A bit of smoke from the doob burning in my mouth whisped into my left eye,,causing it to tear up,,which was
not good considering I was allmost redlining my big block engine,,in second gear,,in order to be doing about 35 or 40 down
a sugar sand woods trail thinking some redneck mad at me for seeing his girls 'beulah land' was just hoping I would bog down
my two wheel drive 'hot rod'.
So,,I bit my tongue a bit to get my mouth to water a little,,and ate it while winking to clear my left eyes
wateryness with out sliding off the trail or bogging down on its whoopdedoos.
Mike was asking,,"Do you think he's mad about cutting in front of him?" , to which I haltingly,,due to paying
attention to driving,,and chewing up a barely gone joint,,responded with,,"More likely because,,his girlfriend,,,flashed,,,
me,, at the Cumber,,,land Farms,,,this morning,,,he wanted to get,,,all,, redneck about it,,,and,,a cop,,,pulled up,,,pulled
up,,while they were squabbling,,over it.Now hush,,,n'let me drive,,,unless you want,,,us t'get stuck and you divert'im,,,,while
I grab,,his truck,,to get ,,the car,,,unstuck!".
He hushed,,I drove,,Dale bounced while saying,,"He's turning around,,he's turning around,,he's turning around,,he's
coming this way,,he coming,he's coming,,," until we got to the point in the trail where it sort of ess'ed a bit and I had
to slow a tad and hang further into the scrub while sliding to catch the berm built up from many vehicles hanging these curves
in the past that cut opposite diagonally to the trails curve,,crisscrossing in order to connect scrub root line to scrub root
Dale,,no longer able to see our pursuer said,," I can't see him,,I can't see him."
Passing through the twisty section also meant we were allmost out of the real sandy parts and nearly to the
end of the trail.Coming into the last curve,,on which one can see,,between two gnarled black oaks,,straight through a thin
section of scrub to the part of the trail where it straightens out and starts getting firm,,Mike pointed and yelled,,"Cut
I just hollered,,"Crash'n'goBoom!" at him since I knew that to try that was to risk catching the unseeable,,behind
scrubby brush and palmettos,,thick gnarly oak roots in between the two trees and either knock the front or rear end out of
my car or be thrown into one of the two thick tree boles that were closer together than they looked.I had walked that bit
and nearly broke an ankle,,and seen a 'four wheelin'drunk' try it one night,,he pretty much ruined a perfectly good truck
and banged himself up enough to stay in the hospital a few days.
As I was whipping into the start of the last dog leg,,Dale yelled,,"I can see him through the trees,,he's coming
into the curves!"
Assuming he meant he was probally just getting into the start of the ess'es,,I felt a bit of relief,,once out
of the sand,,Sky would have no trouble leaving the big tired truck far behind.And the truck would have to slow much more than
I had to on the twists to keep it's higher center of gravity from tumbling it into the scrubwoods,,or against an oak.
Swinging through the final curve,,my foot coming up a bit to ease the drift I was riding in order to point into
the straightening end section of the trail,,I heard the sound of the big Dodges motor revving and actually caught a glint
of light out the the corner of my eye,,he seemed to be just starting the curve which will give him a clear view of my rear
bumper as my tires will be getting on hard pan,,framed by two gnarled,,rooty black oaks.
While an idea was starting to form,,or maybe a simple hearted hope,,involving an 'irate person' thinking cutting
the curve by diving through those two oaks,,was a good idea,,it was lost to having to devote much more attention to my cars
wheels encountering the spotty hardness before the uniform surface which was 'county dirt road' smooth all the way to where
it became my uncles property,,and then straight through it,,to the paved road which spurred off of 7th,,because it was one,,back
before the property on both sides got bought,,,back in that heyday.
Feeling my wheels finally quit alternating between slipping and bumping,,and begin to roll smoothly I gunned
it and we all were whipped backwards into our seats from the suddenly firm,,acceleration.
