Happily breathing the air that wasn't permeated by the taste I thought had filled my mouth infused me
with such relief that I found myself not only smiling but on the verge of openly chuckling.I would never have guessed Johns
momma would pull something like that.Especially considering what had happened to John,,or herself for that matter.
Even so,,my stomach and throat seemed to still be feeling something from the stuff.A not exactly unpleasant
warmth made a trail from the back of my throat to the pit of my stomach,,about 2 inches above my belly button.Along with that
was a vague yet definite 'quivering or vibrating' sensation streching from my stomach to the top of my throat,,right behind
that little thing that hangs down in the back of your mouth.As I cycled more air in and out that feeling seemed to flow and
ebb with each breath,,and felt like it wanted to crawl up into the nasal passage between my nose and throat.
Turning around,,and seeing Johns palish,just got done retching,bloodshot eyes,,made me ask,after picking
up my shirt and sitting back down in my chair,"You okay,man?" I then looked at his mom,,and seen that she had similar teary
eyes and not feeling good color as well."How about you,ma'am?Would you like me to go get you some water?How about a YooHoo?"
John,,pausing in that slow,steady,get it back together after puking way,,asked in an almost crying tone,"You
Now,,for some reason,,that made me feel sort of bad but there was nothing else I could think to do except
say,, "No, thank God.After I swallowed it,,the nastyness went away and it tasted like that beach smell.I thought I was gonna
puke though.That's why I got up and went over there.But,,I'm fine,now,,,although it was awful hot it isn't a bad taste,,now."
"That was awful,mom!",John said,,sort of loud and in a definitely not pleased tone.Looking at his moms
haggard face I asked again,,quickly in the hopes of heading off what past experience said would probally be a response 'more
unpleasant' than Johns,,"Would you like me to go get you some water,ma'am?Maybe a YooHoo?"
Taking her eyes off John she looked at me and said in a soft voice,,"No,we have to take another swallow
first before we drink anything else.Sit down,boy.John it won't taste like that again.Give me your cup."
Looking down at where I had evidently tried to set my cup when I stood up I seen the cup layed on the
tray on its side but there was no spilled fluid in sight.There should have been a puddle splayed out across the tray and little
table.Not a drop of purple fluid was anywhere.Looking around,,expecting to see a rag Johns mom may have pulled out or something,,revealed
nothing of the sort.
John was also looking down at his lap and on the ground as though he too didn't see what he thought he
should see.Setting his cup on the tray he spied my cup 'sans' any sign of spillage as well.Setting my cup upright he asked
his mom in a civil yet initially raspy voice that cleared on the third word or so,,"What happened to the stuff,mom?Did it
evaporate?And did we really have to drink it?I don't want to drink anymore and be puking again before I go to school,please."
Pouring more of the now scary foamy steaming purple brew into the three cups she said in a that same
soft toned voice,,"Yes,John,,we did have to drink it.I wanted to know how things may go for you two and help if possible.No,it
didn't evaporate,,he drank it,,and yes you have to drink another mouthful,,but it won't taste bad like that again."
Pausing for a moment as she continued through the same actions as before ,,she sighed rather mournfully,,then
said,, "Since your pale friend managed to keep a hold of his it was no where near as bad for you nor me as it would have been,,thank
Startled,John looked at me and quickly said,,"Thank you." Which was echoed in that same soft voice by
his mom as she finished with the cups then said,,"Here,,do it again,,in thanks."
Picking up our cups almost in unison,,we looked at each other wide eyed and I said,,"Don't think about
it,John,,like ya moma said,,be thankful it won't be that bad again." and ignored any odor or smells arising from the potion
my hand was willfully bringing to my lips.
Just as hot as the first time but without any of the time dilation or jumping of the first round,,the
purple fluid splashed my mouth with a hot version of the beach aroma which I considered a great thing as I held it in my mouth
expecting it to turn into the nauseatingly atrocious wet dead dog flavor like before.
