Braking to a stop before backing further out onto the street I said
to Melissa,"I think I'll go ahead and stop to get some burgers and buns before we get there,,I doubt Dale will remember.'Sat
"Sure.How about beer?" was her smiley reply.
for traffic I scooted out,slipped the tranny into drive without stopping and skitched the tires while saying joyfully,,"Ooh,,someones
ready to partay!"
She laughed and leaned forward to turn the radio up as I touched my brakes at
the first stop sign then simply rolled on through since the way was clear.
A few short bars of
Everythings Beautiful played during the quick hop to 60 and the right hand turn began an extremely enjoyable next few minutes
of hearing Melissa sing along with Ray as I wended my way through the not bad at all traffic.
Staying with the speed limit,,mostly,,it didn't take long to get to US1.The light popped green at just the right time so I
didn't even have to slow down to dogleg over onto 20th and scoot to the shopping center where I pulled up to a spot between
ABC Liquors and Winn Dixie to park.
She was still singing along with the radio,,but now Bungling
with Jethro in the Jungle.
Looking over at her,,I felt really tickled
how things had went off since meeting her.And I really like her,,even more so considering how much she apparently liked me,,so
'too bad all this hookus poopoo is going on though ain't it?' came that nagging voice
which was so irritatingly on point some times.'it might not be too fun to be getting horizontal with her if some zombified
witch kicks you in your bouncing butt while you're getting some,dude!'
just think,,there could be a friendly ghost watching you get friendly too.'
As Tulls tune faded and the DJ's voice came up,she opened her eyes and reached to turn the radio down,looked at me as if she
knew what was going through my mind.
"Um,,,tonight really ain't going to be all that fun is it?"
"Honestly,I'm thinking it will be weird,crazy,scary and probally dangerous based on all the weird,crazy
and scary stuff that's allready happened in the past night and day."
She looked at me very seriously.But,,as
my nagger noticed,,'she's got a twinkle.',,then busted a fierce smile at me followed with an enthusiastic,,"Hey,,that don't
mean it can't be fun,right?" and a backhanded swat on my shoulder,which caused her to wince and put the tips of her now smarting
fingers in her mouth.
Smiling back and laughing I responded with,,"Yeah,right?"
"Dang that hurt." came from around the fingers in her mouth while those on her other hand were poking my deltoids.
Looking down at her prodding fingers,,then in her face,,I smirked a tad and said,"No,seriously,,I don't think it will be a
good time.And I can definately understand if you would like for me to take you home,,but I have to deal with this somehow."
Her look was sincere and her voice was calm and sure when she leaned a little closer to me,put
those prodding fingers together,laid her hand on my chest and said softly,"I know,,and,,and,,I do want to help you do what
needs to be done.But is all that stuff you told me really true,really?"
"I have no reason to lie
to you.And I am scared outta my skin when I stop to think about it too hard.It's frikkin nuts.Ghosts,moving ouija boards and
pointers,possesed people,,uh,,what is it,necrophilia,right?,,talking turtle shells,and I haven't told you about Hiram yet,,have
"I guess I haven't then,,"
I told her everything that she didn't allready know.Including the event at Andys since it seems
like that was some kind of anchor event or something,the duppies,the tea with Johns mom,the dreams and all the strangeness
at Hirams.Right down to the pointing hand that she didn't see and Reez sitting in my closet when she and Mike were at my car
waiting for me.
While I did she didn't look at me much yet I could
tell she was listening intently while watching the scenery around us in the parking lot.All during that time I almost couldn't
hear myself think due to that narrating nagger constantly interrupting me shrilly proclaiming,,'She thinks you're a nnnn-ut!'
like Barny Fife might have.
At the end of my twenty or so minute monologue I reached down under
the seat to bring out Reezes knife and lay it on the seat between us."That's the knife.You seen all that stuff with Amanda
and Mike and seen him go all weird.But,,I think the best idea is for me to take you home.There is no real reason for you to
be all messed up in this and I really,really do NOT want you to get hurt in any way."