Somewhere between feeling my front wheels thumping up onto the hard pan and the big block v-8's roaring leap
forward Dale screamed sentence which started with "He's coming through,," got interupted by a loud sort of stretched banging
crunching crashing sound.
Instinctively taking my foot of the gas,,I looked in my rear view to see past the back of Dales now speechless
head that the truck had indeed tried to thread that oak needle and failed.
Braking to a stop quickly enough to throw a shower of dirt and grass,,since the guy may have been hurt,,I turned
to my left to aim that mirror directly with my hand to watch for movement.
Dale breathed out a low,,"Wow." and Mike leaned over to look backwards out his window while exclaiming 'Oh shit!,,he
Not seeing any motion in the not running any more truck whose beds left hand front edge had snagged on that
sides black oak,,I said in my head,,"Oh,Lord,,let him be allright.",,put it in reverse and backed up to allmost the soft sandy
parts start.Honking my horn,,I kept my eye on the picture in my mirror of the view through the,,amazingly unbroken windshield,,and
hollered out,,"You allright in there?!"
Letting out the breath I didn't know I was holding when I seen,,first a hand,,reach up and grab the steering
wheel,,then a familiar looking mesh backed cap follow it like a slow rising moon,,I slipped the car down into park and brought
pressure off the brake a bit.
The head swiveled a bit and then leaned over to look out the equally surprisingly uncracked back window,,at
the bed of the truck.After a momentary frozen pause,,it turned to lead it's body into opening the door and leaping out with
a roar of rage filled words that I listened to while it ran toward my car through the sugar sand path waving it's fists.
After saying under my breath,,"Thank God." I said aloud to Mike and Dale while keeping my eye on the running
figure framed in my left rear view mirror,,"He looks allright to me." to which they both replied,,"Me too!" Which prompted
me to put Sky back in low,,say,,"On 1." then start a 5 down count timed with the running cowboys spur jangling approach.
Hitting "1!",,which Mike and Dale joined in on enthusiastically,,I tickled Sky under her foreleg with my right
foot,,and 'gave her reins a flick' by letting my left foot slip off the brake to the floor.
The dirt shot about 30 feet in a fairly cohesive plume to pepper the guy in the chest and about the shoulders,,,
and,,yes,,hilariously catching him in the face,,and,,open mouth!
Feeling my car start to drift slightly to the left,,I gave up on watching the unexpected comedy skit and cutting
short the view of how someone tries to spit out dirt covered grassroots that suddenly appeared in their mouths to 'take the
reins back' and drive rather unhurridly,,accompanied by the sound of three different voices laughing uproariously and one
spitting and cussing,,out of the woods to cross the grass covered portion of my uncles property while looking to see if his
tractor was sitting out and wondering if that redneck would walk this way or back to the sandpit where he may have left some
As soon as I noted the tractor was not out of it's 'garage' to the far right behind what was once my former
5th grade math teachers house untill my uncle got it,,I said to Dale,,"We're gonna use an extension cord,,dude,,the tractors
'outta site'!" which ellicited an,,"Aww,,man,,now what?" out of him.
Mike said,,"He said,,use an extension cord,,didn't you hear him?" , "How can you use an extension cord to pull
The,,'older than me and Mike' mans doubt was understandable,,and I proceded to inform him about how I had felt
the same way before I tried it one day out on the edge of Keg Lake to pull a bug out from where it had stalled and then couldn't
get moving again after recranking,,about 10 foot from muddy water covered,,yet hard enough,,surface for my 78',,'ex sheriffs
cruiser,,with a 440 magnum and a set of Holley double pumpers under the hood attached to the rear wheels via a 'punkin' the
size of one you'd find on a truck',,,Dodge Polaras rear tires to not sink and get some solid traction.
After the guy finally got enough courage up to approach me sitting on my car hood listening to music with the
members of a 'motorcycle enthusiasts social organization' who I played 'bud,booze and broad' wagon for at that time in my
life,,the question of trying to use the only things around that might help him was,,my car,,and 2 typical orange extension
cords,a fifty foot one and a twenty five foot one,,that I had somewhere under the cases of beer stacked in my ice filled trunk,,filtered
through the clouds of 'meditation assisting herbage' and became a topic of a friendly,slightly whimsical for us,,allthough
a fairly important one for the bug driver,,debate.
