"A crazy dumb ass,,jealous,,cowboy." I said as I walked past him taking my blue plaid long sleeve shirt off,,said
to my self "finally'',,laid it on the back of the couch then headed to the kitchen where Mike,,sitting at the west end of
the table with Dale seated to his right asked,,"How did he find you?"
Opening the fridge to grab a 7-Up,,I wiped the top,,opened it and took a few big swallows before answering with,,"Charlie,,the
guy in the wrecker was looking for the dude and his truck and couldn't understand when I tried to tell him how to get to the
other end of the trail,,so I led him down there.They were hanging out on the corner waiting,,they seen me and he probally
told them where he ran into me." before belching.
"Did ya go back?" Dale said.
"Yes,,I did." , "Why?" asked John from where he stood by Mike.
"Man,,I put those 'pieces' back where Amanda got them from and covered the poor fella back up.As I finished,,I
heard a truck but it left,,I guess they were in the back and hopped out since they attacked me in the woods before I got back
to my car."
"Them?" Dale asked as Priscilla walked into the room and slid her arm around John prompting me to say "Hello,Prissy.How're
you Sweetheart?" Which got a wide eyed appraisal of me before she said,,"Better than you are,evidently.Did ya whip'em?"'
"Yeah I did,,and,there were two of them.The first one I ran into,,or rather,,that ran into me wasn't him,,he
tackled me outta no where,,,," I then told them all of what had occured,,except,,without saying anything about Reez,,I felt
somehow it wasn't a good thing to do just yet and just said I reported the grave right away in order to hopefully get the
redneck and his bud caught in the woods by the cops,,allthough,,I did finish it all with,,"I couldn't let the guy not get
buried proper like,,and maybe they can catch his killers." and drained the rest of my soda.
"Wow,,I'm never around when the fun stuff happens.Dude,,I wish I hadda been there with ya!" John said earnestly.
I stepped to the trash can and threw my empty can away while responding to him with,,"Ha!,,don't I know it,man.Maybe
next time,John.But,,I don't think that will be anytime soon seeing as how he isn't gonna be running around much for the next
couple of weeks with that limp he's got." , "And ya say he got impaled on a branch too,right?" , "Yeah,,that was bad,man,,arm
and side,,allthough if we had came down a little more to my right,,they both would have got him in the back and that would
have been worse."
As they all nodded agreement I said,,"Now,,I'm gonna go wash this dirt and blood off me." , "There ain't no
towels." , "Huh,,oh that's right,,damn." , Dale said quickly,,"I took a load to the laundry mat,,they ought to be done soon."
"Did they hose you off out back,Dale?" I asked him,,now that I looked,,his hair was still wet and his clothes
were different."What did you dry off on?"
"The last towel you used,,it was the cleanest smelling one,,it was still damp though." , "Ooh,,what time is
it?" I asked as the thought of Melissa popped ino my head.
Dale replied with,,"A quarter after 2." after glancing at his watch.
"Cool,,I still got some time,,about how long for those towels man?" , "Maybe 20 minutes." , "You gonna go check
soon?" , "Yeah,dude." "Cool." I said as I grabbed the last 7 Up out of the fridge then asked him,,"What did ya do with Amanda?",,"She's
in my room asleep" , "Where's that ouijie board?" , "I checked,,it's still under my mattress." , "I think it would be best
if you got it away from there and we put it somewhere she can't find,,or get to it,,don't you?" I asked as I stepped out of
the kitchen,,picked up my shirt off the back of the couch and headed for my room as he said,,"Yeah,,I will." and I heard John
say in a low tone,,"You better,dude."
After tucking my soda and shirt under my arm to unlock my door,,I stepped in and shut it behind me before setting
my soda on the dresser end,,grabbing a dirty tee shirt from the basket in my closet,,laid it out on the floor,dropped my plaid
shirt on it then added the one I was wearing..