"Do you know what to do to help her?" she asked with out turning her head in my direction.
only know I,,well,,me with John along I suppose,,have to get the board and this eye thing from her,,and not let her get whatever
out of any graves on the beach,,er,well,,not let her keep anything from any graves and THAT is what I and Amanda have to go
to the beach for according to Hiram.If it doesn't happen now,,and I stop it,,it will happen later and be worse.She has to
try to get it and I have to stop her."
Reaching out and touching her arm I finished with,"But
don't you think for even a minute that I want to hurt her,,or see anyone get hurt.Especially you,Melissa.It would probally
be best if you did go home."
"Well,," she began,,then turned to me
full on to continue with,," I had a dream myself about a year ago where I met a bright shining warrior with long blonde hair,blue
eyes,," she paused and looked down my chest while a smile flickered and disappeared like the smouldering look in her eyes
did,,which was in the time it took for her to allmost whisper the words,,"a nice,nice body",,then looked me in the eyes and
said,,"and rode in" ,, did finger quotes,,"The Sky", then ended with,, "and fought the forces of darkness."
Turning away suddenly she began talking at a faster pace,,"He,,and I met and it was like we were,,we,,um,,well,,we were
fighting an evil,,the dream was really vague,like all feelings and emotions,,nothing really solid,,but I remember it like
it was last night but it wasn't,,I had a great dream sleeping on your floor with you." Looking back sort of out of the corner
of her eye,,slyly,she said,,"That dream made me think of how you looked like the warrior from the other dream."
"What?!"I asked louder than I planned to.
My nagger kicked in quickly
with,,'awww,,she's messing with you now,man.'
"No,,really,,you look like that warrior.Well,,"
she paused and sort of shyly said,"your hair,chest,arms and stomach,,and er,um,,uh,,you're built like he was,," then she bluntly
ended with,,"and you're fighting evil."
Choosing to ignore what she was apparently thinking about
other than my muscles,,I popped a strong man pose and asked,,"Built like a heeroh am I?" while my nagger asked me,'how much
do ya wanna bet that dream was a blue tinted action flik?'
She blushed and smacked me,,with her
hand,,not swatting me finger tip style again,,and said,,"Allright,big head,," and giggled adorably before dropping her smile
and continuing somberly,"I helped him,,and,,his black friend,another warrior,,to fight the evil.We won."
Looking her in her eyes,,her beautiful green,,unflinching
gaze,,projected such a fierce unwavering conviction that I knew without a doubt that she had to be in on it.
"Well,then,,,I think we oughta at least have a good meal before we gotta kick evils butt.You like steak and baked potatoes?"
The trip through WinnDixie was allmost heavenly,,for a few short minutes we simply enjoyed each
others company.Strolling casually through the air conditioned coolness,,occasionally holding hands or slipping our arms around
one another while quipping and cracking on people and products.
We figured we needed another cooler
since the one we had in the car was full of sodas allready,,so after finding the isle that had those,,we decided a buggy was
needed so we strolled back to the front to get one,,all while pretty much oblivious to folks around us as other than occasional
entertainment fodder.That changed after allmost bumping into one old lady with the just fetched buggy who responded to our
profuse apologies with,,"No matter younguns,,anyone with an eye and a brain can see that you two only have eyes for each other
right now.God bless youse,,but be a bit more careful,okay,sweeties?Us oldsters do break kind of easy,you know." and waved
her hand in a dismissive yet kindly shooing motion as she went on up the aisle.
After working our way around and through the store getting steaks,,some ribs and burgermeat,,baking taters,some charcoal and
lighter fluid,,allmost forgot paper plates and towels,chips and some assorted candy,,we got in line to checkout behind another
She was puting her items up on the conveyer belt while glancing back and forth between
them and the newspapers and publications on the rack above it while muttering steadily under her breath.
Thinking that she looked like somebody from the meditereanean,,like a Greek grandmother in some old movie with Anthony Quinn,I
forgot about her when Melissa asked,,"Do you ever read your horoscope?" and picked up a celebrity rag to begin flipping to
the section that had them.
