Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dark Incarnate - Chapter2 Book2

All non erotic so far, lots of plot I feel I'm plodding through but it's important for the story.  Will pick up soon I promise. 


Kelly didn't notice as she drifted off into her own thoughts.  When she blinked back Billy was gone and the room quiet.  She looked at the canvas with mistrust.  It was set neatly against the stand on the floor.  Had a Nargle done that?  She looked at the light burning behind a shade above her.  Dry husks of dead gnats and moths baked on shade against the light bulbs.  She'd never be able to find a nargle in there.  She was here wasn't she?  Her reality... the idea of being stuck in a trance startled her.

It was a scary thought.  She looked at the canvas again.  It beckoned.  Billy was right, it was really late.  Her eyes felt heavy and the whole day felt like a dream; her imagination gone wild.  Maybe she could sleep now.  She cut the desk light off and started for the door.  Her finger paused on the switch and she looked back.  Looking back felt irresistible. 

The canvas had become a mirror again.  Her pajamma legs stopped just short of her ankles.  They had been shrunk one too many times in the wash.  Billy had probably done all her clothes on high heat...  The gentle joint and Achilles tendon at the back of her smooth pink feet looked tender.  How was she suppose to fight this thing, this perfect evil?  Who was she?  Her hands tugged her pants down to cover her weak looking ankles.  Inadvertently pulling the rim down below her hips and resting just above her mons mound.  The curves of her toned tummy and top of her butt threw tantalizing shadows.     

The canvas rippled and turned white.  A clean white tunnel sitting on the floor that lead to another place.  She stopped, fighting to turn and leave it behind.  Once her mind was off it, it would disappear.  Again the question, had she done it or was something being showed to her?  And by what? 

Kelly stepped back into the room and shut the door.  Billy would go crazy if he saw.  The tunnel was curious, was it her question that created it?  She moved closer but didn't touch the canvas to put it back up.  She knelt by it on the floor.  The perception deepened and the tunnel lead into a larger white room.  It looked clean like a peaceful place in her mind.  Last time she touched the canvas it had scared her, but this was different, she could feel it was safe.  Billy would check on her before he left for school.  She giggled thinking of him finding nothing but the empty canvas, but it wasn't a joking matter.  She got on all fours.  It looked like she could just crawl in and back out if she wanted.  The space was tight if she had to hurry but it was a chance the was about to take.  She didn't raise her hand to touch it.  Somehow, maybe it was the light that spilled from the window into her room, or maybe it was the depth, but she pushed in head first without fear. 

The brightness made her wince as she emerged from the tunnel into the larger space.  It was like her backyard but made of light.  She feared the open space of the yard last night but not this light.  Before standing she looked back into her room.  Her world was on the other side this time.  It was a window between places, and hers looked dark and ominous compared to this place.  Kelly stood eyes wide and full of wonder.  The place was simple yet more than she could imagine.  Safe, clean, anesthetic smell like ionized water. 

Something caught her attention on the floor.  A black circle, like a manhole cover.  A Nargle.  Her comic face on it changed to a smile and excited eyes.  It changed to a black kitten and rolled on the ground begging for a tummy rub.  Kelly's heart swelled and she looked back at the doorway to her room.  It was stable. 

Her easy touch slid behind the kitten ear for a scratch.  The creature erupted in soft purrrrs of appreciation.  Kelly lovingly scooped it into her hands.  She wanted to sit and when she turned her couch was behind her. 

Kelly straightened.  The warm kitten in her hands didn't notice the changed but Kelly worried at the couch.  It was hers, she knew.  It was her couch from her apartment at this very moment, but without Billy and without disturbing her reality.  She looked to the window again only able to see a strip of carpet in her room. 

The kitten stood and pawed at her stomach before pushing his tiny claws into her shirt and started climbing.  Kelly relaxed.  "Whoa little guy."  She smiled and held the kitten to her chest sitting on the couch.  The soft fuzzball climbed her shirt like an obstacle course. 