Emptying the contents of my pockets and laying them on the bed,,I stripped out of my remaing clothes and shoes,,,stuffed
them in the tee shirt to keep all the 'gravedirt' contained then dropped the bundle in the basket.
Grabbing a pair of cut offs I slid them on and headed to the bathroom.
Opening the door I seen Dale coming out of his room with the ouijie board in one hand and a familiar stench
slapped me in the nose.Closing the door very gently he then smiled real big before scampering down the hall to hand it to
me with a breathless sounding,,"Here."
"Cool." I said softly and thankfully suceeded in chocking off the spasm my throat tried to start while I took
it from him to step back in my room with it.Barely able to ignore the vibrating like feeling that seemed to come from it and
made me want to drop it,throw it,,sling it across the room,,anything but hold on to it,,I slide it under my own mattress and
picked up my keys off the bed to exit the room in two strides as I pocketed them.
Locking my door behind me I took a few deep breaths of untainted air,,then said to Dale,,"Now,,we can get rid
of the damn thing."
Looking at me with a yearning,scared look he asked,,"Will Amanda quit being so freaking freaky after ya do?"
Absolutely not knowing the answer to that,,I looked him square in the eyes and asked,,"How freaky was she before
all this started?" Which got,"When did it start?" from him.
"When did she get freaky?" , "She's allways been a freak,,it just got worse." , "I suppose that's an answer
for you then,,isn't it?" , "Uh,,yeah,,I guess." , "Do you want to keep going with her anyway?" I asked as I began stepping
to the bathroom door and away from the now blank eyed,,profoundly indecisive looking man.
Opening and stepping through the door,,I paused as my nagger said,,'schlomo' then took one step backwards into
the hall and asked,,"Did she find anything else in the woods,Dale?"
I had to ask him again since he seemed to not hear me before he turned and said,,"Uh,,yeah." he paused and only
continued after I gestured with my right hand in a forward circular motion for him to continue while saying,,"And,," which
got him to say,,"It looked like a turtle shell.She found it before she uncovered the,,well,,umm,,,." before he just stopped
talking and looked at the floor between our feet.
Snapping my finger and sharply saying,,"Dale." got his attention.Yet he just looked at me so again,,I gave the
motion,,and the "And,," which got him to conclude with,,"She put it in her pocket,,but I don't remember seeing it after that.Not
even when I put her clothes back on her in the van,,I think it must have dropped out while I was getting her back to it."
"Are you sure?" , "I think so." , "Can you go look and check to see?" , He replied with,,"Yeah." and stood there
like he forgot what he said.
"When,,now?She is asleep,,right?" , "Uh,,yeah,,I think.She was asleep and snoring when I left outa there a minute
"Well,,see if it's there,,and get it too." , "Why?What is it?" , "If it's what I hope it isn't,,it's called
the Eye of Schlomo,,and it's not good for Amanda to be the one to have it."
As that left my lips Dales head jerked up and his eyes looked like a deers in headlights as they locked past
me on his door from behind which came Amandas voice sounding all sweet and sleepy saying,,"Dale,,are you out there,,can you
I said,"Go see,man." in a whisper then 'one stepped' back into the bathroom to shut,,and lock the door behind
me.Quickly turning on the water in order to drown out any 'voices' I skimmed my shorts off and got into the water before it
Actually enjoying the cold rush of water sluicing off blood and dirt combined with sweat to make a grimey flood
flow off me and down the drown so much that I was allmost tempted to make it colder after it began warming up,,I instead went
ahead and began soaping up to get it off better and realized I still had my bandana on.
Pulling it off and untying it,,I poured some shampoo on it,worked a lather up in it then used it as a wash rag
after rinsing it clean and reloading it with shampoo one more time.
After washing my hair and then my body,,paying attention to the cuts and gouges that my nagger insisted had
pieces of Reez stuck in them along with the dirt,,,,I rinsed my bandana out and wrung it really well,,tossed it out onto the
sink counter then stood there letting the warm water run over me weighing the odds of whether or not leaving the bathroom
would result in a repeat of last nights mind numbing scene for a minute or so before cutting the water off and stepping out.