"No,,I used to.Actually,,I was really into all that for a while.I could
have cast your charts if you wanted me to."
"Really?You can cast a horoscope?"
"I used to.I quit it and forgot most of it.It ain't worth much."
"Oh,,it's worth much,young man.But is it worth your soul?" came in a heavily accented surprisingly young sounding voice
from the old Greekish looking lady whose attention was now firmly fixed on me.
the main reason why I quit messing with it."
The hot,baleful glare that then struck out at me
from her wizened old face seemed just short of setting me on fire.The following statement of "Main one eh?Good yet that should
have been the only one needed.Are you sure you meant it?" may as well have reduced me to white flaky ash right there on the
spot it was so blue white in it's intensity.
"Of course I did."
Father drags some out so they can face what they know and defeat it for Him.What is it that you know?"
With that,,she picked up her items,,a roll of toilet paper,a box of paper clips and a spachula,turned and slipped between
me and the candy rack making the other side of the aisle to dissapear back into the store without another word.
Looking at the back of the person who was now in front of us,,a really tall black lady wearing a long red and blonde colored
wig,big black power fist dangling wire ear rings,a blue and green leopard spotted paisly print skintight leotard with a frilly
fuschia colored sash of fabric around her ample hips and standing taller thanks to six inch platform shoes while Melissa rubbed
my elbow I commented,,"She smelt like the ocean,,or,,"and the black lady turned and said with an amazed grin in perfect unison
with me,,"the river."
Still laughing we stepped out the front doors
into the afternoon sunlit day and continued talking to the lady,,self named Shalondrea,,who had come down from New york to
see her cousin who happened to be Don Tanner.
After giving her the
kitchen number and telling her he was most likely at work me and Melissa said bye and headed across the lot with our buggy.
Having discussed what kind of alcohol we should bring I headed off to ABC to get the Busch and,,some Boones Farm,Tickle Pink.
Debating the actual value of such a beverage with my nagger I got in,,got some,,and a case of long necks,,and two pints of
Everclear,got out and hot footed it back to the car.
Every step closer the surety that this kind
of time with Melissa was going to be far too small a portion of my life grew more and more firm.
Sad,,yet still filled with a wonderful sense of contentment at being in her presense again,I
ducked my load through the door and leanedup seat she had jumped out to prepare and present on my approach.
Standing back up straight and turning to her I said,"Thank you ma'am,I appreciate it." then stepped into her arms as she stepped
into mine and we kissed each other in the bright sunlight as though we were the happy couple we had enjoyed playing while
shopping through WinnDixie.
Somewhere between bliss and double levi fabric busting arousal we
both realized each other had tears streaming down our cheeks and that the sobs were beginning to bubble up out of both of
Confusion was across her face like a heavy fog obscuring
a sunrise which had to match the one on my face if the level of my mental state was showing on my features.
"What's,,sniffle-snuff,,with this?" I asked while wiping the tears from her cheecks with my fingers.
"I don't know,,snuffle-sniff,why are you crying?" was the response she gave while wiping my cheeks dry with a piece of tissue
she pulled out of nowhere as only a woman can.
"I like you and these are happy tears?"
Putting our foreheads together we both began laughing and she managed to get,,"I like you too." out between chortles and what
became full blown guffaws from us before we settled down and simply hugged,,her head tucked into my shoulder and my cheek
laying on her head,slightly rocking each other.
After not a long
enough time,,she asked me without moving her head,"Well,,are you ready to get to the beach?"
I began then pulled away and stepped back to finish with,",,let's get going anyway." while looking at her beautiful face,slightly
red and puffy with tear streaks not fully removed by the tissue that had became soaked and fell apart,framing those wonderful
green eyes that out sparkled the bright Florida afternoon sun,before stepping around to Skys drivers door and climbing in.
It took untill after I had pulled out of
the parking spot and headed back west to get on 7th and hop over onto Royal Palm and shoot for the bridge before we broke
the sweetly sad silence by agreeing that a car we had passed was really nice and she turned the radio up which got us rocking
with a Derringer shot of Rock and Roll Hootchie Coo!