Handing me back the 'organic nerve tranquilizer' we were sharing,,he then looked at me with imploring eyes while
pulling his wallet out and proffering me two twenties,,"Just try,man,,I'll give you fourty bucks and whatever you think the
cords are worth later,,you can follow me home,,my wife has some cash."
One of the guys,,,uh,,Ralph,,said to,,er,,Kenny,,who was toying with Ralphs sisters,,Belindas,,tig ol' bitties,,"Kenny,,I
bet you what I have in my left pocket,,to what you have in your right pocket,,that it won't work."
That perked Kenny up as quick as Belindas nips do,,since he,,as well as we all,,knew full well what Ralphs pocket,,and
his own pocket,,contained.And it was a 'tasty bet' for Kenny.Of course,,since both pretty much intended to freely share what
they had with everybody there anyway,,it was purely a 'friendly bet'.
He asked me,"Do you think it will work,man?" , "Maybe,,,like you said a minute ago,,if we use both of them and
wrapped as many turns as possible between the two cars.That's seventy five feet of three copper wires covered by rubbery plastic,the
bug is light,,it's only a fiberglass shell and a vw frame.It can crank and help,,right?"
The dude,still standing there holding the two twenties out to me said,,"Yeah,,you seen me crank it up and try
to get out,,didn't you?,,it's just not getting any traction."
The,,'didn't you?' had a tone to it that sort of irked me.Seeing a course of action that 'just maybe' would
leave him stranded for awhile while I get fourty bucks I pointed at the twenties in his hand and asked,,"Regardless of if
it works or not,,I get this and the cost of the cords?"
The price of the cords didn't matter,,I picked them both up at a flea market for 10 dollars.It was supposed
to be five for the fifty footer and two fifty for the twenty five footer but I gave the lady a 10 and refused change.After
using them to do all kinds of work with,,they had more than paid for themselves many times over and replacements were as close
as the flea market just south of the US#1 and Oslo road intersection,,an open field on the west,,and a rummage barn down a
road across and a little south down at the end of a short road on the east,,take your pick,,every weekend.And the 'inside'
one was open Wednesday and Thursday too.
The idea of fourty bucks sounded okay,,and if the,,now striking me,,slightly,,as a rather smarmy smug faced
'smarter than anyone here but I can't let them know because they won't help me' sort of thinking desperate punk got screwed
because it didn't work,,that suited me and the black beauties dancing with me just fine.
So,,sliding off my front fender and flicking my hand out to take the bills from his hand so quick he sort of
freaked out I said,,"Okay,,but you gotta dig them out and hook them up,,all I do is drive."
Not having been fully informed that,,'in my car' actually meant 'in the trunk,,under the ice',,that he was tickled
to pull an ice cold beer from he said,,"Sure,no problem." in a happy tone and stepped to the back door of the big brown full
size four door boat of a car that I drove.
Looking in the window,,seeing a naked girl sleeping on the big back seat,,a very,very,pretty girl at that,,he
blushed,,turned back to me,,pointed over his shoulder with his thumb,,and,,while we all laughed at him,,asked,,"Are they in
Shaking my head,,I slid the money in my pocket and said ,"Naw,,dude.",,strode to the wide open beer cooler of
a trunk,then exageratedly pointed down into it while saying "They're under the beer,,but please,,don't spill the ice."
He looked at me,,then the trunk,,pasted a smile on his face while turning back to face me,,then dropped it as
Ralph said,,in his deep voice,,"No,,you can not try to drink all the beer in order to get it out of your way."
Laughing he said,,"Oh well,,at least it's a hot day and it will cool me off for a while." and started raking
ice to the sides of the huge trunk which was dripping ice water out of the holes cut along the upper level of the rear bottom
and slightly up the back wall so it would flow out instead of sloshing around while driving.The lower level was where the
spare tire usually would be if we hadn't of left it behind in order to pack all the beer in for our 'Keg Lake' party.
