At last, the entrance to our campground loop road, a welcome sight. I'd be back at the picnic table in short time. It was the faint sound of footfalls which made me wheel around, ready to swing my stick. There was nothing behind me to be seen so I moved off the road into the gloom. Standing still, well hidden by underbrush and watching the road, I saw nothing living moving to or fro, but thought to of heard a slight rustling. After another minute of watching I hopped back out upon the loop road and carefully continued, but now at a swifter pace. Perhaps Whitey was correct in stating I had smoked too much. Maybe all the booze and high quality weed had my imagination running wildly far ahead. Scant wonder, substance addled with all these thoughts of soul suckers bouncing about and a gob of yellowish gunk in my navel. Maybe I was jumping the gun as Claudia could just be some well kept and worldly older beauty like Sophia Loren or Ann Margret. A hot looking older woman in good health and spirits with a high libido. My thoughts drifted fondly back to Bear's suite and Claudia sashaying out of the bathroom in that well fitting evening gown. My thoughts became consumed by mental images of her and I alone and carrying on inside that spacious comfortable suite.
And there she was standing some five yards in front of me. Seeing her suddenly appear, my hackles instinctively rose.
My walking stick thrust out like a pike, I called out - "How did you manage getting ahead of me?"
"Oh put down that poker, silly man, it's just me."
Slightly feeling like a drunken goof, I lowered my stick and told her: "Never know what one will come across on a dark road." Pressing on with my question, "So how is it, I left Bear's party before you, and now you stand before me?"
She laughed and asked: "Can you not hear the night over the numb padding of your own feet?"
"Pah!" I barked, "I knew someone was trailing me before the road dipped."
She twirled her umbrella and offered explanation: " I ducked into the brush, right before you turned and left the road."
"That's why I saw no one behind me." I said while inwardly cursing my drunken senses.
She continued: "While you stood in the brush, I picked my way around you."
"Well that was a neat trick to say the least." I returned while thinking this woman must possess uncanny woodcraft or she was some supernatural being or I was more snockered than previously thought. Still neither of us advanced forward to meet the other. At this distance in the dark I could barely make out her face but felt like she was silently laughing, which somewhat creep me out.
"A neat trick for you perhaps." She returned with a mocking musical laughter all the while twirling her umbrella. Having enough of that I advanced in a quick stride. Halting about ten feet away, my next question was: "Why do you trail me?"
She now stepped in closer, tilted her umbrella back and said: "I heard you tell Flip something about watching the camp and left before I or anyone else could say goodbye." Claudia added: "For one who practices so many cordial camping traditions, that seemed out of character. Anyway that's alright as I had to get out of there too." She went on: "After getting my stuff together, getting a jacket on and refusing the traveling company of the Dibbles and Patti, I left to catch up with you." Claudia then informed me in a sultry voice: "I didn't want you to be at that picnic table all alone, it just wouldn't be right." With that said she stepped in even closer, lightly tapped my shoulder and purred: "Come on, lets get back to camp." So I went with Claudia, but kept her on my left side as we walked.
Stars began to blink as passing clouds began moving out, following the distant weakening front. Branches and leaves murmured in the breeze. The storm had all but departed leaving the highland air cool and fresh. As we walked together Claudia made small talk while I pondered if she was going back to finish off Charlie, or now had me on her menu. Perhaps I just needed a slug of something, a joint and a blazing fire while leaving the rest to instinct and fate.
We rounded the last bend and walked into camp. Flip's fire was still smoldering and with a small effort could be rekindled into blaze. First though, I lit a propane lantern before gathering up some of our hardwood kindling. Once the kindling had caught I added several chunks of red oak. Claudia, standing beside me commented that bringing in ones own firewood was a smart idea. "Oh yeah" I said,"They'll spank you for a small bundle of firewood up at the camp store."
Seeing we had a good fire going Claudia seated herself. Folding her hands and placing them upon the table. That lovely face was aglow in the camp light and I noticed her eyes were now of a golden amber hue. Below those eyes, a mysterious smile.The flickering friendly flames were somewhat sedating, leaping high in blazing dance.
"Oh fuck!" I completely forgot about Flip's small plastic tarp and if not removed, say any second it would turn into a burning, melting mess.
What made matters worse was the fact that one of the two sturdy enough to stand upon coolers were at Bear's suite. There was nothing high enough to stand on and unfasten tarp cords. Thinking fast I flew into Flip's tent, then came back out with my big Khyber knife. Drawing it, I cast the sheath aside and bounded up to slash through a cord. "Put that down and come here!" Claudia shouted, "Let me up on your shoulders." Watching the loose corner waver dangerously close to the flame I quickly weighed out her offer as she stood upon the bench and motioned me over. I jabbed the big blade down into the picnic table, bolted around to Claudia now standing on a bench and crouched down. She swiftly mounted my shoulders as I held her legs in a secure manner. Claudia prodded me to each supporting cord where she quickly untied Flip's superb slipknots then pulled away the tarp. With that bit of fast work out of the way, I rewarded her swift, sound thinking with a playful shoulder ride out to the loop road and down some. Her musical laughter was that of a young maiden as she rode high in the night. She was of little burden to me. I rather enjoyed her womanly warmth upon shoulders and neck.
Ride over, I delivered Claudia back to the bench.
With Flip's tarp slightly scorched, but saved, and a sweet muskiness upon my nape, I figured this would be a good time for a drink. "Can I get you anything to take the chill off?" I offered.
"No chill here." She returned, then asked: "What do you have?"
"I ran down the list including my brandy stash.
"I would love some brandy, and maybe another ride later." She laughed.
I produced a bottle of fine homemade persimmon brandy, opened it and poured us both a good measure. We clanked cups. She sniffed and sipped, while I quaffed. Draining it, I poured myself another. Feeling somewhat secure with a table between us I sat looking, taking in her beauty. Having another sip, Claudia put down her cup and inquired about Charlie. "Well." I said, "Oddly enough, only after three days of partying hard seems to have taken a toll on the lad." I then added: "He passed out awhile back, here at the table, so we carried him off to bed." Truly it was odd, Charlie out for the count so early in the night. Pondering upon this made me become somewhat wary again. As fire's heat was carried to us by a pleasant mountain breeze, Claudia unbuttoned her jean jacket while telling me both blaze and brandy had warmed her up. She leaned down offering me a generous view down the front of her gown and almost in a whisper asked: "Warm enough for you?"
"Warm enough for a longer growing season." I managed to get out without a slur or stammer, then continued ogling her bosom. With a giggle she straightened up, crossed her arms over her breasts and demanded: "Good Sir, what were you looking at?"
Curtains drawn over my vista I sincerely replied: "Why at your nay nays, my good lady."
"What!" She playfully pretended to be taken aback.