Looking at the other two who were also holding the fluid in their mouths but without any negative reaction
on their faces at all.The look on Johns face was flat out pleased as he looked at me and his mom with relief flashing in his
His mom looked at him,,a smile showing as she nodded,,looked at me and swollowed her mouthful to say,,quite
clearly this time,,"Now swallow."
I did,,happily I might add.I did not hesitate to breath this time,,as John didn't.He said,,"Was it supposed
to be like that the first time?It tastes like the sea breeze smell!"
As his moms delighted laughter rang out,,I myself realized that the flavor in my mouth was the same as
the stuff smelled to me at first,,like jasmine and something that reminded me of Christmas.I still couldn't identify that
part,,but the flavor and the warmth of it following it's predecessor down into my belly simply made me as good as though I
had had a week of good eating,sleeping and loving.It was as if I had drank a lot more than I did and I was feeling full and
I asked,,"Can we drink the rest of it this time?" and looked down at the cup in my hand to see it was
as empty and dry as when John had first brought the tray out.
Amazed,,I almost didn't catch her saying "You allready did,boy." among the peals of laughter erupting
up her throat and out of her smiling face.
"Mine's gone too!" came from John and I looked at his moms cup which was also dry and empty.I picked
it up,shook it,ran my finger around the inside of it and then held it up to her and said,"Drinking it is one thing,,but totally
Reaching out and taking the cup,,and then my cup,,out of my hands,,put them on the tray and told John,"Take
this back inside John and get cleaned up for class,son." To which John said,, "Yes,ma'am." then he picked up the tray and
walked off to the trailer moving slowly as though wore out.Watching him walk off she said,,"By the time you take a shower
you will feel fine,luv." then turned to me and asked,"How do you feel?"
Seeing from her expression that she expected a honest,serious answer.Reflecting inwardly,,I found that
I not only felt fine,,I felt rather good.Almost what could be called great even.Except for a now allmost too full feeling
in my stomach on top of the sensation in it and my throat which had indeed crept up into my sinuses and nasal passages everything
was absolutely fine.
"I feel fine,,I would allmost say great except for a tickle in my throat and nose.And that little cup
full,,I know I didn't drink all of the stuff in first one,,sure filled me up.I don't think I took more than one swallow of
it but I feel like I've just ate Christmas dinner and tried to imitate the turky by stuffing myself."
"And what did it taste like this time?" she asked,,still serious eyed.
"Like it did the first time."
"What do you smell?"
That took me a minute to figure out because I could still taste the jasmine and christmasie flavor.As
I focused on my nose, a rancid,disgusting odor poked into the smells of the now warmed oak tree and it's leaves,the soil of
the yard under the leaves from which came the sparse grass odor amalgamated with the 'dust from the marl road' and the faint
whisps of auto exhaust from 27th a short bit to the east of us.
"Eww,,,I smell that dead smell that I tasted."Yuck!Will it go away?"
"Can you tell where it is coming from?Try to find it."
"Why?Has one of your cats quit showing up?" , "Boy,,just try to find it,will you?"
Standing up to the sounds off her muttering something pretty much,,but not quite,,silently about ,,'no,,I
had to go and adopt the smart alec wise cracking loveable little white boy that become best friends with her son into the
family' or she would smack the punk into next week',,or something like that,,I set about trying to trace the place the smell
was coming from like she asked.
Even with the sensation in my throat and nose distracting me,,I quickly determined that is was strongest
from the road.Walking in between mine and Johns car toward the marl road,, figuring it came from a sample of roadkill,,I started
peering westward down the road.Before I got to the end of my car a big green truck barreled across and past my view in an
explosion of sound.Allready traveling fast and obviously still accelerating it kicked up a great big cloud of marl dust from
the road so thick it obscured the view across the road to not much more than a big smudge made of assorted colors.