Even though we wanted to get two kegs in there like we usually did,,the trunk was deep enough,with the spare
tire out,,for a full keg to sit upright in it and wide enough for two to set side by side with room to each side,,and to the
back of them for many cases of canned or bottled beer,,and ice,,they didn't have any kegs of Busch so we loaded up on can
cases instead.A lot of cases.
And it was only about 2 hours before this event that we had poured around 25 bags of ice around and over them
all so the ice was still deep and very cold,,not too mention the probally 6 or 8 inches of frigid water that stayed in the
lower section untill I pulled the four big rubber stoppers out to drain it.
About,,maybe,,,30 minutes later,,after repeatedly warming his fingers and hands in the warm water of the shallow
'psuedo lake',,on the hot from the suns metal of the trunk lid,,and the soft,very warm undersides of Belindas tig ol'bitties,,she's
very 'helpful hearted' and,,enjoys making people blush,,he finally got the two,,literally frozen stiff,,cords out and rearranged
the bear and ice suitably.I shut the trunk and moved my car into position,,as I woke Tina up,,under the guidance of Kenny
while he unthawed the cords,,and his arms,,in the pond.
By the time I had gotten Tina awake,,covered in a poncho and sitting in the passenger seat up front the bug
driver had the cords pliable enough so we all debated for a few minutes about getting our boots wet before we then helped
him string them as many times as we could between his cars bumper and mine,,wraping them around themselves as we did,,then
tying the ends off to whichever bumper they were closest to.This resulted in a rather thick looking orange 'twisted cable'
looking arrangement that everyone agreed appeared way more than strong enough to pull the light vehicle.The phrase,,'strong
enough to pull a truck' came up several times.
Well,,I agreed so the black beauties and I thought we would just hop behind the wheel and do it.As I cranked
her up,,everyone started scattering,,since they knew me,,and who I was dancing with,,except the bug owner who began yelling,,"Wait!Wait!"
as he struggled to hop through the water to climb behind the open vehicles wheel and start trying to crank it up right before
I put it in low,quickly pulled the cords tight then jabbed my 'Big Brown Beastly Bomber' right between the 'pumpers' with
my right foot.
The weight in the trunk made sure my wheels got better traction than my 'speeding' mind figured which resulted
in me snatching the bug like it was an empty 'little red wagon' hooked to a Harley.Tina cut loose with a 'whoooooo' as my
Polara took off with absolutely no regard for the weight of the vw buggy attached to it by the bundled extension cords,,which
was getting caked with the ponds black mucky mud,,along with it's driver who I was watching in my rearview desperately trying
to hang on while he bounced around from the rude yanking assist.
Tina,,literally not knowing what was going on still joined with me in laughing at the dweeb while I tooled through
the field around the wide 'flag pond' keeping my car under enough acceleration it wouldn't smack my bumper untill the crud
covered guy got in his seat,ungunked his face enough to see and then got his brakes to slow us both to a stop.
Later,,I used a hundred foot tape to see if the cords had stretched any.They hadn't,,and for as long as I had
them,,I never had a problem with them.It didn't affect them at all.
All that took as long to tell as it took to idle to 7th,turn east and get to the stop sign at the curving section
of Old Dixie where it tee'd into it.
Sitting there waiting for a few vehicles to pass both ways,,I thought that maybe the cowboy may hear my car
from wherever he's at.Seeing as taking Old Dixie back north to where Dales van was would not take us far enough away for him
to lose track of the sound he might forego getting his truck right now and come try to find us.
Seeing the traffic make a pattern where the two cars just passed going south were far enough away to see no
one was coming north around the slightly switchback curve and no more traffic was coming south,,as far as I could see on that
dangerously blind curve I decided to scat some more,,but on asphalt,,and make some noise to throw the guy off,,at least for
a while since he just may see us messing with Dales van if he leaves the trail by the north end rather than the south..