"Just what are you little guy?"  she asked the question but as the kitten played in her lap she knew the answer.  This wasn't her first time encountering a nargle.  Her breaths got deeper and her eyes closed.  She didn't want to remember.  She had a sense of falling as her minds eye remembered the wolf.  It's look of compassion before bursting into fairy dust.  But before that.  The Bee that attacked Candace, the grub she first drew, all of them.  Those had been twisted nargels, tortured and changed, zombified in cage of poisoned intentions and puppet strings. 

The kitten in her lap started to sleep.  It's tiny chest rose and fell.  It was warm but it felt more alive, more substance than a shape shifting shadow, it was a spirit of it's own.  The couch made shadows in the space and another black kitten came from under the edge.  Another popped up on the arm and started over to her on the back.  In the light with Kelly, Darkness couldn't twist them into his will.  More and more kittens surrounded Kelly who was overcome with joy.  They radiated pure love for her.  They loved her as they loved being in the light.  The nargles were slaves to a purpose, but Kelly was changing that. 

She couldn't believe it there were no less that fifteen kittens on and around her.  She stood up like a kitten Christmas tree.  One jumped and landed skidding on the floor.  Another lost grip of her shirt and started to fall before sinking claws into her pajama pants.  The kitten didn't weigh two pounds but pulled her pants down exposing her clean panties.  They felt Darkness was coming even in this place of light.  They all jumped, scattered, and ran disappearing under the couch. 

Kelly jerked her pants up and stepped closer to the tunnel.  It was quiet and she felt that whatever she was suppose to do here was done.  And she didn't want to overstay her welcome.  She dropped to all fours and hustled back into her room.  The air felt different, stuffier and laden with smells and life.  The canvas had closed and sat blank on the floor once she was out.

"I'll have to try that again!"  but no one was around to hear not even the nargles. 

Sleep never came for Billy.  Blue morning light was filtering in through the curtains.  He lie awake so mindful of his love upstairs and the danger she was in.  What had happened to her was horrible, beyond forgiveness or understanding but somehow he knew it was far from over.  Kelly seemed to know it too but she wasn't afraid.  He didn't understand her.  Jealousy stabbed at his heart when he thought about it.  Why wouldn't she turn from this path; take a safer road?  His alarm would go off soon.  It wasn't actually his alarm but a pink one he borrowed from Kelly's room.  A smile inched across his face as he heard the first sign of her since he left.  He had wanted to go sit outside her studio door all night until she went to bed but knew better.  He was wide awake but stayed quiet and still.

The studio door finally creaked open.  Kelly's catlike grace felt stronger than ever as she moved down the stairs.  She wanted to run and jump over the railing.  She felt lithe and smooth like flowing water.  It could have been the first morning light but she felt incredibly awake and alert.  The note was on the table and Kelly couldn't help but step out onto the back porch.  Billy jumped up worried but relaxed when he saw she was just standing in the morning quiet.

It was out there.  It was in a hiding in a place of pure darkness gathering strength.  The Nargles were dancing in the shadows too, there was so much more to life than she have ever knew.  She had always thought exploration and knowledge came from drawing a bigger map; knowing where the roads went.  Her spatial existence knew no other way.  What she had to understand now wasn't knowing what was on the other side of the mountain but within herself.  Worlds within worlds.  How many dimensions existed in her back yard right now? 

Her mind came to the Darkness again.  It was weak and growing power in her world just as she grew in it's.  There was a relationship between everything, the Darkness, the nargles, her emotions, and the physical world she walked but she didn't understand any of it.  The Nargles, she didn't understand them at all.  They were connected to the Darkness or maybe the Darkness used them like she had.  They had chased her home that night, and drew her to the dumpster behind Country Kitchen.  Did they operate on their own or only through influence?  They were like spirits, but the word felt wrong.  They were... a consciousness, a thing.  She had felt each one different and yet strong enough to distinguish but all the same. 

Most of the small backyard was lit, the sun wasn't over the hilltop yet but it would be shortly.  Billy would find her out here for sure.  Several Nargles were over in the creek bed, they seemed to become more active when she noticed them and even more so as she watched.  Just as she guessed, Billy pushed the sliding glass door open and stepped out.