I added: "And what a fine pair they are, here in the firelight."
With that off came the jacket and out came the boobs for a quick uninhibited shake and jiggle. An unexpected display, it had me giddy enough.
It was then Flip came into the camp catching us unaware.
Claudia in no hurry, stuffed them back into the gown, then slung her jean jacket over those well rounded shoulders as Flip watched the whole process before cutting his dark eyes at me. With a sneering bark of laughter he asked: "Checking the lady for ticks?"
I replied: "As a matter of fact I was. She seems to be free of ticks."
Flip continued to give me a weird look, until I slipped him a few old hand signals meaning everything was okay for now.
"Have ye some brandy man", but he waved away my offer, got up and copped himself an ale instead. Seeing that we had a roaring fire and noticing his tarp, neatly folded in Bear's camp chair Flip thanked me.
Seeing that Flip was looking at my big knife stuck into our table, I confessed: “I had to cut one of your tarp cords.” He told me not to worry about it.
"So how's Bear's upscale party going ?" I asked pulling the blade free.
"The Bear is in and out of dozing and blabbering. He's a fucking mess."
"Narcotics and alcohol, good thing Bear usually passes out before he can go over the limit." I said while putting a dab of oil on the blade, before sheathing it. "I tried to get one of those heavy duty pain killers from him Friday night when we got here but he wouldn't give it up."
"Well he can't smoke weed" Flip reminded me.
"What about the others?"
"The others at the lodge you cooked bastard." I snarled, fished an ice cube out of a cup of Pineapple juice and popped it upside his head. He flicked a burning cigarette butt at me, then replied: "Well like I said, Bear is about done in, I stuck around and smoked that bone with them, we all got kind of looped. Patti and Whitey were talking about coming back here."
"And the Dibbles ?"
"They put up the board, and were watching television when I left."
"Come up to the mountains and watch television. That’s fucking sad." I spat in disgust.
"Yeah it's a happening scene." Flip laughed.
"Sounds like quite the bash." I snickered.
"I hate to interrupt." Claudia pushed through our general goofing. "Do you guys have anything in the way of bathroom tissue?" She snatched up our flashlight while Flip unzipped his tent.
"Here, put this in there while your at it" I tossed him my Khyber knife.
Handing Claudia the full, unused roll he offered her a little comfort - "It's Charmin."
"Mister Whipple!" I shouted throwing another ice cube at him.
Claudia excused herself then ventured behind the camp. We watched the bouncing flashlight beam flicker through the growth, and stop, then it went out a good twenty yards back in the wood.
She had found a spot.
In a shrill whisper Flip demanded: "What the fuck are you doing man?"
"What the fuck do you mean?"
"There you were talking all that soul sucking shit, having us put gook in our navels, which by the way R.W. did, he even smeared some on his face like war-paint, where Denny, and Patti would not. All that mumbo jumbo and here you are getting a titty show."
"I'm just observing her." I assured him.
He lit up another cigarette, scratched his head and said: " She does have some nice ones"
"Dangerous as spider webs " I warned in a whisper. Then asked: “What about Bear?”
"What about the Bear?" Flip returned
"Did he apply the repellent?"
"No" Flip answered, pointing to a small bouncing light moving towards us. "Bear said he has his own medicine."
"Yeah I expect she has no taste for pickled eggs with her brandy." I added then fell silent watching the light approach.
Claudia strolled in, handed Flip his roll back then kissed him on the cheek with a grateful "Thank you."
Flip's swarthy face flushed a bit and then he gulped down his ale.
"Here let me get you another." Claudia got up, grabbed, opened and poured him a cold one, then flashed a toothy smile. Claudia removed glasses from a case in her jacket pocket and began to read travel pamphlet Flip lifted from Bear's suite. This seemed to stimulate the Birdman as he had a thing for women wearing glasses. Something no doubt instilled in him years ago in Miss Alston's ninth grade Math Class. Like every teenage boy who ever attended that class, I loved and fantasized about Miss Alston as well. Extremely beautiful, she wore a pair of black plastic framed glasses. Swiftly did he scoot close beside Claudia and proceeded to enlighten her with his knowledge of various nearby tourist attractions. I placed a good size chunk of seasoned walnut into our fire pit then propped it up against the burning oak with the poke stick. I stood watching, entranced by dancing flame.
"Hey!" It was Claudia's rich voice calling me from my fire gazing. "How do you feel about going up to Panorama tomorrow?"
Returning from the fire pit I replied: "Sounds good, that is if we can wake up early enough." Pouring myself another brandy, I requested: "Flip, twist one up, man." figuring it would take the edge off of any supernatural situation we may be facing. If she was a predator, a lot of intoxicating substances may just throw her game off a bit. But so far Claudia seemed every bit of the party troopers we were.
As soon as Flip crawled into his tent to fill our prescription, her strange amber eyes were upon me. They seemed to have changed hue in the firelight There was unfathomable intent in those marvelous eyes which regarded me from across the table. A chill of scary excitement ran down my spine when she ran the tip of a strangely pointed red tongue across her lips. Those eyes held mine and within a minute I felt my jaw going slack. A pool of drool formed in my mouth and didn't swallow until something started moving up and down my leg. Leaning back and looking down I saw it was her foot, now slipped out of a sandal and now caressed my leg in a most pleasant manner. It was only when Flip emerged from his tent did Claudia cease the rubbing, but not before gently poking my crotch with her toes.
Flip handed Claudia the doobie, then flicked his Bic as she drew upon it. She toked deeply, passed the joint to Flip. Exhaling she inquired: "So how long you guys been married men?"
"Several years." Flip replied, then proceeded to hit the bone.
"What about you?"
"Not long." I answered, pondering, 'Why is she asking this now?'
"Oh he lived with her a little awhile, but just recently tied the knot" Flip provided extra information. "Sinfully carrying on before hand?" Claudia taunted waving her finger in my face. "Well if you must know, we got hitched to stop her parents from nagging us about living in sin along with their moral standing in the Baptist community." Then added: “A very old Williamsburg family, they attempt to run our lives and have no great fondness for me or my friends."
“Odd reason to get married." Claudia stated.
The brandy allowing me enough bravado to spread my tail feathers, I informed her: "But you never know, I may find myself in a mood and leave everything to nature‘s wild calling."
"Nothing like it." Flip added, before taking another hit.