"Hey ya'll,,I'm gonna blast out of here to the right and keep it loud around the corner to US 1 and roar north
on it,,so hold on,,I ain't done playing yet!"
Dale asked,,"Why?The vans right up there." about the same time I began to pump the accelerator a bit to 'sound
off' before latching it into low and laying down a short set of twin streaks whose birth was trumpeted by the squeels that
tortured tires make when they leave pieces of themselves behind so quickly.
Not hearing a word from him from that time forward,,I assumed the acceleration slapped him back and shut him
up since all I could hear,barely,,was Mike going into his usual giggle fit.
Coming out wide due to the curve I had to hold hard right and time the pull back just so to keep from catching
my rears on the rough crumbly edges of the pavement that made for a top step down to the eroded away dirt shoulders on both
sides while trying to forge a sort of straighter line out of the curving road.
Pretty much no big deal for the trucks that made them so bad,,those edges would not be nice to the lighter tires
of my Buick,,especially at these rpms,,which were leaving twisty lines of asphalt grafitti behind their smoking selves.
Managing it,,and managing to then swoop into the final curve which had a set of large oaks bracing a drive as
incentive to pull left,,I came up the straightened strip approaching the stop sign like a flash flood as the second car that
had passed us was just taking off from the stop sign to hurriedly cross Oslo,,the drivers staring eyes visibly wide,,locked
on my rushing grill in his center rear view mirror as he did so.
Quickly scanning east and west,,I accelerated to make Sky roar and 'skirlled' out into,,and eastward along Oslo
to kick that fourth rib in order to make the railroad trestle turn into a ramp whose incline was sharp enough at such velocity
to actual give a bit of lift.It let us fly for a blink before the stiff suspension caught our weight and I hit the brakes
to shoosh to a stop in the left turn lane.
The US 1 intersection was wide,,and often quite busy this time of day,,,so I slipped it into nuetral and revved
for effect.The throaty sounds rumbling out into the field to the south and slamming into the woods on the north,,making grasshopper
hunting tick birds,brush dwelling mockers and blacks all take off into the bright hot sky.
The feathered residents of woods on the other side of US 1,,flanking the final spur of Oslo which butted into
the Indian River also thought it best to vacate as I scanned the empty right now road to the south,,then gauged the approach
of a beige car about 100 yards north and asked my passengers,, "Cops,troopers,,eyes in general,ya'll?"
Mikes immediate "No" was followed soon by Dales which was accompanied by creaking seat fabric noises from him
twisting to look out the back to confirm my mirror checks assessment.
Tracking the old beige Cadillacs progress along the inside lane untill it got directly in front of me,,I then
popped into low,dropped my left foot and fired all eight on the down stroke of the last rev,barely missed the trailing fin
of the classic as I cut my wheels to curve into the north bound side of the highway,,got through the slide,,straightened out
a bit then,, ground my right foot into the pedal and nudged the shifter.
Shooting north out of the clouds of blue smoke filling the intersection,,,,the power band caught and second
set my front end floatin' high while riding out of the fresh billows on the spikes of Sky's rubber tracks.I wound it rough
before bumping it into third and accelerating again with a birdy chirp,a set of blue cotton balls and a tiny skitter of the
Scanning the road in front of me for bubbletops as we reached over a hundred mph I thought to myself that the
motors roar had most definitely reached the ears of the redneck undoubtedly still in the woods to the west,,I smoothed her
out to bring the hard burble of the pipes down gradually so the sound of backing off didn't announce a short trip.
Slowly decelerating down to the speed limit in time to catch the turn off for 1st street,,I darted between traffic
to allmost leave the ground passing over the trestle and begin a quiet coast to the stop sign at Old Dixie.Right before which
time a calming down Mike looked at me to ask,,"Do ya think Amanda will still be there?" I said,,"Probally." which led Dale
to let out a sigh and say,,"Mike,,if'n ya could drive,,I'd say drop me off and you guys tell her I called you but I wasn't
there when you got there." Mike said,,"Ha! You wish,,an' even if I could I wouldn't wanna.",,then switched on the radio to
let 'God of Thunder' into the car with us as our forward motion ceased.