Opening the shower curtain I stood for a moment untill the silence I heard told me nothing chaotic was happening
right now.I then squoze water out of my hair before squeegeeing off my body with my hands.After getting quite a bit off I
stepped out,,and dripped while brushing my hair.Finishing,,I slid my cut offs on over my still wet body before taking a deep
breath,unlocking then opening the door to step out into the hall.
Thankfully the dry air from the air conditioner,,while making me feel a bit chilly after the warm muggy bathroom
began sucking up the moisture left on my body as I glanced at the lock on my door,felt for the keys in my pocket,,looked to
my right at Dales closed bedroom door,, pulled the bathroom door closed behind me,stepped forward and seen a beaming Melissa
walking into the front room from the porch followed by a smiling John.
Stopping,,I popped a 'surprised' John Balushie pose before squeeling like a girl and covering my chest and crotch
to end by saying in a shy embarrased sort of tone to a giggling Melissa,,"I,,uh,,er,,I,,didn't expect ya so soon.I,,I,,I'm
not dressed." before having a towel,,just slightly not quite dry,,yet warm,,hit and cover my head while John said,,"Here,,cover
your indecency,you churl."
Dropping the pose and pulling the towel off my head to the accompaniment of full blown laughter from all three
of us,,and Mike who had came in with the towels behind John,,I began toweling off the wet still on me and said,,"Good timing,,thank
Whipping the towel around my back to dry it off while looking at Melissa who said,,"I got off early and got
a ride over here,,that okay?" and looked at my chest with a quirky smile on her face as I asked,,"Okay?It's great as far as
A blush quickly blossomed on her cute visage when John passed between us and said,,"Your highbeams are on,dude."
That was as immediately followed by Mike words,,"So is yours,Melissa." as Mike was following behind John.
Chuckling I covered my chest with the towel and said,,"Hey,,it's chilly in here!." glanced at her delectable
female versions under her blouse and very thin bra,,then opened my arms and asked,,Melissa,,"Wanna help me warm them up?"
She nodded and started to return my open armed offer of a hug but was blocked by Mike who backed up looked at
me,,,said,,"With a silly smirk on his face,,the laundry bearer said,,'No,yung'uns,,no,no,no!Not yet,,we are going to the beach,,right?'
before runnng off." and ran off giggling even though he apparently expected a swat from one of us from the way he ducked as
What ever I was going to say or do evaporated from my mind as I heard a bag hit the ground and felt two warm
hands encircle my torso and a pair of warmer and quite moist lips hit my lips in a closed,,yet passionate kiss before saying,"I've
been thinking about getting to do that for about 2 hours."
Looking down into those beautiful green eyes with a smile I started to say,"I'm glad." but instead said,,"Yeeoowwp!"
since those eyes closed,,the pretty head they sat in darted toward my chest and those same lips that had just kissed me,,opened
to let the white,shiny,,sharp,,teeth they hid quickly nip my right nip before they let out a mischevious giggle that sent
even more tingles southward down my body than the kiss or the nip nip did.
Recoiling and putting a hand over the now tingling piece of flesh while laughingly saying,,"Hey,,hey,,easy,,those
are tender.What are ya,a cannibal?"
That brought a quick double voiced rendition of,,"She's a man-eater'." from the kitchen followed by John and
Mikes laughter which was cut short by the sound of a slap,,John saying,,'owww' and Pricillas voice saying "Be nice!"
She blushed even more than before and said very quietly in a sexy little whispery way,,"Yep,,sure am." then
reached up to grab my head,,pull it to her and kiss me,,,'european style'.
After a few moments of sensuous pleasure she suddenly disengaged and stepped back to wipe her smiling mouth
with her hand,,lock smouldering green eyes on mine and say,,"mmm,,and don't even need no Tabasco." and step past me to disappear
into the bathroom.
This left me standing there,,humming.Literally.