The rapidly disapearing vehicle looked like it could have been the 'disco cow girls' boyfriends truck
from what little I could make out of it as it sped away to the west.
Having stopped at the trunk of my car when the truck blasted past I started to lean my hand on it,,the
remembering the presence of the 'thing' in my trunk made me not want to get too near to it so I sort of took a small step
away from it when I realized the 'dead' odor was very strong now.Looking around on the ground nearby revealed nothing.The
odor was strongest around my car.
Casting around near the rear tires then the underbody below the trunk,,thinking maybe I had ran over
something squishy,I lost the smell trail and stood back up.And the odor slapped me in the face like a wet rancid towel.
Leaning closer to and over my trunk convinced me it that the rank smell was emanating from my trunk.Looking
up at Johns mom who had walked over near my drivers door I stepped nearer to her and said "It didn't smell like that before."
"It requires blood to make those kinds of things.That's the smell of the rotten blood of the beings it
took to charge it.Remember that." , "Did that drink make me able to smell it?Because it didn't smell like that before.Seriously,,it
didn't smell at all." , "Well,,the drink made a few things happen,,that was one."
She remained silent for a few steps as I walked with her slowly back to the area under the oak tree.
"What was the other odor about,,the beach smell?" , "That is what you will smell when the maker of the
pointer will bring focus on you.You and John are bound together in this so when you and he are together and you both smell
that,,you need to pay careful attention to everything."
"What if I smell it and he don't?","You swallowed it,boy,and got all of it from all the cups,,and then
you smelled your first smell.That means it's all about you.You are the lynch pin.If only you smell it,,pay more attention."
"You mean I swallowed all the tea,,even yours and Johns?" , "Uh huh." ,"What was that drink all about
anyway,,magic or something?"
She didn't respond to that untill she had sat back down in her hi backed chair,motioned for me to sit,,waited
a few moments then took a deep breath.
"Something,,yes.But not what you could call magic.Well,,I don't think it is.I didn't ask anyone but Yahaveh
to be involved in it and it was really only so I could assure my heart that my boy wouldn't die."
"Is it assured?" , "Yes,thank God Allmighty,,it is.", "What part told you that?" , "You swallowed and
kept it down then we all got the first taste again which meant you two make it through that conflict." , "So it ends after
"Oh,,no,,you got it all which means there will be at least another event after that one.But,," she leaned
toward me in her chair and locked her suddenly glaring eyes on mine,face taut with concern,worry and a hardness befitting
a mother bear between her cubs and a pack of marauding wolves then said,,"He puked it,,he will get injured somehow,,he won't
die,,but only if you don't leave him." The hardness melted and became a mothers eye pleading for the safety of her child."You
watch out for my boy,please.So long as you don't break,,he will be okay even if he gets hurt but only you can keep it from
being really bad.If you break he will could die."
Leaning back in her chair she then said in a cheery voice,"But you kept it in and swallowed it all,,your
spirits strong and there is more than a little on your side.You got the first taste back,,that says alot.So,,I ain't too worried."
The look in her eye told me she was lying,,but not a whole lot so I just said,,"Well,,if'n youse ain't
worried,,I ain't a gonna worry either."
"Good." she said with genuine sounding emphasis and said,,"Of course,we still need to find out what Hiram
can find out."
"Hiram?" , "Yeah,,that's the friend who lives on 60.We've got to take that thing to him."
"You want to go now?" , "We can wait till John leaves for class."
As though some unseen stage hand cued him according to a script John popped out of the door,down the
steps and sort of allmost skipped a little across the leaf mold and sparse grass covered ground between the steps and us.
He had his back pack over one shoulder with the two Yoohoos in one hand,a bottle of Pepsi in the other
hand and a rather cheery,definately not stressed looking,toothy grin on his face.Surprised,yet returned his smile as I too
felt unusually chipper,,especially in light of recent events,,I simply took one of the Yoohoos proferred while trying to decide
if I wanted to wipe out the taste,odor and sensation still very much flooding my mouth and nose.