Sitting there,,'bopping',,at the stop sign waiting on a line of southbound traffic to pass,,Dale said,,"Hey,,there's
Thunder now." and we then watched as John came over the canal bridge in his beater.He didn't see us until the girl he was
horseplaying with smacked at him and pointed at my car to get him to look,,after which,,he stuck his head out his window,,his
tongue out of his wide open mouth,,his left hands middle finger up,,and passed by in front of us with all three waggling,,making
him look like a chimp taught to laugh about doing bad things.I said,,"That's one of his favorite bits,,The Mad Monkey." and
flipped him a bird back,,like Mike and Dale both did as well.
He was the last car so I pulled out behind him.He slowed down untill I leap frogged,,got a bit ahead of him,,without
making Sky get loud,,in order to lead him off Dixie and cut right onto the angled road.While I stayed ahead of him far enough
to be able to stop then back into the path leading through the pepper woods before he got there I asked Mike,,"Ya wanna hop
out when I stop and fill John in on what's been going on?"
Looking back at Dale first,,he said,,"Since I know Dale doesn't want to,,yeah,,sure." Dale,,leaning forward
said,,"Have him park so he blocks people from seeing back in here so easy,,in case that redneck comes by."
Right before I fully stopped to back into the hole Mike stepped out then shut the car door after I began to
roll backwards.After which,,he pointed at my hood and said,,"Very warm." which prompted me,,without even looking at my gauge
first,,to reach down under the dash to cut on the extra cooling fans I installed just for such a situation as this where the
motor has built up some heat and I then have to go slow or stop.Two electric 6 inch fans arranged to simply suck air from
around the radiator,,and more like,,through the 'headlights',,like you get at high speeds and blow it from the front corners
of the engine compartment down the sides of the engine and out the bottom.It was astonishing how quick it could help the 'starting
to climb' gauge on my dash change its mind.
In between looking in my different rearviews while steering backwards to Dales van I seen Mike play aircraft
carrier director guy to guide John into parking as Dale suggested getting a low barely audible over the radio 'whew' and 'good'
out of him.
Glancing backwards and around I said,,"Dale,,you may have to keep Amanda occupied,,because if she gets weird
like last night,,I ain't putting up with it.You know I love ya dude,,and like you better than I do two of my brothers but
I'm telling you now,,If ya don't handle her,,I'll leave you,,and your van with her in these woods,,ya hear me?"
"Okay,man.I will.I'm hoping she will still be asleep,,hey,,wait," he leaned forward and turned down the radio
all the way then said,,"Stop and let me go check." , "Good idea,dude." I braked and he climbed out the passenger side,,ently
shut the door and quick stepped the 30 or so feet to the van which was at a point about 5 foot beyond the place where the
trail visibly ended.
Answering my naggers question of,,'what drove him ta drive that far in?',,with,,'a whole new twist on the meaning
of,,getting some strange,,I guess.' while I waited and watched through my right rearview as he pretty much snuck up to the
van,peered in the back side window then turn and run to my window to whisper so low I had to tell him,,'Louder,dude." before
I understood him to be saying,"She looks like she's still out."
"Go back and guide me in untill I'm about 2 foot away from your bumper,,okay,,then I'll cut it off and maybe
she won't wake up untill we're pulling you out."
"okay" was his whispered response before he jogged back to stand at a point close to his vans rear where I could
see him in my rearview.
Flipping him a thumbs up I kept him visible in my rearview untill I got about 10 feet away then leaned out my
window to watch his hands which were now held up about 3 foot apart to indicate my distance.When I got that close he started
narrowing his hands in relation to how close I was to his bumper.
After getting them about half the distance he first held up,,I kept my foot on the break untill I had put it
in park and replaced my left foot with my right in order to hold the break while I engaged the emergency brake to keep the
car from rocking either closer or further away when I took my foot of the brake and cut the engine off.