"Good... Morning?" 

"Why does everything you say have to be a question?" Kelly didn't mean to snap at him but she didn't like being disturbed.

"Sorry, I didn't know whether to say good morning or good night."  He came up beside her and leaned against the rail wondering if she had been looking at something or just starring off into the distance.  "Geeezz, I didn't mean anything."

"Whatever Billy.  Did you get the list off the table?"

"I will."  He wanted to say so much more but didn't have the words.  "I didn't expect to see you up so early; you thinking about coming to school?"  Not knowing what to say was worse than being helpless.  If he was helpless the die was cast, and it wasn't up to him but knowing there may be something he should say or do without knowing what was so much worse. 

"In a few hours I'll have been up for a full day."

"You didn't sleep at all last night!"  His eyes were wide. 

Kelly softened and cracked a smile, "You finally said something to me that wasn't a question.  Well it was a question but not said like one."  He looked at her confused and she just shook her head and waved the comment off.

"I really think you should go to school today even if you're dead tired; it would be good for you."

"How do you know what I need?"

"I... just know that you've been though... ahh.."  His eyes betrayed his memories.  She was beautiful and strong beside him.  Her hair clean and straight, her face milky and smooth, lips gentle red and healthy.  But Billy saw her as he had seen her days ago when her lips were dehydrated, chapped, and cracked; her face had.. had... and her hair... and her body.... ... It was finally too much and he looked away. 

Kelly let out a heavy sigh, rolled her eyes and walked away.  It was that look, she had seen it on his face so many times.  That look infuriated her.  In Billy's eyes she was reduced to nothing.  Her strength and eyes full of wonder, her hope all of it was taken when he looked at her.  Of all the people she could have been saved by why Billy?  Annoyance rose to anger.  She wanted it gone.  Those memories, what had been done.  She had to separate herself from that weakness to fight.  It was from a different time, a different life.  Kelly knew that was a lie, but it made her feel better. 

She bounded up the stairs two at a time and paused at the top looking at the bathroom door.  Maybe it would be good to go see Candace.  Anyone but Billy.  No one else would know.  There would be questions yes, but Billy was the only one who knew.  Maybe that's why Candace hated him so much.  He helped her once too. 

Candace.  Her name and memory felt sweet now.  So much had happened, seeing Candace again wouldn't be so simple but Kelly longed for what they had once shared.  That feeling of closeness and understanding.  If anyone would be able to understand it would be Candace.  Kelly slipped inside the bathroom and closed the door clicking the door lock.  It was always warmer in the bathroom.  Maybe going to school wouldn't be so bad.  She did feel great despite the lack of sleep.  The thought never occurred to her that Billy might want to use the bathroom.

The first spit of water was ice cold but soon warmed until steam rose from behind the curtain.  Kelly slid her clothes off and stood looking at herself in the mirror.  Nothing had changed.  Nothing she could see anyway, but she felt different, looked at her body in a different way.  Somehow she had never consciously thought of herself as a woman.  A body of purpose.  Climbing in the shower Kelly was aware, too aware of her nakedness and vulnerability.  She was something special.  Not as the superficial person and skill set that Mrs. Francis coveted, or even the womanly wiles that Billy desired, but something more.  A kindness in her spirit a purity, a naive hope that had somehow survived.  That's what the Nargles reacted to.  The water was hot and her skin soaked up the warmth and soothing steam.  Everyone and everything wanted something from her.  To leave her somehow with less when they were done.  But what did she want?  Her small hand ran the slick lump of soap over her breasts, stomach and legs.  It felt safe in the shower again.  She had feared it may never feel the same but even though her back was turned to the drain she felt safe.  Her body yearned beneath her soapy hands.  Soap suds clung to the faint patch of light brown pubic hair at her mons.  Her hand rubbed the soap in.  She wasn't sure how long it had been since her last shower, and though she had only been around the house in PJ's, the feminine odor was strong.  Sensual desire burned, but Kelly only felt a sense of lose.  Her finger dipped between her labia relishing the thousands of nerve endings tingling her brain with slick clean goodness.  The soap mixed with her biological slick and she sunk her finger in.  It wasn't like before, her body was open now.  It was the discovery of what had been done.  Her body clenched on the finger as she flicked it inside feeling the fleshy pressure.  A pumpknot, the muscle of her cervix, her tiny clenched opening was just inside.  She tried to forget, tried not to remember and put it in the back of her mind but it wouldn't.  She thought of how her body had been abused and beaten, how this had been pushed and stretched back as deep as her body would allow.  The equivalent to her body's Fort Knox had been raided. 