Claudia had the look of a thirsty bobcat, noticing not the panther above on a branch overlooking a cool clear stream. At that point I knew my medicine was strong, but was it strong enough? Using our old jargon as in cheer, I lifted my cup and said: "Mahtooteewah!" Flip caught my meaning and flashed a crooked smile. Oblivious, Claudia raised her cup as well. If this woman was bold and uninhibited enough to hit on various members of our heathen party, she could handle whatever we could come up with. Deep in the cup Flip and I were bawdy enough to fly with her, but only over the ground we knew. Flip passed Claudia the burning bone and I raised a cup and toasted - "Nature’s wild calling!" then hooked my foot behind her calf, urging her to go on with the leg rubbing. Flip sat close enough to tilt his head for some ogling. She seemed not to be troubled by our lewd behavior. I felt myself drifting into a very uninhibitated relaxed state of being.
Then a burning walnut knot loudly popped, and in that instant Claudia appeared different. She was nude except for the swirls of paint upon her body and face. I blinked my eyes and Claudia was once again sitting across from me still clad in that wine colored gown with a denim jacket draped over the shoulders and holding her glasses, one ear piece between those alluring lips. Perhaps it was just all the weed and booze making my eyes play tricks. This night smacked of the weird and now I was almost beyond being surprised. Having regained my composure I boldly asked: "So what did you do to my cousin last night? Must of been something cause I've never seen him crap out before quiet time." Then I reached down, grabbed Claudia's ankle and rested her foot upon my knee. Refusing not my attentions, she replied: "Your cousin drinks like a fish and eats like a bird. That hard drinking got the best of him." She smiled and added: "He couldn't keep it up."
"Up where?" I inquired lightly pinching her little toe.
"Downtown." Claudia answered with a wink.
"Downtown?" I chuckled.
Flip added “All lit up at night!"
Claudia quaffed down her second cup of brandy and tapped her fingers upon the rough table surface while Flip attempted to find a decent radio station.
Claudia accepted another cup full and inquired "What is it with you guys?"
"What do you mean?" I returned.
"All these strange traditions, ceremonies, dialect, sign language, and a remarkable will to celebrate." She then said: "I hope you don't carry on like this all the time."
"We're on vacation." I reminded her.
"This is our way." Flip informed her, "No one else will have us." Then he issued a low laughing howl.
"We are who we are." I told her, "Except for Whitey. He's a cracker."
"Cracker ass cracker." Flip hissed.
Flip lit the bone again and took a couple of good tokes, passed it forth while asking Claudia: "So how long you, Mildred and Guy going to stay at Big Meadows?"
"Till Wednesday morning" She replied: "Guy wants to camp in Fort Valley."
"Elizabeth Furnace Campground?" Flip asked.
"I think that's what Guy said."
Flip went on - "Been there once, a couple of years ago. Half way decent trout waters, and some nice trails."
"That sounds nice." I said, "Wouldn't mind getting in a bit of fishing before we head back." I had never been to Fort Valley, but what I'd gathered from maps and talk it's about a twenty mile long hollow inside of Massanutten Mountain with a large stream called Passage Creek running through it. A large fort-like hollow walled in by the mountain. Looking at Flip and thinking about fishing, I stated: "Sounds like a cool place to spend our last few highland days and nights."
"Why don't you guys head out with us?" Claudia offered, swirling the brandy in her cup.
Flip asked: "What packed it up day after tomorrow and head for Massanutten?"
"Well this place is nice, but maybe at Fort Valley there won't be any law enforcement brutes ranging the woods and turning hikers back."
The prospect of moving camp seemed to excite Flip somewhat as he liked going to different places, but seconds later his dark beady eyes began darting about. A sign he was pondering deeply. I could almost tell by his body language, Flip was thinking about the secret garden. He would always pick his teeth while in the grip of greedy thoughts and was doing so now. "Something to discuss with the others tomorrow, providing we can get them all together at once." I stated. We could not just pack up and go without proper council. Charlie would go anywhere the party was heading, no doubt the Dibbles as well. Moving camp always aggravated Bear and he would growl and grumble through the whole process, but would agree as long as he didn't have to expend any effort. Patti and Whitey on the other hand were leaving Thursday morning. Perhaps they would not want to travel the distance, just for one more day. We would ask them anyway.
Enchanted by a lovely guest
As tree frogs trilled that night
We were engaged in our revelry
Beholding to not much at all
Days away from the coming fall
The tree frog ceased their shrill night songs as headlights flashed from across the loop. Soon there was again the sound of tires upon the road. It was Whitey's truck.
As it backed in we saw there were three people inside, but really couldn't tell who until it was jerked into park then Patti, Whitey and Denny piled out. Denny did have enough of his senses about him to offer an apology and then formally request entry into our encampment. Flip extended welcome. "Come on in!"
Denny told us that R.W. was going to be crashing up at the lodge.
"Hope he has some earplugs." Whitey hissed, before guzzling down a beer.
"Patti approached Claudia and asked: "Any sign of Mildred and Guy?"
"Not yet." Claudia sighed, then swiftly changed the subject to a possible trip to Panorama tomorrow. Shifting the subject back to Mildred and Guy, Patti said: "I hope they're alright."
"I'm sure they're okay and will be along sometime soon." Claudia assured Patti.
Whitey was quite bombed, slurring heavily and staggering somewhat, yet still pounding down brew. Denny went to the coolers and rifled around for some cold leftover grub.
"So what brings you back to such crude accommodations?" I bluntly asked Denny who was now munching upon a hunk of cold, grilled meat. He wolfed down his snack and informed me: "The Bear is passed out, snoring like a turbine and R.W. is watching some stupid movie, so we booked it back to camp." Denny then helped himself to a bottle of my ale. He happened to catch my eye long enough while quickly nodding his head towards Claudia, then a placed a finger to his navel area, without no one but Flip and I noticing. My response was two quick head nods. Denny firmly believed in the supernatural, but like Bear, trusted in his own power, where R.W. would go along with most anything as a gag perhaps, especially when he was lit up.
"Burn a bone." Whitey requested, popping open another can of his favorite swill.
"Yeah Skid," Denny added: "Let‘s burn one."
I called them both - "Fucking druggies!" then invited them all into Flip's Tent for a few rounds with the big pipe.
"But it's so nice out here." Patti protested.
"About time for a ranger to make a round." I informed her, "Better to keep it all out of sight." With that we entered Flip's tent and formed a circle. Pulling out my stash and a small pair of scissors I selected a good sized flower top, then proceeded to snip it into small bits. After loading our pipe I offered it to the winds, then drew upon the mouthpiece while Flip sparked me up. Toking deeply I then offered it to Flip who puffed then passed it on. We repeated the process two more times.
Putting our gear away, we crawled out of the smoke filled tent. A fucked up mess we were. Patti, Denny and Flip became consumed in a fit of laughter while Claudia got very quiet and to herself, staring at the dark leafy boughs above. Whitey on the other hand had been reduced to a state of substance induced slack jaw retardation. It had packed a wallop on me as well. It almost felt as I was getting acid-like rushes off this smoke. The blazing fire made my head whirl as Denny started bragging about his secret Crappie hole at Queens Lake.