Pausing for a moment after I switched it off to make sure I heard the electric fans going I then hopped out
and just left the door open so Amanda wasn't disturbed by my shutting it.I looked at Dale and nodded past him so he turned
hurriedly to peek back in the van to check on Amanda and come back nodding his head.
Glancing up and seeing John and Mike slowly coming this way,,heads close while the tale was shared I motioned
Dale a little further away from the van and said,,"Hurry and get the cords,,I'll hook 'em up myself,,quietly,,while you stay
quiet and be prepared to handle Amanda." then stepped toward Mike and John with a 'go on,dude' slung back at him over my shoulder.
As I intercepted them and said,,"I'm gonna take care of the cords.You guys hang back,,burn one or something
but be quiet and don't let Dale take his eyes of the van so he can keep Amanda away from me if she comes to,,okay?" John asked,,"You
don't want no help tying it off?" , "I would really rather be quiet than fast." , "Okay." , "You two just help Dale handle
Amanda if need be,,'kay?" , "Okay,dude."
Dale had retrieved the cords and was standing by the vehicles with a sort of blank look on his face,,that put
me in mind of a doll left sitting while it's owner ran off and played with a different toy.
Fishing a doob out on my way back to him,,I lit it to take a few hits then hand it to him,,swapping for the
well looped cords.Laying one down,,I shooed him away a little and hooked a thumb in Amandas direction.He got the idea,,and
stepped away a bit to where he had a better view of her,,then walked toward the other two.
John and Mike ambled up to share the joint Dale was toking on and stood about 20 feet away while I loosened
the looped cord,,doubled it,,then laid down in between the two cars so I could feed it in between the bumpers and bodys then
between cars and back,,trying to keep quiet.
While weaving the cord I was trying to get a look up under the rear of the van to see what,,or if,,the van may
be hung on,,because from where I now was,,the sandy layer on top of the ground didn't seem too deep,,nor particularily sugary
which made the darker,thicker,,actual dirt,,thrown around seem incongruous.
After a minute or so of peering into the darkness under the van,,I could make out a root knob that had probally
been lower than the axle when Dale passed over it going in yet on backing out from a dead stop,,the sand,,shifted,,and the
root snagged just enough to anchor the van right there as it's spinning tires removed more sand,,then the underlaying loamier
Silently asking my nagger if it thought that the root meant the cords would stretch and hold enuff,,or stretch
and snap,which got me the answer of,,'maybe so,,maybe no,six of one,,half a dozen of another,,I don't know,,I'm a voice in
your head you use as an excuse to talk to yourself,,how should I know,,if'n you don't ya moron?' and set to getting the vehicles
hooked up before thinking more about it.
About 5 min into the wrapping of the first cord the pain of something jabbing me in the lower right of my back
caused me to sit up,,light cigarette and seek to remove the cause of it.
Not having seen anything that would have caused such discomfort when I first layed down,,I was still surprized
to find nothing.The pain had been real,,but there was nothing there except a few tiny sticks and some pepper tree leaves,,which
I removed before returning to my previous position.
Laying there with a cigarette in my face,,feeding the cord through and around,,I could see the guys feet under
my cars chassis and was sort of keeping tabs on which way they kept pointing,,hoping the general direction towards me meant
they would see Amanda before she seen me.As I casually did that I came to the end of the first cord and became aware of,,on
the opposite,,away from my friends,,a fourth pair of feet visible under my cars chassis..
Freezing,,and realizing the unfindable object was digging into my backflesh again,,harder than ever,,I stared
back and forth between the new arrivals and my friends feet wondering why they didn't react since all three pairs of their
feet were facing fully toward my car.
The new feet,,clad in ancient,low cut,,very comfortable looking,,leather shoes,,were pointed straight at me,,making
me feel like the car wasn't blocking the persons view of me at all.Not being able stand the idea of someone having slipped
up beside the vehicle,,even if my friends weren't alarmed,,and entirely incapable of taking another instant of the piercing
pain in my back,,I squirmed a bit until I was off the pointy thing then leapt to my feet expecting to see the face of whoever
was on the pasenger side of my car.