Untill I heard the sound of Dales door open and a disgustingly,,rank odor assaulted my nose which snapped me
out of my pleasent state of mind.
Stepping into the hall as he closed the door I seen that his face was so haggard and gray he looked like he
was about to collapse and go into cardiac arrest.He scurried to me and said,,"She's sleeping with it between her legs."
"WhY so scared looking,man?"
He stood up straight,,looked me in the eye and said,,"It told me,,'No'."
"Huh?" , "It told me,'No'."
His voice was flat as he said,,"When I reached out to take it,,before I touched it,,it,it,,",,his face showed
the strain of a mind trying to grasp something that it considered 'impossible' and his hands sort of fluttered like moths
untill he crossed his arms stuck them under his armpits and forced out,,"It said,'No'."
Seeing his mind was reeling,,and being very able to empathize with that,,I reached out to put my hand on his
shoulder,,looked him square in the eye and said very calmly,,"I believe you Dale.It's allright,dude,I believe you."
He asked in a low voice,,"You really believe me?" , "Yes,Dale,I do."
His face softened a bit and he sort of smiled then said,,"Are you sure,,'cause I don't think I would if you
told me that a turtle shell talked to you."
I smiled real big while I stepped so I could put my arm all the way across his shoulders,leaned in closer to
his ear and said,,"Well,,listen to this,," and told him virtually all of what happened in the pepper tree woods with the owner
of the 'pieces' his gal had tried to steal.
I spoke for about five minutes telling him about how I first seen Reez and when he was around the cars while
him and Mike were walking around,,and even through him and then,,even though my nagger started asking,,'are ya sure ya wanna
tell him that?',,I told him about the 'blood tie' at Reezes grave and finished with the happily executed kangaroo hop on the
Cumberland Farms cowboy.
As I finished I realized there was a person standing behind me and turned to see Melissa standing there with
a rather strange look on her face.
Not startled,,but totally amazed that I had not noticed her come out of the bathroom I asked her "How'd ya do
that?" with a smile on my face which in turn made her expression turn into a quizzical one.She asked,"Do what?" which made
Dale start like someone had poked him with a hot stick and do a 'jump,turn around' to stare at Melissa like he was looking
at a ghost,,or worse,,Amanda.
As he was going,,'whew' and clutched his chest,,I said to Melissa,,"Open the bathroom door so quietly."
"I didn't do anything special so you must have been caught up in what you were telling him.Is that stuff true?"
, "Yes,,unfortunately,,it is."
Dale stopped gasping and said,,"Awww,,Melissa,,I thought you were Amanda.Come on,,let's get out of the hall,ya'll."
We all three were in such agreement that it turned into a parody of the Three Stooges trying to get through
a door all at once.Luckily,,the exit to the living room was wider than a door so it simply got us all to laughing as we jostled
a little trying to get away from such close proximity to Amanda.
Bursting into the other room and heading to the kitchen while laughing and giggling Melissa managed to snake
her right arm around my waist which prompted me to reciprocate with my left.We followed Dale the few steps to the kitchen
Mike was sitting at the table eating some chips and drinking a beer while Jon and Prissy were going through
the cabinets getting stuff to take to the beach.They all three stopped and looked at us,,Mike in mid chew,,untill Prissy asked,,
"Okay,,let us in on it,,,it looks like it was fun."
"Ha,,not at first!" Dale exclaimed then continued with,,"But we got a laugh anyway."
Before the inescapable question came,,I cut in loudly with,,"And now,,we're going to the beach!So let's get
going!",then continued in a lower voice while everyone nodded and smiled and started a chorus of "Yeah's and you got it.'s",,and
in Mikes case,,picked up chewing while pumping his fist in the air.,,"Dale,,do ya remember you gotta buy the burgers?" , "Yeah,man.We
can get them on the way,right?"
