will.",,"Okay,,I love you too."
Thumbing the phone off and setting it down he looked at me and said in a smallish kind of voice,,"She
wants you to bring it to her,dude." , "What?",,"Bring it to her.",,"It has to be me?",,"Uh,,yeah."
"What else did she say,John?Are those things still in your car?Was it one of those things that tripped
His voice was not so solid as he said,,"No,,they aren't able to handle daylight,,and they were probally
just really irked and took a shot at us before they left,,unless,,",, "Unless what,John?",,"Uh,,unless the loa that owns them
is really strong,,then they can be stronger than if they act alone.And she said that since there were 'fetishes' like the
board and pointer involved then they are probally under a loa control.That makes them stronger.The more powerful it is,,the
more they can do during the day and night.But she said since the sunlight did what it did and they didn't keep attacking us
then the loa hasn't too much strength."
I let out a sigh of relief that I didn't realize was coming,,yet it was shortlived because he then said,,"Maybe."
"Maybe?,,What's that mean?",, "Well,,she said that it just may not be ready to launch a full scale attack
yet,,they like to build up the fear and terror in their targets."
"Full scale attack?" After asking the question I sat down at the table and gulped at my coffee while
staring bug eyed at him like he might suddenly grow an extra head or two,,or allready had.
Sitting down at the other end of the table he said,,"Look,,she said to tell you to bring the pointer
and board if you can,,to her,,but be very careful because they might still be able to mess with us,,and she can lock it up.","You
mean kill it?",,"Uh,,I don't think so,,but she can help if you take it to her."
Lighting a cigarette and getting another cup of coffee before I spoke again,,mainly because I was hearing
that little nagger go through what sounded like a mental breakdown,,but also because I was trying to figure out a way of taking
it to Johns mom with out actually messing with it.I sat back down and said,,"Allright,,here's what we'll do then."
Thirty minutes later I backed out of the drive way and moved into position to let John get behind me
in his car.As he was I got out and went to the back of my car and opened the trunk to make sure the garbage cans lid was still
taped securely to the can with another allmost whole roll of tape I had in my room.
Pulling up close behind my car,,but carefuly staying a few feet from me,,he asked out the window,,"It
Closing the trunk I replied,,"Tight as a drum." and hopped back in.Hooking my trunk key back on the 'large
brass' safety pin that was my keychain,,,I put my Skylark in gear and began the 'careful' trip to Johns house.
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