Billy's knuckles rapped on the door, "I kinda need to use the bathroom."  To Billy he was being quiet, polite, and patient, but she was used to living alone. 

Kelly breathed an angry sigh though clenched teeth.  She knew he didn't have long before the bus; she was figureing whether to go or not herself.  And for him to bother her again so soon, he must really have to go.  Again the sore feeling; he had seen her naked before.  This time she wasn't... like before and she had a shower curtain, but there was no mystery to it, no reason to say no.  It hurt.  When she had ventured into the bathroom while Billy took a shower there was a tension in the air.  Tension of knowing someone you only knew at school was naked in the same room.  That naive sense of childhood was gone.  "Come on."  She was done and exploring how her body changed wasn't helping her mood.

Billy was modest and turned his back to her while standing above the toilet.  The air was steamy and smelled of fresh fruit.  He fumbled his penis though his open zipper, but nothing happened.  The bus ride would be torture if he didn't go now, his bladder was full.  He was too aware of Kelly.  He swallowed a lump in his throat, he knew he should have just went outside.  He felt like a pet, some sort of guard dog.  Billy was so absorbed in his self loathing that he relaxed and finally began to pee. 

"Are you done yet?  Gezz Louise..." 

"Yeah, sorry.."  He wasn't done but cut the flow short.  It burned, but he would do anything to stay on Kelly's good side.  "So are you coming to school?"  Billy zipped up feeling a drop or two escape after cutting it short. 

"I guess so.  I do wan to ask Mrs. Francis for something.  What time is it?"

"You've got ten minutes."  Billy left the bathroom ecstatic, not only did he not have to worry about her, but maybe she would realize just how crazy she was acting. 

Ten minutes later the bus roared around the bend.  Billy looked back at the apartment nervously.  The bus flashed yellow then red as it pulled up and opened the door.  He was dumbstruck and didn't know what to do.  She had to come back to the real world.  If she didn't come back to school soon the whole charade would come down real fast.  He didn't want to do it and was already numbering the things to leave out, but maybe it was time to bring Candace up to speed.  And he had almost made up his mind to do it when Kelly came bursting out of the apartment.  He felt a little selfish at the thought but at least it wasn't on his shoulders anymore.  Either she would be fine, or an adult would do what needed to be done. 

Billy took the first empty seat.  He didn't see Candace; she had been riding the bus this week.  Usually her dad took her to school and her mother would when he was away, but since Kelly had was hopeing to see her.  Kelly took her seat beside him. 

"Too bad Candace isn't riding today; you need to talk to her."  Billy felt things might go back to normal if things went right today.  He was also glad Kelly didn't have Candace's sense of social image but wasn't sure how to act.  He didn't know who paid attention but coming out of Kelly's house would might draw undue attention and that was the last thing the needed.

"I'm sure I'll see her at school."  Kelly was short and didn't feel like idle chatter.  She looked around the bus and at kids like it was her first time. 

The ride to school was long and quiet between the two.  To Billy and anyone paying attention she looked silly, like the first time a small child sees snow.  Luckily the kids were all self absorbed in their own chatter and gossip. 

They approached the bus lot where they would be let off.  Billy started to feel more and more nervous as he saw the other kids.  Surely someone would notice soon.  Kelly, however; didn't seem bothered at all, she felt just as sure of herself and place as ever.  The bus stopped and the driver pulled the mechanized lever to open the doors.  The day was about to begin.  