By the time we had sat through a red light
and made it almost to Bahama Joes on the northside of Royal Palm right before the foot of the bridge we were again chatting
away as easily has we ever had up to that point.
"Have you ever ate
there?" she asked while gesturing towards the building as we passed it before hitting the upslope and hearing the klaxon horn
that signaled the raising of the drawbridge.
Seeing there was a bit of space between me and the
next car ahead of us,I replied "Yes,I have.As a matter of fact,my aunt used to work there." before tickling Skys tail a tad
to snug up behind it in order to get through before the stop bar came down.
We just kept chatting away as the horn swapped to the clanging bell that indicated a closed road and raised bridge as I braked
a bit to come into place behind it and slide through as the bar came down.
After passing the tender
station and my car tires hit the metal grating of the drawer bridge section the roar it made sort of startled her wcich set
her to giggling.
And we just kept chatting about nothing and everything as I drove through traffic
down to Ocean Drive where I turned south and we drove down Vero Beach's beachside mid-strip that stretched from the board
walk area accessed at the intersection of Royal Palm and Ocean where an animated Santa ringing a bell was put up every year
for most of my life south past the hotels and restaraunts that lined it to Humiston Beach where the park had a barrel house,spinners,
swings,a bathroom building close to the boardwalk,benches and tables.
After seeing the time on the building at the access drive I realized we didn't have a whole
lot of day light left if we wanted to get some food done by dark.
Telling Melissa this sort of
snapped us out of the feeling we had going for about as long as it took me to pick up the pace and hit the curve at the end
of the road where it turned into Bay Oak a bit quick and snaked back across the white center line to make Club Drive the shank
in a big dog leg that led through quiet empty oak filled residential streets lined with affluent houses to get back to A1A
and scoot south.
The pleasant afternoon,sun still high,several hours before the summer sun finally set,and the
buzz from the weed earlier quickly brought that pleasantness back untill she spied the 7-11 and forgot all about telling me
what happened at that particular party and exclaimed in a totally unabashed and relaxed way that was indicative of the level
of comfort we had we each other,,"Ooh,ya have to stop.I gotta piss like a russian race horse!"
Whipping quickly across A1A,,I guided Sky onto Sea Gull then back into the stores parking lot and pulled up at the north end
of the building.
Cutting the engine off before we both hopped out to walk into the stores cool
interior hand in hand picking back up the feeling that neither of us wanted to mention and maybe break it too bad to keep
it for as long as we might.
Making our way to the bathroom which we found were both unoccupied we each slipped in after
pausing for a little smooch and rub.
And my nagger went off with a million questions and statements.It
was as if shutting the door flipped a switch and all the other crud of the weekend came barreling into my head.
Carrying on a silent conversation with myself that ranged from how to keep this wonderful,beautiful
woman that I had just spent an amazingly satisfying time with just driving around and chatting with for as long as possible
to how could I possibly try to go for the gold while wondering when and where the Twilight Zone would snatch me up to could
I even do the deed while all crazyfied over possesed witches and duppies being held off my ass by a ghost while some loa spirit
or some such tried to mess with me for apparently making what was essentially a prank call,or wrong number, on a ouijie
board when I was a kid.
After splashing some cold water on it,,I looked myself in the face and
said to me,,"All I need now is to have that nutty redneck show up all bugged out on pain killers and booze to make
this one totally tripped out mess."
Hirams ancient steel gray eyes stared back at me from my eye sockets and his voice rang through
the small cube of a bathroom,,"He will.Use that mucker to your advantage boy."
Startled so bad
I felt almost like I had to pee again,,I looked at his eyes with mine and snarled,,"You need to find some kind of way to warn
a fella before you do that crap,dude!"
His eyes sparkled with humor and began to fade as quick
as his voice saying ,"Of course I do.My apologies young sir.",did.
Coming out of the bathroom to go ahead and walk out the store,passing a pleasantry with the
empty right now stores cashier I figured I would fish out a doob for the rest of the ride down to the Pines while waiting
for Melissa to come out.