Thursday, February 1, 2024

Garlic and Crosses and Silver Backed Mirrors (Part 3 of 3 Parts) blog post #638

 Images Courtesy of Dreamstime:


Aha, loaded down with garlic and crosses and silver-backed mirrors, our hero is walking up the hill toward the woods to confront his vampire… or werewolf… or whatever. Let’s see what happens.




The forest seemed darker today as I pushed through the underbrush and entered the trees. Other than the noise I was making, they were absolutely silent. No bird calls. No squirrel chatter. Nothing.

But I caught the dying sway of a scrub oak bush where someone—or something—had recently passed and headed straight for it. And beyond it to another bush just going still. On a leaf of this one, I found a scrap of leather… rawhide really. Long, like it was a fringe off something.

I moved deeper into the trees, feeling like the pathfinder in one of those James Fennimore Cooper novels tracking his prey, especially after I found some long dark hairs on another bush. As I moved on, I noticed the darkness lifting. Now really curious, I darted from bush to tree as the atmosphere lightened more and more. Ahead, I caught a ray of sunshine. A clearing. A clearing lay ahead of me.

I broke through the last of the trees and was so bedazzled by the pretty glen that I failed to notice the figure standing at the far side at first. And it gave me a start when I did, I can tell you. My heart hammered against the cross on my chest so hard that I’ll swear it moved. I’m not sure, but I think maybe I gasped.

The creature raised its right hand, palm out, and called out a word I didn’t recognize. Having nothing better to do, I mimicked his hand lifting and yelled back, “Howdy.”

He stood dead still until I took a hesitant step forward, and then he did too. As we performed a weird ritual dance, he morphed into a human. Definitely a human. Man… well, boy. Probably about my age. Not one of Ma’s Romny… but an Indian.

That puckered my sphincter. Here I was alone in the woods with a wild Indian. Didn’t matter if I was garlicked to the gills, what I needed was my rifle. Heck, I didn’t even have my pocketknife. Forgot to pick it up when I left the house.

I tucked away my panic and looked more closely as we neared. No weapons. That’s good. Wait! Knife in a scabbard at his waist. Left side. Did that mean he was left-handed? Ma had some saying about off-handers too, but I couldn’t remember what it was. Nothing good, I’m sure.

That glen musta been bigger’n I thought, or else we were taking baby steps, because I had time to notice his clothing. He wore what Pa called a hairbine around his forehead holding back long, dark locks that woulda made Sara jealous. Came clear down past his shoulders. No shirt, and his shoulders looked way broader’n mine. Guess Sara’s not the only one in the family capable of envy. His trousers were buckskin with fringes—that’s where that piece of leather on the bush came from. That almost brought me to a halt.

He'd lured me here. Pure and simple lured me in. Tore off a fringe and pulled out a few hairs for me to follow. My scalp prickled like a duck’s behind.

Then I noticed his shoes. Moccasins. But not just rawhide, the tops glistened when he walked. And when we were close enough, I saw they were festooned with beautiful, colored beadwork. Sara would’ve gone green over those too. Heck, I wouldn’t mind having a pair.

I was close enough now to make out his features, and they were surprisingly pleasant. Dunno why I said surprisingly. Maybe I thought all Indians were closed and dark and brooding. This one wore a beaming smile that reached all the way to his black eyes. Never seen anyone with black eyes before. Reminded me of a hawk staring at me. I almost snickered. A smiling hawk.

He stopped just beyond arm’s length, so I did too.

Those black eyes scoured my person, and I figured he considered I was overdressed, laden with garlic and a cross and silver backed mirrors like I was. He was focusing on them, I could see.

My “vampire” lifted a hand, pointed at his broad chest, and said something that sounded like “Hookoyete.” If that was his monicker, it sure was a heavy one.

I shoved a thumb at me and said, “Jamey.”

That gave him some trouble too. “S-shamey?” he stuttered.

I shook my head. “Ja-mey, Jamey.” Then I tried out his. After a couple of tries, neither of which got it, I gave up and pointed at each of us in turn, and pronounced. “Hook. You’re Hook, and I’m Jamey.