"Speaking of fishing." I mumbled, "Flip and I have been talking about moving camp near a decent trout stream down at Fort Valley."
"Fort Valley?" Denny returned.
"Inside Massanutten Mountain." Flip stated, helping himself to one of my ales.
"I'm cool with it." Denny said, "As long as we can catch some fish."
"It's worth a try Denny, that is if everyone agrees to book."
"When are we going?" Patti eagerly asked.
"Wednesday morning" Flip replied with a belch.
"That only leaves us a day there." Whitey informed us before Flip could continue.
"Not if I can make a phone call." Patti stated.
I asked her what she meant by that.
"I'll call Cheyenne and see if she'll take my sets Thursday and maybe Friday night." Then she asked Whitey: "You don't have to be anywhere in the next few days, do you?"
"Not till next Monday morning, baby, then it's back to work."
"Don't speak of such a horror." I laughed.
Claudia cast me a strange look. "What horror?"
"Monday morning my good lady. Monday morning"
Denny, Flip, Whitey and I grimaced at the thought, then quickly went back talking about Fort Valley. Denny got up and foraged for more camp treats. "Don't mess with my Bugles." Flip warned Denny, but Dibble had found other fare in our food stores. At the mere mention of Bugles corn snacks there was a wild flickering in Whitey's shit brown eyes. With one hand upon his hilt, Flip's head shook from side to side while waving a talon like finger in Whitey's face. "Don't even think about it! I'll open you up like a bag of potato chips."
"That crunching bugs the shit out of me." Whitey slurred, adding a threat: "Start that damned crunching and I'll turn those Bugles into cornmeal."
"Fellows, please!" Claudia pleaded.
'Oh shit!' I thought, 'She's opened up a tub of night crawlers.'
Claudia's plead into matters she scarcely understood would no doubt hoist her into a highchair position in a strange little ritual I call drunken camp court. As I said a strange ritual where both parties(Flip and Whitey) would plead their cases before Claudia as well as the rest of us.
"It's simple Claudia" Whitey began with a belch: "I hate Flip's fucking crunching, and if he does it tonight, I'll pound those Bugles into dust!"
Kind of caught off guard by this new development, Claudia threw back a slug of brandy then asked: "Well how do you feel about this Flip?"
Flip rose from his seat and blasted into a rumbling rant: "He's a fucking psychopath, especially when drinking. He likes to destroy things. He shot up all my dad's spare florescent lights upstairs in the barn. He once loaded several BBs in the chamber of Crossman air rifle and shot Charlie in the head. He did it right out my bedroom window. We had to pick BBs out of Charlie's skull. Caught him years ago making time with my girlfriend upstairs in my own garage on the pool table. He put firecrackers in my Starship Enterprise model and blew it to bits inside my bedroom while I was taking a dump. He knocked Wade Saltsgiver off his bike breaking one arm, then caught him a week later and broke the other." Then added with a sneer: "I could go on and on about the twisted history of this mad dog."
"All that shit happened quite awhile back, Flip!" Whitey objected, flipping Flip the bird then said: "Yeah and I paid your dad for those lights, and gave you twenty bucks for the model." Flip then called him a -"Fucking Klingon!"
"Yeah, well you better scarf those Bugles out of earshot, you goon."
At this point I had enough of this back and forth drivel. Getting up I walked over by our fire, picked up the poke stick, returned to the table and threatened to beat both of them into bloody pulps if they didn't -"Shut the fuck up!"
Claudia handed down a judgment - "Flip, try a more healthy non-crunchy snack, like fruit." then said: "Whitey."
"Why all the anger?"
"Stop it right there Judge Claudia, or we'll have to listen as they spew more shit!" I so ordered while pounding the poke stick upon our table. Claudia seemed somewhat surprised by the brief stormy display of substance addled behavior. The rest of us had experienced these little outbursts many times before. In fact compared to other times, Flip and Whitey's exchange was somewhat mild and short lived.
We use to be a tight knit group but time, employment, domestic life, divorce, exile had spread us out and away from the area we grew up at, the once semi-rural North Hampton area, so close to the salt water we often caught it upon the morning breeze.
All of us had went to the same schools and lived through the same times. Some of us were babysat by each other's mothers during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. We went through the same cold war bomb drills knowing Hampton Roads would be one of the first places vaporized if it came down to a missile shootout. Although kids like Flip, Charlie and I were somewhat accepted in a white neighborhood. We grew up with racism and segregation. No African Americans lived in our neighborhood, but there were some Filipinos. I remember seeing a bumper sticker back in the mid 60s that pictured a pregnant Black woman, barefoot, belly extending, many ribbons in her un kept hair, lanky arms upon her broad hips and words that read - 'I went all the way with LBJ'. Yes some of us were taught hate as well. Crosses were burnt by some in North Hampton when a couple of black families finally moved in. More than once our area saw racial tension explode into violence. Most of us were not racists, but knew where not to be late at night. Whitey's family had moved up to Hampton from a central North Carolina clan of old Anglo stock. His father found work in the shipyard while his mother worked at the local DMV and raised two boys. Whitey's dad would take his mother down to North Carolina for the birth of each brother as he did not want his children born in Virginia. An abusive man with a short temper, Whitey's Father came from a long line of old southern racists. He hated Black People and cared less for anyone who did not look white, which put me on his shit list and very well may of been the first to refer me as a red nigger. He did not like the Bear because of his wild appearance and had a dislike of the Dibbles. Although Whitey’s father disliked indigenous people, he tolerated Flip. I remember him telling me to stay out of his yard and later would blame me for his son's chronic alcoholism. One day they up and moved from Lynnhaven to York County. There were rumors of Whitey's dad being caught having an affair with his neighbor's seventeen year old daughter. Never reported to the police as not to bring about any more shame, the girl's parents and uncles handled matters in a personal manner and shortly after Whitey's father both bruised and battered sold out and bought another place a good distance away in York County. In those days many of those cases never went before a judge because of embarrassment and shame. Whitey’s father got off easy as sometimes these types were beat to death or gunned down. Whitey was a binge drinker and would sometimes swing into savage, destructive moods, but with age those traits slowed. Now his spare time was mostly devoted to guzzling and chasing what women he could catch up to. He drank before, during and after work, not many sober moments in that life. By way of a few hard knocks upside his head, Whitey now had sense enough not to fuck up at one of these outings. Still he like to push it near the edge. Sometimes it came to blows, yet almost always all was forgiven by the next weekend if not sooner. Even now, shortly after such a heated exchange of words, Flip and Whitey were engaged in humorous conversation as if nothing ever happened.