Thinking to ask Johns mom whether or not drinking the Yoohoo would drive the sniffer effect away I looked
at her as she took the Pepsi John handed to her.
Abruptly turning her head to me she said,,"Don't worry,,that will stay with you one way or another your
whole life,,do you want to trade?"
That made me wonder what she would want to trade but I asked,"That stuff didn't make it so you could
smell those things too?" , "No,young'un,,I've been able to do that a long time,,the tea was for something a little different
for me.Yet the tea didn't make it so you could do that,,it just cleared your senses so you could tell you could tell you could
smell it and give you a heads up and a boost for what's coming up."
"Then what do you want to trade me for?"
Her eyes turned into big round orbs oggling me out of a face so puckered and distorted by a mockingly
amazed and befuddled expression that turned it into a veritable cartoon charicature that made me want to laugh and did make
John laugh as she said through her own peals of laughter,,"Your Yoohoo for my Pepsi."
Comprehension spurred blushing as I said,,"Sure,,if you want to.I think I would rather have a Pepsi right
Still chuckling John said in an exuberant tone that matched his apparent mood,,"You were right,Mom.I
do feel pretty darn good.Was that the tea?"
"In part,,but it's more of a matter of him swallowing it for you.Don't forget that.If he hadn't of,,we
all would have felt a lot worse than we do now.But you don't worry about nothing right now other than driveing safely to and
from class and learning what you should while you are there."
Saying,"Yes,ma'am." he took a swallow from his Yoohoo stood up while belching a little,looked at me and
asked,, "You ain't gonna smoke all that before I get out of class are you?" , "I doubt it dude,,it's a big ol'sak." , "Where
are ya gonna be?" , "I don't know,," looking at his mom I asked,,"How long do you think we'll be at your friend Hirams place,ma'am?"
"As long as it takes but not as long as it will wind up seeming." was her reply.Then she said to John,,"We
probally won't be more than an hour or so,,but did you forget that you have an appointment with that financial aid counselor,,that
old lady,,what's her name,,Mr's.Dewey?"
"Oh,,that's right.Thanks,Mom,,I had forgot." he said as he bolted for the trailer door and disapeared
inside.We could hear his quick steps reverberating from the wooden floors of the mobile home as he hurried down the hall to
his room and then back to the front door and out.
Bounding off the steps he said,,"I left the paperwork in my locker,,I got to go fill it out,See you."
and headed to his car with big steps untill his mom said,"Stop,boy!"
Freezing in his tracks he dropped his head,spun on his heel and came quickly to his moms side where he
kissed her on the cheek she stuck out as he approached.Grabbing his shirt sleeve she pulled him a little closer,kissed his
cheek,said "God bless you,son.Be careful.I love you."
Obviously blushing,,he said in a small voice,," I love you too,Mom.",stood upright,,said to me,,"I'll
see you later,alligator!" and sped off to his car.
Getting to the front of his car he suddenly paused,stuck his nose sniffingly into the rapidly warming
air and said,,"I smell road kill,,Mom,,Have you seen Beauregard?"
"Yes,Johnny,,he's under the house,,you go on now!"
Resuming he hopped into his car,cranked it and after watchfully backing out he threw two small marl dust
rooster tails as he threw it into drive before he quit rolling backward and headed toward 27th and from our view.
About the same time the car disappeared behind the trailer the lyric sounds of "Wheels in the Sky" came
floating out of his car speakers echoing around and off the trailers he passed and the ones in the rest of the park behind
and to our right.
(intro) (prt1) (prt2) (prt3) (prt4) (prt5) (prt6) (prt7) (prt8) (prt9) (prt10) (prt11) (prt12) (prt13) (prt14) (prt15) (prt16) (prt17) (prt18) (prt19) (prt20) (prt21) (prt22) (prt23) (prt24) (prt25)