Single file the students stepped off the bus and into the madness.  The bell would ring shortly and the hallways were packed with kids trying to savor the last few moments with their friends.  Girls hoping for just a little more gossip about which boys liked who, and boys oblivious gathered with similar ranks to wonder about the girls.  Jocks, Cool Kids, Bad Boys, Goths, and Dorks created strategic huddles to look at their prospective girl counterpart groups.  In the middle of the meyham other students were just trying to get to class.  Rivers of bodies flowed through the small hallways.  An outside intelligence might wonder what sort of hive mind controlled the orderly chaos.  Kelly was in her own world again.  To Billy she looked out of place, one who doesn't belong, but her blank stare and steady determined forward push was very much in sync.  She knew just where to go and how fast.  Billy struggled to keep up.  She would hope two steps ahead around a blind corner at the exact moment to avoid an oncoming torrent of traffic, while he ran right into the middle of hell.  He called after her but she was gone. 

He finally gave up and stopped.  A river of students coming up the hall on one side and another going down.  He was bumped pushed and cursed at but he couldn't figure for the life of him what Kelly was after.  As soon as she stepped off the bus she looked to be following an invisible trail like a hound.  He didn't want to admit it, and it worried him to consider the possibility.  Kelly had been convinced she could see something he couldn't, Nargles...

Kelly rounded the corner to the walkway to nowhere.  The world faded, the students distant.  She was alone and moved unhindered, unaffected.  This was it she was about to have answers.  It was so simple to her why hadn't she investigated this before.  She walked forward and finally out of the flow of kids.  She was in a trance but no one even noticed her as she stepped off the edge of concrete.  This place, the beggining.  Her shoes moved the leaves like heavy snow.  It was out there, she didn't know what but she had never been so sure.  She walked further into the shabby forest and stood in the middle of five small sapling trees, equally spaced, five points.  Her feet spread shoulder length like she was about to lift weights.  She had arrived and looked down.  They had been here before. 

Billy came bounding around the corner and ran smack into a girl and nearly knocked her over.  He shared an English class with her.  She had just dropped off some late work to Miss. Francis and was running late to her first period class.  She was Billied.  He was apologiznig all over himself when he saw Kelly's figure in the distance.  Kelly was bent over digging with both hands in the woods.  The bell rang.  Five minutes to class.  Further down the walkway the traffic lessened and Billy picked up speed almost running, his love looked possessed.  Billy leapt off the walkway when she stopped suddenly and slowly picked something up. 

Kelly held a black volcanic rock arrowhead.  It made perfect sense to her.  A major piece of the puzzle had been solved.  Her experience wasn't IT's first manifestation.  The tip was melted not chipped or dull, but melted.  Billy took his place beside her trying to understand but not asking.  He knew better than to pry right now.  Kelly scooped another handfull of rich organic dirt and found three more.  All were similarly melted.  Her trance was over, she had been drawn here to learn this.  She knew Billy was probably out of his mind with confusion and handed him one.  He brushed some loose dirt off.  The arrow head was expert.  The definition of Native American handwork. 

Kelly didn't look at him, but hoped he would understand, "Help me." She went back to digging like a desperate dog.  Her fingernails were thick with dirt.

It would make him late for class but he was a dillagent student and was rarely late and could afford it.  Perhaps it was Candaces voice or her constant bitch nagging but he was more worried about what it would look like if He and Kelly both came to class late.  It's what he wanted more than anything on a selfish level, but he knew who he was and wanted better than those rumors for Kelly.  He was unconsciously rubbing the arrowhead in his hand.  The melted tip was ruogh and his he wasn't aware how hard he was rubbing it.  School could wait and he focused.  What the hell could melt volcanic rock after it was chipped into an arrow head... What did the Indians shoot?  Kelly was making a small pile of arrowheads when he began to help.  He didn't say anything.  There was nothing to say. 