Again I felt Claudia's foot caressing my leg and once again we saw the flickering beams of headlights. With the sound of tires turning gravel came Guy's station wagon, driving slow then coming to a stop in front of our camp. We heard a couple of warbling greetings followed by -“We're turning in, goodnight and see you in the morning."
Flip, Denny and I rose to greet them, got about halfway to the road only to have station wagon pull away towards Guy's pop-up. Being in the lead of this welcoming party I caught a quick glance of Mildred and Guy. From what I saw of them they appeared shadowy, without any facial features other than eyes that seemed to reflect our camp light in a wild animal fashion. Oddly enough Claudia only offered her companions a short wave and - "Good night." Perhaps it was the excess of high quality booze and weed affecting my sight, but I could feel my hackles rising. I looked across at the woman who was foot stroking my leg and felt the cold sharp seriousness of the situation at hand. Matters had to be settled, but not yet. There surely would be a sign when the time was right.
As we overly refreshed ourselves Denny entertained us with jokes and brief tales of his wayward exploits. We hung upon every other word as he gave account when him and his brother were in love with and dating the same young lady. "I think she got off watching R.W. and I stomping the shit out of each other."
I laughed and told him: "She wasn't the only one." As sometimes their strange little feuds would spill over into these gatherings or a night out at the bar. Both divorced these cut rate playboys thought themselves as rounders. Denny continued ogling the ladies in our camp, but as Whitey became more sloshed, Patti drew more of his attention.
Then it happened.
Whitey had tilted his head back to guzzle yet another beer and fell backwards off the bench. He hit the ground with a dull thud. I knew Whitey was out of action before he touched dirt. The ladies swiftly came to his side while Denny, Flip and I continued quaffing our drinks. "Another one goes down for the night." Flip said as we raised cups to our fallen. "Are you going to just set there and drink?" Claudia demanded and added: "He may be hurt!"
"Yeah but he won't feel it till tomorrow, say sometime in the afternoon." I informed her while motioning for the help of my companions so as to drag Whitey into our storage tent. "He's alright." Flip assured: "He once did the same thing, only off a horse he had borrowed without permission from the James River Hunt Club's stables. The horse found it's way back long before Whitey woke up in a fallow field a half a mile away in the weeds."
"The ticks and deer flies had about sucked him dry." I chuckled: "They no doubt got snockerd as well." Patti fluffed up his bedding and removed his shoes before we laid him in to rest. "I hope he isn't injured" Claudia expressed with some concern.
"All the alcohol cushioned his fall." I stated, "He's survived through much worst."
"Shit man, what do you expect?" Flip added, "He's probably put down more than a case of beer, maybe two, I've seen him passed out before in the woods behind a seven eleven store surrounded by a heap of empty Budweiser cans. That swill is gonna kill him one day."
Perhaps having hopes of winning her favor, Denny swiftly seated himself beside Patti and wasted scant time exhibiting more of a wolfish demeanor.
"Could one of you brave gentleman escort a lady to the restroom?" Claudia asked then lightly kicked my shin while looking directly me. "How about you?"
Now all other eyes were bouncing from Claudia then over on me. I rose, took up my walking stick, offering the lady a hand and said: "See ya, be back soon."While walking out of camp we were followed by the jeering howls and cat-calls issued by those at the table.
Claudia and I strolled slowly up the loop road and with the exception of a family returning from the showers there was no other traffic. We walked by several other wakeful camps, their fires burning bright enough to lend us a little light in our passing. Fellow campers talking in lowered voices, some falling silent as we passed by. Because of the firelight and shadows beyond we could see them better than they could see us. I made sure to kick up some gravel and extend a friendly - "Hallo" while passing these camps. They just may be the last folk to see me alive and in good health.
I kept Claudia to my left as much as possible, but from time to time she would halt for a good look about our surroundings. Rounding a bend she slipped her hand into mine then turn her face to me it was then I saw her eyes burning in a golden glow. Old fears, dim doubts and shadowy suspicion plagued my mind. I mentally scolded myself for being such a drunken lustful fool allowing this person of question to take me into the darkness and whatever that would soon follow. At least I had my dogwood walking stick and a bit of good steel hanging from my belt. If Claudia was indeed some supernatural creature, then perhaps a crushing blow or savage slash would allow me enough of a start to beat a retreat back to camp and company.
We arrived at the shower house without incident. Somewhat lit up, it made me feel a bit more secure and that was odd as I usually enjoyed walks in the dark. Claudia gave me a strange little smile before entering the ladies room. I walked into the men's side and relieved myself at the nearest urinal. Finishing with a flush and hand wash I exited the building. Claudia was still inside so I waited outside biding my time watching moths and other night insects flutter around an outdoor light. Below the light a trio of gluttonous toads were scarfing down anything that crawled near or flew low enough within range of their sticky tongues and wide maws. Within the light, bats swooped down upon insect prey. A pair of severed Luna Moth wings fell from above, testimony of the bat’s hunting prowess. As one of those powdery green wings landed beside my foot I heard a door open and out sashayed Claudia. "Were you lonely?" She asked, advancing towards me.
"I had company." I replied.
She looked around and not seeing a soul, inquired: "Company, who?"
I pointed my stick at the life within the light's glow and informed her: "Bugs, bats and toads. The latter seem to be in abundance, especially after that rain we got."
"Throw in a few newts and you have a stew." She laughed, then swiftly stepped in and threw her arms around me. Expecting something like this would happen at some point during our walk, it still jolted me a bit. Should I stand there like a pine tree, arms hanging to my side like snow laden branches while she held me tight, or return her friendly affection in kind? Trembling a little inwardly, I pulled Claudia even more close to me. She writhed and purred in my arms. Funny, upon leaving our encampment I told myself to keep both eyes open, but now with her nibbling my ear, they were closed tight while in in this passionate embrace. Then her hot kisses fell upon my lips, face and neck. Almost smothered by this, I tilted my head back so as to get some air. With blood pounding my temples and heart thumping like a kettle drum, I looked upon her beautiful face, which seemed even more so beneath the glowing light. My will was all but captured by those strange eyes. I strained to turn mine away, but could not.
I don't know if it was the approaching elderly couple or some primitive instinct that allowed me to free myself from that embrace. Stepping back a couple of paces all I could manage was a shaky:"Good evening folks." and a tip of the brim, all the while contemplating the tightness at my fly.
I was kind of a mess.
The older couple responded to my greeting with mute cow-like stares, then swiftly made for the doors. Claudia smirked at them as they hurried by. With her hand upon my back she prodded me forth. My head was swirling with conflicting thoughts. Thoughts that were not blending smoothly. Vampires, beautiful evil supernatural creatures, extra-marital campground romping and how she would look laying upon her belly, naked, stretched out upon a sleeping bag, with morning's light passing through the window flaps. Claudia pouted her lips and rubbed my shoulder as if she knew there was a struggle of sorts thrashing about within my skull.