The foliage of the pepper trees surrounding us stared back at me as though they were saying,,'whut?' as I looked
in vain over my cars roof.Thinking the person had maybe ducked down,,I dropped to my hands and peered under the car.
The feet were still there,,but there was no sign of a butt which should have been visible if the person had
sat on their haunches to hide from view so with a quick bound up,,and over the cord between the vehicles,,I darted around
the back of my car prepared to confront a man bent over at the waist,,and seen,,no one at all.
Seeing the amazed wondering looks on the guys faces beyond my Buick,,I decided to ignore it since I couldn't
think of a reson to be afraid of 'just ghost feet'so after simply shaking my head at them I stepped back over the cord.Picked
up the second one,,drop then step on my cigarette,,sit down,,start to scootch back under to finish then stop when I see the
corner of what looked like a light colored wooden handle partially buried in the sand.
Reaching down and pulling it up left me holding an old,,not too rusty,,machete looking thing about 20 inches
long."That's what was sticking me." I said aloud,,yet softly to myself.Realizing,,as I looked at the leg and body less feet
still visible while laying back down,,that such a thing may not help with those leather covered question marks,,I stuck it
blade first in the dirt a bit off to my right and began to wrap the second cord as quickly as I could without banging it on
Getting done much faster with that one than I did the first,,probally from trying to not look at,,nor think
about,,the feet that remained stock still,,toes aimed directly at me I looked under Dales van at the problem of the root when
it struck me that what I needed was a way of shaving a bit off of it.'About an inch,,around two inches long,,sliced off the
top.' said my nagger,,to which I responded with,,"Ha!Check it out,,I might have just what I need to do that."
Reaching over to grab the blade sticking in the dirt,,I examined it's edge,,which was dull but felt like if
I justput a bit of pressure into it,,it would slice my thumb easily,,I squirmed under the van to get close enough to get a
little swing and began chipping at the root where the rear end was hung on it.
After a few swings,,some of which hit the metal,,the van began swaying over me,,bringing pressure down on my
chest and then springing up a little further than it was previously which brought a squeely announcement of,,'Amandas awake'
from Dale and I froze.As I heard the trios feet pound over to the van and Johns voice saying,,"Hey girl,,Priscillas in my
car,,why don't we walk out there and burn one with her?" I pulled my feet further under the van and asked silently,,"Oh,Lord,,don't
let her see my feet and let her walk away."
Amandas voice asked,,"Priscilla?",,then after what sounded like something falling to the ground and someone
said,,'eww' very softly,,John said,,in a very upbeat sounding tone,,"Yeah,,Priscilla,,she's in my car,,come on." which got
a "Cool." from her and Johns cheery patter began and faded with the distance covered as they began to head to his car.
Mike,,who was still standing next to the van,,with Dale,,asked,,whisperingly,,"What is that,dude?"
I didn't wait to hear Dale answer and asked in a loud whisper,,"Is she away?" a few times before Mike apparently
squatted low and said,,"Yeah." , "Did she recognise my car?" , "I don't think so dude,,she looked like she was sleep walking
to me." , "Hey,,why don't you tell John to drive her off somewhere?Tell her Dale is waiting on someone so he can stay
here and drive his van."
Dale,,having heard that said,,"Good idea,man." and I heard his feet leave as Mike asked me,,"What were you hitting
on?,,you woke her up." , "A root.The punkin is on the wrong side of it.This is why Dale got stuck." I then began hurridly
hacking off some more which caused him to then ask,,"What are you using?"
Not needing to take a whole lot off and the blade being sharper than I figured,,I seen that I was done clearing
the rear end so instead of answering,,I slid out from under the van and rolled to my knees,,glancing to see that the feet
were still there as I did so and stood up holding the blade like Conan saying,,"This." in a bad Shwarzenegger imitation which
seemed to bring a smile to the face under the battered looking hat at on the head of the oldish looking black man standing
on the far side of my car.
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