"Yeah,,are you taking your van?" he looked at me and asked real seriously,,"Uh,,you don't want Amanda riding
with you,,do you?" which got "Ooh,,no,,but are you sure she's gonna go?" from me and an very emphatic 'She ain't riding in
my car." from John.
As Dale was saying,,"Well,,she did say she wanted to go earlier,,should I let her sleep?" ,,the memoery of the
dream I had about the strange looking woman digging up the corpse on the beach and the scene of all of us on the beach came
strongly to my mind and a voice,,not my nagger,,Hirams voice said,,"That should take place,,or things will take longer to
"Well,," I started to reply while John,Prissy,Mike and even Melissa all responed,,almost in unison,,"Yes!" cutting
Looking around at them with my hands up in a 'wait' gesture,,I continued,,"She said she wanted to go this morning,,and
all ya'll were cool with it then so we ought to at least wake her up and see if she still wants to go,,okay?" and everyone
jumped as Amanda said,,"Well,,thank you." from the entry to the kitchen.
"Hey,,you're awake." I said cheerfully.Even though it got me ugly sort of looks from allmost everyone else,,Melissa
smiled and followed my lead by chiming in just as cheerfully with,,"How ya feeling Amanda?Do you want to go?"
"Yes,,I think it's what I need to do.Going to the beach will set me right." was Amandas reply.She then walked
around me and Melissa to get to the fridge and look in it.
After Dale said,,"There's only beer in there,Amanda.We're out of soda." John said,,"No,I bought some Pepsis."
as Amanda closed the door and twisted the top off the fat styrine wrapped glass bottle before guzzling about a quarter of
the contents,,belching and headed out of the kitchen saying,,"I got to take a shower." without seeing all the heads nodding
and the one or two hands waving in front of noses,,behind her.
Dale,,moving along behind her,,looked at me and and winked before slipping around the corner.
Waiting a moment,,like it seemed everyone else was doing,,I then slipped out of Melissas arm and asked John
"How many are left?" while opening the fridge to get a Pepsi myself.
"That many." , "Hey,,enough for me to have one.Do you want one Melissa?" , "Yeah,,If there's enough." Saying,,"Sure
is." I pulled another bottle out of one of the several six paks in the fridge and handed it to her then shut the fridge and
opened my own.
"Okay,,who's riding with me?All of ya'll or are you going to take your car John?"
Priscilla spoke up quickly with,"Nu huh,Johnny,,I don't wanna ride with him,I wanna ride with you,,just me and
you." I laughed and said,,"Aw,Prissy,,admit it,,you don't like it when I let Sky run,,do ya?" , "I just can't handle that
stuff,,I almost peed myself last week." , "Hey,,you said you wanted to get home quick,,I did warn you and nothing bad happened
did it?" , 'No,,I know ya won't wreck,,mostly,,I just can't handle it."
The look on her face was a mix of embarrasement,resolve and a bit of righteous indignation that was totally
justified on all three points so I responded in a soft and sincere tone with "I know Prissy ,,it's allright." and then threw
a quick little jab to lighten the mood back up,"Besides,,I don't wanna watch you and John getting all smootchie in my backseat
"And I don't want you two hogging the backseat when we ain't moving either." Melissa said then shot out her
lower lip,,circled her arms around me and finished with,,"I got a date with the owner of that car."
We all giggled and I felt like I was floating a bit from the unabashed affection Melissa was displaying towards
me,,then Mike blurted out,,"Hey,,who am I riding with?Ya'll ain't gonna make me ride my unicycle are you?"
"Where's Cindy?" John asked him.Mikes eyes lit up,his face brightened and he exclaimed,,"Oh,yeah,,that's right!My
girlfriend has a car." then lept out of his chair,,knocking his empty beer bottle over and rushed to the phone.John,,as he
caught the bottle right before it went off the edge of the table,,laughingly asked no one in particular,,"How could a straight
man forget that girls booty?" and then yelped as Priscilla smacked the back of his head.
That sent her and John off into a little bit of horseplay with both trying to swat the back of each others head
with one of their hands while the other hand was busy trying to block the playful swats.