"A little friendly affection never hurts." Claudia stated, then asked: "You've never had an affair before?" Somewhat thrown off by her question, I answered rather sharply: "I have not made it a point to think about it or do so as of yet."
Looking down at my crotch, she inquired: "And you were not at a point back at the shower house?"
"Pointing in that direction." I replied. Then in a bit of lewd bravado, I reached around and groped her shapely rear. Could I be fooling myself thinking Claudia was just as much in my power as I was in hers?
The closer we were to camp the safer I felt until the sound of rustling leaves and underbrush halted us in our tracks. Following the noise we looked up a gentle rise and spotted two ghostly white blurry shapes moving through the trees appearing as if they were looking down at us. They then stepped back into the deeper darker shadows. Claudia clung to me and for the first time her eyes blazed with fright. She shook with fear and begged to get going. I cocked an ear attempting to hear any other sound. Hearing nothing else out of the ordinary I stated: "Those little pale hobgoblins, I'll bet. We'll have to scout out where they are lodging."
Enduring all of this lustful bliss and weirdness, I needed a good slug of strong drink.
The glow of our camp was indeed a welcomed sight. Claudia and I watched for a short while at the goings on. Flip was trying to find something on the radio while Denny was hindered by a damp deck as he attempted to entertain Patti with card tricks. All three appeared rather deep in their cups and were unaware of us watching them from the shadows.
"Coming in!" I shouted.
"Well come on in!" Flip shouted in return. The Birdman continued playing with the boom box tuning knob finding nothing but a Wayne Newton call-in interview and a jazz station. We opted for the jazz.
Patti started giggling and pointing at my face.
"What?" I demanded. Calling me aside, Flip whispered: "You got lipstick smeared on your mug." Snatching a paper towel off the roll, I swiftly wiped my face. All of them cackled like school kids until I scooped up a hand full of cooler ice and pelted them soundly with a shower of frozen missiles.
Flip barked: "Just for that, you ain't getting none of this."
"None of what?" I inquired.
Flip reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a decent-sized joint then went on to tell me he had rolled up all the leftover roach weed he had been saving.
"Well fire it up." I suggested. Flip stuck that beak-like nose into the air then rolled his
beady eyes downwards at me and softly asked: "What's the Majeeek word?"
Giving in, I answered: "Please."
"Good enough" Flip said, then put butane flame to the bone.
It had cooked our gourds and pretty much goofed us out. Claudia's mouth was drawn in a tight grin as if she was trying to suppress laughter, but some of it slipped through her nose resulting in a snorting nasal chirp. Patti on the other hand could not stop giggling. Denny rambled something about Ahayuta Achi and doorways. Flip continued to fiddle with the radio, zipping back and forth through static and garbled noise. That last one had knocked my noodle up to the stars. For now the effects of that potent weed seemed to have expelled any bewitchment that may have influence my behavior earlier.
"Stop playing with that fucking boom box for a bit."
I told Flip of what Claudia and I had saw further up the loop road, then requested his help in finding where these critters were lodging. Always up for a hike, Flip agreed.
Again I felt Claudia's caressing foot. Smiling she said: "You don't need to go looking for them now." Rising from my seat I informed her: "I heard no one else say otherwise." With that said, Flip and I took up our walking sticks then departed into the darkness.
We quick-stepped it about a hundred yards up the loop road, well out of sight and earshot from our encampment before I called a halt.
"We're not looking for albinos are we?" Flip asked while lighting up a cigarette.
Bumming a smoke from him, I said: "No we're not."
Flip leaned his stick against an oak bole, exhaled a smoke ring, then inquired: “Vampire, witch, or something else?"
"Maybe all rolled into one." I replied catching a light up from Flip's smoke.
"She carries on like a human." Flip stated, "She eats, drinks, sleeps, has body functions and from what I've seen likes to get frisky."
"That don't mean shit!" I snapped, then added: "But you may be on to something."
"Oh yeah, what?"
"She may be a witch."
"I don't think she's black one." Flip returned, "They don't carry on in such a manner and not nearly as pleasant as what we got back at camp."
"Maybe red." I said, still not ruling out various types of soul eaters.
"You realize the reds feed as well." Flip reminded.
"Not if we taint the stewpot."
"What is there to do, kill it?"
Taking a long drag from my cigarette and exhaling a stream of smoke, I informed Flip: "I'm no witch hunter or devil slayer."
"Your grandfather was."
"Was!" I growled - "Look what became of him."
"Yeah but he took out Ma Slate and her servants before taking his leave."
"His terrible end" I corrected - "Wounded beyond all healing and he was suppose to be visiting family." I then insisted he not bring up my grandfather's demise again.
"So we lay like deviled eggs on a platter?" Flip asked and added: " She could very well be feeding off us now, even with this itchy crud in our navels."
"She could be part of the food chain herself." I said leading Flip into a vacant camp site.
We seated ourselves at the dark, rough bare table. "Food chain? What would be eating that?" Flip wondered aloud.
"Bigger fish, eating the medium size fish that prey on the small fry." I replied, laughing at my own words. Then I continued: "Perhaps our two little white visitors from the other night."
"Hunting?" Flip asked.
"Why roll a drunk for his bottle, when you can knock over the liquor store?" Then I went on telling Flip how frightened Claudia became while seeing those two white shapes on the rise. "So you think they're hunting her?" Flip questioned still very much blasted by all the weed he had been smoking.
"Maybe. Maybe something else as well."
"Protectors " I returned, flipping my cigarette butt into the wet fire pit.
Flip reminded me: "But we're not locals."
Too long on a damp bench, I rose and mentioned to Flip - "Earlier Denny jabbered something about the Ahayuta Achi, which got me thinking."
"He always jabbers about weird shit when he's fucked up."
I agreed. "True, but some years ago when Denny first got back from the southwest we were getting fucked up together down by Lynnhaven Lake and he told me something about the Ahayuta Achi."
"The Ahayuta what?"
"The Ahayuta Achi, powerful spirit beings of the Zuni and other Pueblo People. Hunters.
War gods, they are also the protectors of revelers, gamblers, fools and mischief makers" I then went on: "Appearing as small but powerful twins, they are said to be the destroyers of evil beings and monsters."
Flip objected: "But we ain't in the Southwest."
"True, we're not, but there's lots of legends throughout the Americas of similar beings. Pint-sized monster killing twins."
"And we're caught in the middle." Flip said with a sigh, "Like the small fry."
"Some way-out crazy shit, eh?"
"I hear you." Flip replied, " I don't think it's the weed doing all of this."
"How mean you?" I asked.
Flip cleared his throat and answered: "I noticed those little white folk, didn't show up until Claudia's crew had settled in."