He frowned, but his expression cleared as he understood. “Hah! Hook—” He pointed at himself first and then to me. “—Shamy.”

I nodded. If I was gonna mangle his name, couldn’t object if he did the same to mine.

We took another mutual step, which put us nose to nose. He really was a pleasant looking fellow. Looked clean too. Not dirty and smelly like some folks said the natives were. In fact, I was the smelly one of the two. He reached out and lifted my amulet to his nose and took a whiff before recoiling.

“Garlic,” I said.

He muttered an unpronounceable word I took to be his word for garlic.

“Yeah. Garlic. Scares off vampires and werewolves but apparently doesn’t work on Indians.” At his frown, I reached a conclusion. “You don’t speak American, do you?”

“’Merican? Yes. No. Thank you. Go now.”

As he made no move to leave, I took that to be a recitation of his English vocabulary. “That’s more’n I can say in your language.”

He surprised me by lifting my arm and laying his alongside it. Comparing our coloration, I gathered. He confirmed it by moistening a finger and rubbing my forearm vigorously to see if the light color came off. I knew better, of course, but he’d done it, so I did too. His darker complexion didn’t change beneath my vigorous rubbing.

That unleashed us. Giggling like teenagers—well, technically we still were, although well past the giggling age—we examined one another. He lifted off my garlic and mirrors and cross and made clear he wanted me to unbutton my shirt. I did, and he moved behind me to take it off and feel and poke and mumble aloud. That’s when it dawned on me he was trying to see if we were the same—other than the difference in our skin. He wanted to know if I was human. That gave me a tumble. Old Mrs. Jarvis at the church we sometimes attended loudly proclaimed that Indians were not. She held the same, unshakable opinion of black people.

Now here was a Red Indian trying to make the same determination of me… a white kid. I’d sure like to tell Mrs. Jarvis about that, but the old bat would probably expire if she knew I let an Indian touch me. Might be a decent trade-off.

And touch me, Hook did. He felt my back and my chest and my belly and inspected my underarms like he was buying a boy at a slave market. If he tried to inspect my teeth, I wasn’t gonna put up with it. But tit for tat, I brushed his arms away and went to work inspecting him. He let me put my hands all over him. I pinched him here and rubbed him there until I noticed something. When I touched one of his nipples, it stood up. Curious I brushed the other one. It did the same. When my mind flashed on Nettie Nixton’s boobs, I figured I’d crossed the line somehow.

Apparently, Hook wasn’t aware of any such line, because he pushed my hands away and did the same to me. When he fingered the left one, I almost jumped. I knew girls’ breasts were an “erogenous zone,” as one book called them, but sure never figured that was true for a fellow. But when hook fingered mine, I felt it down in my britches. Had he when reacted that way when I did it to him?

Then he really took me by surprise. He moved in and lapped his lip over one like he was a vampire going for blood. Indians had witches, didn’t they? Was this guy a junior apprentice witch? If so, I was a gonner. I couldn’t have moved if I’d wanted.

When he switched to the other one, I forgot about all of that and sorta reveled in the feeling. I couldn’t believe sucking on my tit was affecting another part of my anatomy, but it sure was. Down south, I was growing like crazy.

He came up for air, and we just sorta stared at one another. Sure wasn’t a smile on his face now. And it was a darned good face too. Better’n Nettie’s flashed my mind before I could stop it.

After a long moment of examining one another’s pupils, Hook put hands to his waist and slipped down his trousers. Did he want to see if we were built alike down there too?

I took a look. Lord almighty! I wish! Without thinking, I slid down my own britches and didn’t even blink when he reached for me.

Hook wanted more’n just a good look at it, lots more… and he got it too.



Looks like this “vampire’s” after something other than blood. Let your imagination suggest how many ways Jamey may have given it to him.

 See you next week.

Until then, stay safe and stay strong.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!

Please check out my BJ Vinson murder mystery series, a series of seven books, all related but stand alone for readers. Still, better to start with the first The Zozobra Incident.

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See you next Thursday.



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