After watching that for a moment or so,,Melissas caressing hands found the wounds on my forearm.Twisting the
appendage around so she could look at them,,in much the same way a wrestler may apply an armbar,,she giggles at my 'hey!'
and asked sweetly,,"What happened?You didn't have these earlier,,and what's with all the scratches on your chest and back?"
Enjoying the warm soft touch of her fingers and hands I paused before responding to relish the sensation a moment
then said,"Well,,it was part of what you heard me telling Dale in the hall,,but the rest is not a short story,,d'ya wanna
go in my room and burn one while I tell you the tale?"
"Sure do!" was her quick cheerful reply.The eager twinkle in her lovely green eyes stirred my heart to beat
so rapidly that my nagger asked,,'dang dude,,did ya do some speed?'
Laughing at it,,and at her response,,I simply took hold of her hand and led her past the two struggling swatters
and out of the kitchen.
Passing by Mike who was perched on the back of the sofa talking sweet to Cindy I toyed with the idea of shoving
him over backwards but decided not to and was surprised when Melissa did just that.
"Waa!,,hey,,what'dya do that for?" Mike hollered as he fell over on to the sofas seat cushions and began kicking
his feet in the air before telling,,"Melissa,,yeah,,her,,she's mean,,,she just pushed me over backwards,,I allmost broke my
Laughing until we got to my door and I had to release my hold on Melissas hand to fish out my keys to unlock,,I
said to her,,"You won't believe this,,but I thought of doing that myself,,but decided not too since he was talking to Cindy."
She responded with,,"I believe you.And that is why I decided to go ahead and do it,,,he was talking to Cindy."
Giggling,,I finished opening the door one handed,stepped in and to the side to say,,"Entre voo,,to you' make
an an arm sweeping gesture,,then set my soda on the dresser after she walked past,slap the door closed and went to my kness
next to my bed to reach under it for my stash.
As soon as my hand touced the box,,the narrator turned nagger asked,'didn't you roll a bunch earlier?'
Reversing my self back up onto my feet I spun around,left the word "b'rightback." floating in air and darted
from the room.
I popped into the living room,snatched my shirt from under Mikes leg and back out so quik all I heard of his
side of the conversation was ",,and then he went,," before I was back in to my room flipping the door shut behind me.
Melissa looked up at me and smiled as the door clicked shut and said,,"Hello handsome,,I'm glad you came by
to see me." in a Mae West sort of way.
Continuing to walk to the table where she was sitting I said,"I couldn't hep'mahsef,ma'am." while fishing the
pack of spliffs out of the snapbuttoned pocket.The little bit of gritty sand that came out with the crushed Winston pack reminded
me of the events that probally got that sand deposited.
Shaking it off I dropped it on the table,said,"Go ahead and light one." the headed back to the othre side of
the room totoss the shirt in my closet with the other 'grave dirt' contaminated clothes.
The shushing of the door on the half shag carpet as I closed it seemed to produce the whisperd the words,'check
and see if it's there'.
"Check what?" I asked under my breath as I turned around to face the room and seen,,floating in the air in just
the right spot to block my view of Melissa face,,a sun leathered looking hand pointing and pumping a long rather gnarly looking
finger up and down at the foot corner of my bed.
Realizing the 'it' was the ouijie board,,I breathed out an 'oh' and squatted to flip up the bed spread and slide
my hand in between the box spring and mattress.
Encountering nothing where I fully expected to find tingle producing cardboard I slid my hand further,,then
sweep it side ways.Finding nothing I ran my arm all the way in to the shoulder and repeated my actions back to the foot of
After picking up the mattress,,and seeing with my own eyes that the board was no longer under there,,I dropped
it back down,snatched my flashlight off the bed where it laid with the other contents of my pockets and scanned under my bed.
Seeing nothing,,other than my stash box and a pair of old sneakers,,I stood up,,looked at Melissas questioning
expression and said,,"It's gone."
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