"Yep, go on."
"And Claudia, she looks to be getting younger by the hour."
Tamping the ground with my stick, I responded: "Weird huh?"
"She was a nice looking older bird to begin with."
"And now she's a knock out." I said, my thoughts drifting back to when she emerged from the bathroom in Bear's suite.
"Not too shabby." Flip added.
"Not too shabby indeed, almost, if not inhuman beauty and it's highly possible she's gonna want to bed down over here again tonight." I told Flip while making a motion to get back on the loop road as this vacant site gave me an uneasy feeling.
"Yeah, seems like she's has taste for you on this early morning." Flip said smiling, but with a serious look in his bird-like eyes.
"You don't reckon?" then told him I had a plan.
"I'd love to hear this."
"It's all rather simple Flip, we’ll outlast her."
"That's right, throughout tomorrow and tomorrow night, then she's off to Fort Valley with Mildred and Guy."
"Then we're not going to Fort Valley?"
"No. We'll head South and make camp either at Lewis or Loft Mountain, maybe even beyond. Get a good distance away."
Flip asked: "Why not just stay here and tell her to get lost?"
"Because if you sting somebody's or something's emotions, there's always the devil to pay." I replied, knowing there was a chance of her taking some ghastly form and tear us into shreds, or else cast terrible spells our way.
"How are you gonna keep her off in the mean time?"
"Make it where she wants to get off."
"I hope you know what you're doing, don't want to see any of my friends turned into mudpuppies or spring lizards."
Over shadows and through the dark trees I saw our fire's friendly glow as we neared camp. "Coming in!"
"Come in!" It was Patti's ever cheerful voice calling us in. Flip and I ambled to our place at the table. Being messed up it took me a few seconds before noticing Denny was absent. "What happen to Denny?" Patti pointed over to the Dibble's tent. "Said he felt a little woozy and called it a night."
"Fine home guard he is." Flip sneered.
"We did just fine out here on our own, thank you." Claudia informed us with a smirk, then was curious to hear of our scouting mission.
"Couldn't find any trace of them, but you never know, there could be some caves around here to hide in."
"Cave dwellers? Please!" Patti laughed then asked if Flip and I checked the RV section.
"Yeah there's probably a whole family of them vacationing up the way in a Winnebago." Flip said while Patti poured him a slug of rum.
"They're up to something." I stated accepting Patti's offer to pour me one as well.
"Like what?" asked Claudia, now sipping on an ale. It seemed I had captured her interest. Gesturing as if drawing a bowstring, I answered: "Hunting perhaps."
There was a flicker of fear in Claudia's strange eyes and attempting to brush this boogeyman business aside, she stated: "Flip is probably right,, they're probably just some freak family staying up at the RV section."
"Yeah, but roaming through the brush at night." Flip countered while swirling the dark rum in his cup. "When would you expect an albino to be outside?" Patti asked while tapping her fingers upon the table.
I reminded them: "They only come out at night."
It was sometime after midnight here at our Big Meadows encampment. Four of us were still awake and celebrating. Radio volume down low Flip finally managed to find a classic rock station that was playing some really lengthy Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Claudia's eyes scanned the outer darkness as did mine. I halfway expected at anytime for some horrible battle to be joined. Flip appeared a little nervous as well, but was soon soothed by Patti's ever cheerful demeanor and a pull off the rum.
The music ending for a commercial break, some hair lip trying to sell discount mattresses, followed by a weather report from the DC area, then static again. Flip threw out a few choice words, got up and turned the boom box off.
"I could twist up a wee morning bone." I offered. Flip nodded his head in approval, while Claudia shook her head and asked: "Don't you guys ever get enough?"
"Can I tell you something?"
I downed a good quaff of rum and reminded her: "This is vacation and we have been known to carry on in such a manner till after dawn and beyond, or else hitting the dirt like Whitey." Cup raised, I then toasted my three companions with "Troopers go on!"
Getting to my gear I rolled up a small one which allowed us a few tokes apiece. Between the drinking and smoking Patti was just about all the way up there. Strangely enough, if the night couldn't be anymore strange Patti had taken an early Tuesday morning shining to Flip. She heaped him with praise and rambled some slurred compliments concerning his camping prowess, this tinged with a fair amount of giggling. He beamed, rose from his seat, entered the tent, then crawled out with a small cushion for Patti to sit on as a reward for her kind words.
"What a charmer." I mused aloud. In a voice that was half purr and half slur, Patti thank him again for fixing her bike chain all those years ago then leaned in and planted a big wet kiss full on his lips. 'Holy shit' I thought, 'She must either totally snockered or in love, or both.'
Maybe until the booze wears off or by the first light of day.
It must of been the magic of a dark highland early morning that brought the four of us together at this small quaint picnic table gathering. Flip and I, old traveling companions enjoying lively conversation, sharing good cheer along with fine distilled hard spirits and the company of beautiful women - An exotic adult entertainer and a ageless vampire vixen. Many miles away from home, somewhere in the scenic Shenandoah National Park. We appeared no different from any other two couples camping in the woods, tanked up, buzzed out, not the way most people would be in the wee hours of a Tuesday morning. Unless they were on one of our vacations. Even Flip was getting a bit deeper in the cup.
"Careful." I warned, "You don't want to be sleeping in your own puke again, do you?"
"I'm pacing myself." he said on a belch. We were completely wasted. A good time for some scary tales. Flip turned low the lantern light and spoke of the ghost horse that haunted James River Hunt Club's show grounds near the Irish jump. He also talked about 'The Follower', an entity that either trailed off to the side or behind travelers walking upon lonely trails. One could hear it's footfalls, but could never see it. I brought up the haunted Old House Woods near the Chesapeake Bay in Mathews County where there have been many sightings of ghostly Indians, 16th century Spanish conquistadors, pirates, 18th century British red coats and an old storm woman that hovered over the woods before bad weather.
I mention creatures such as the worm folk who lived in caverns, emerging at night to rend, slay and feed. Flip added: "And there's mountain devils too."
"Mountain devils ?" Claudia asked with a giggle.
"Big hairy fuckers who roam the ridges and remote hollows." Flip replied, "Never seen one, but my Uncle Billy knows someone who did down in the Smokey Mountains."
I asked: "Was Billy’s friend smoking that wacky weed?"
"No more wacky than your worm people." Patti laughed then brought up, "What about the spooks of Crawford Road in Yorktown?" Growing up in such an old and historical area Patti had knowledge of these local mysterious goings on. Listening quietly, Claudia added very little to the conversation. Her glances into the outer darkness beyond our camp light, had the Birdman nervously looking about as well.
"What's the matter Flipping Bird?" I inquired.
He lit up a cigarette and replied: "Guess I kinda got a little creeped out thinking about those cave dwellers you were talking about, sounds like the type of critter that would kill people in their sleep." Pouring another measure of rum I informed him: "Heard talk of them being in Wythe and Tazewell counties dragging hill folk and livestock down into their holes." Then added: "You never know, the hills around here could very well be honeycombed with caverns."
Flip downed a good measure of rum, chased it with some ale, and then tapped upon the Puma hunting knife at his side. Like me he believed in and feared such things of the night. Patti taking notice of Flip's seemingly worried condition, placed her hand over his in a comforting manner and spoke to him as if he was a tiny toddler. "Oh Flippy, do I need to hold and protect you tonight?"
Flip's thin face split in a caddish smile. "That would be comforting indeed." he said. With that Patti got up, walked over to Flip's large dome tent, unzipped the flap and crawled in. For a short while there was a glow within, she had found the small lantern. Her head then popped out of the door flap and she bid us a goodnight.
The Birdman gazed at his tent in what looked to be dropped jaw, glassy eyed bewilderment. I was somewhat surprised myself. "Damn boy, she sure has took a shining to you." I then asked: "Did you slip something in her drink?"
"I heard that!" came from inside the tent.
Flip gave me a rather odd look then told me: "Turn off everything and store away any gear before you turn in, where ever that might be."
"In my bed, you cur, so y'all are gonna have to scoot your asses over!" I growled. Flip nervously picked at his teeth, bade us a goodnight and entered the tent.
“Awwwahh, isn't that so sweet ?" Claudia said with a big smile.
I replied: "Like a sun melted, ant covered candy bar on the sidewalk."
"Are you going to sleep in there too?"
"That's where my bedroll is." Then I inquired about her arrangements.
"After those spooky stories and those albino pygmies running around the campground, I'd like to stay with you, if that's alright." She cast me a doe eyed look while awaiting a reply. Knowing I was forking off onto a dangerous path, my response was - "No trouble, but mind you I toss and turn in my sleep."
From within the tent there was a bit of laughter and we heard Flip's voice. "More like you toss off and then turn over and sleep."
"The worm folk are gonna grind you into hamburger." I laughed, but I knew that a divorce lawyer could make a more horrible mess out of him.
Allowing time enough for Patti and Flip to settle in, I poured me another good measure of rum, then proceeded to engage my beautiful companion in conversation. Claudia lightly danced around any questions concerning her past, but instead talked about how she looked forward to camp at Fort Valley. "You guys are going?" She asked with a flash of amber fire glinting in her eyes.
"Still have to talk it over with the others." I reminded her, glad there was no need for falsehoods at this point in time. As the rum sloshed happily within my skull, I once again felt drawn to Claudia. Her face was a hazy glow of timeless beauty. Her lips red, full and inviting. She was a sober man's lovely uncertainty and a drunkard’s dream darling. Hot racing thoughts and mental images shook in my pickled brain matter. Her luminous eyes held me fast. I became lost in her gaze and the world seemed to get a lot smaller.
With those eyes she took me on a strange journey through time and into worlds within worlds. Eyes locked, my hands sought something real and solid. I fumbled for my cup and knocked it over spilling out several good drops while looking upon a strange vista. A wattle and mud hut village overlooking a huge placid lake or inland sea that reflected a weird violet hued sky and the countless glowing stars. Between the village and I, approached a beautiful young woman with a panther-like stride. With the exception of painted woad swirls, a string of beads around that trim waist and the foamy mass of chestnut hued hair falling over her shoulders, she was quite nude. She advanced and then halted only inches away from me. Her eyes blazed like twin sunrises as she spoke in a long forgotten tongue. In this dream-like state I demanded: "What the hell are you saying girl?" Not knowing if I said it or thought it. Her laughter was like sweet music. I felt a drinking cup being placed in my hand and with an tremendous effort of sheer will, I turn my eyes away from Claudia's.
'What a fucking rush!' For a minute or so it felt as if I had been spun around on my head like a top.
Seeing that she had poured and handed me another rum while being away, I thanked her and threw it all down my gullet. It would do me no good to overly react to what just occurred, so I carried on as usual by pouring myself another. Then up out of the early morning's gloomy dark, Claudia asked, batting her lashes: "Do you find me attractive?"
I couldn't tell if she was vainly fishing for compliments or fucking with my head. Trying hard not to slur or blather I replied: "I thought you were rather comely, when y'all first visited our camp." Now the rum was lewdly talking. "And frankly speaking, I've imagined how you'd be on a wild romp, but keep in mind I've been on a three night throw down and care not if I make good sense of matters."
Claudia burst out in laughter and quoted - "Romp?" then said: "You are a smooth talker."
"I was being polite." I returned, "How else could I put it, especially after you bounced your boobs in my face and after our time in front of the shower house?" Then added "Yep, romping, what were you thinking of, playing board games?"
"Well I'm no common campground cozy." Claudia proclaimed, then jiggled her breasts. She then casually rose from the bench, took off her jean jacket, wiggled out of her gown. There she was, either a beautiful vision of womanhood, or something else. I lit up a cigarette and ogled her as she strolled over to her shoulder bag and removed an almost transparent saffron hued nightshirt. Taking a good drag from my smoke then realizing I lit the filter end did little to embellish this special moment. I had became lustful, yet remained fearful.
Oh what a terrible mix.
It was just before she donned her sheer shift did I recall seeing the string of beads around her waist. Walking over to me, Claudia tapped my shoulder and said: "Let's go to bed." Grabbing a flashlight from our table, she sashayed over to Flip's tent, unzipped the flap, then crawled in after showing me a fair amount of her well turn legs and backside. I sucked in a breath of air, looked up at the stars, checked the fire, stored all goods and turned off the lantern before calling it a night and hopefully not a morning after. Upon entering the tent Claudia turned on Flip‘s battery powered lantern, then put a finger to her lips and issued a - "Shhhhhhhhh" She then cast the beam at Patti and Flip, all snuggled up in sleep together like baby squirrels, well in all truth, Flip looked more like a sleeping baby possum. Claudia then spread out my sleeping bag to accommodate the two of us and snuggled half under my down filled quilt. I pulled off my boots, jeans and shirt stripping down to a pair of drawers. A good way to sleep, but I had mixed feelings about the Khyber knife beside me.
"What's with the knife?" Claudia asked out of concern.
"Goblins, beasts,, crazed inbreeds,,, and such." I replied on a long yawn before being weirdly swept away from what was left of this unusual night. Seemingly my spirit traveled into a strange dream. Things were happening but I had no control of what my body did. In that dark tent, I could only feel, but could see nothing. I can’t recall any intercourse occurring, but most certainly other acts did...
Edited by Atehequa, 27 December 2014 - 12:54 AM.