The late bell rang and neither of them looked up.  No one would notice them out here anyway.  A large pile had begun to form.  All of them had the same deformity.  The reality of the situation started to sink in for Billy.  If Kelly had just told him he wouldn't have believed.  Just like the Nargles, but this Evil he knew.  He had seen the shadow that fought the sunlight back.  Alot of things were starting to make sense to him.  He had to trust Kelly; why would she put herself in harms way?  The arrowheads were in a circular pattern.  Whatever it was had been surrounded by arrow fire and died here. 

Kelly was counting and putting them in her bookbag, "I have to take these and figure out what happened here."

"So you're not coming to class then?"  Billy breathed a sigh but he understood.  "What if you get caught?"

"By who, the Resource officer?" She couldn't stifle a laugh.  "If they even have a new one yet."  Billy was torn, he wanted to follow her and help but he wasn't sure how much he could help.  As always Kelly gave him the direction he should have been taking all along.  "Just go to class and make an excuse for me."

"But did you want to ask Miss Francis for something?"  He was worried and had to protest, it was in his nauture.  "And what about your Aunt?  I didn't get that list of stuff you wanted."

"This is more important don't worry about it, I'll call her later."

Billy turned and started to head to class and realized he forgot an important questiont, "But where are you gonna go?"

"That place that sells dream catchers; it's run by Cherokee that lived here.  They have to know something about these and if I'm lucky what did this."  She scratched at the melted tip with her fingernail.

"We wont even have to take the bus, we can just walk there after school."

"Whose we?  And I'm not waiting until after school."

"Kelly, NO.  You promised.  Just because we're late for class doesn't mean..."

"Just cover for me again.  This is something I have to do."

"So when are you comeing back?  This week, next?"

"Now's not the time to worry about it; you're late for class!"  Kelly flopped her bag down like a dead fish and started piling the arrowheads in the front pocket.  Billy didn't approve she knew, but then what did he like?

Ignoring his feeble protests she made her way up the bank to the back parking.  The same back parking where she was tricked into the unmarked police cruiser.  That was another time, another life.  The Indian shop wasn't far away.  At the main entrance to the school was the library and not even a half mile later was the two main streets of town.  In the back of her mind was a worry someone might catch her but she felt free.  A butterfly in the wind. 

The road was quiet, one of the few upsides to living in Spencer.  Downtown was split into two streets, High Street and Low Street.  The topography of Spencer was all hills and mountains.  If it hadn't been a mining town the plan would have been different but the two halves on a steep hill.  Only a few shops survived, consignment shops, outlets groceries, a Christian outreach ministry, and a coffee shop.  The rest were antiques and empty shells.  Two of the oldest brick apartment buildings had been mostly torn down, but like everything else the workers just stopped and left.  The empty slots were like rotted teeth on Low street.  Portions of the old brick and mortar walls still stood and a Chimney in the middle but the rest of the rubble had never been removed. 

Kelly had never skipped school before, and though it's technically what she had been doing all week this felt different.  It felt liberating.  The Indian place was at the farthest end of Low Street.  The old brick rubble of the second apartments had spilled out on the side walk.  Being away from school in the open air and clear sky felt liberating compared to the cramped damp school.  She picked up a brick.  This one red brick could symbolize and sum up the town.  It was solid, chaffy dry and the corners had nearly worn off.  Her adventurous spirit was fed by the truancy.  She hopped up ontop of a pile of brick.  It would have been easy to twist an ankle or slip and bust her noggin, but Kelly's catlike grace seemed to be growing.  The lot was bigger than it looked.  Her nose wrinkled in disgust.  Graffiti was sprayed just out of sight on the back wall.  The sun was getting warm, and she had a job to do.  Slipping under the shaded awning of Appalachian Naturals she pushed the glass door open.  A simple bell rang announcing the customers entrance. 

Brian looked up over the counter.  The day was slow, but then every day was slow.  He was short and had to lift his nose high to see from the rocking chair.  Kelly was rather small too, and both thought the store to be abandoned.  The store was originally a "Company" store.  Workers at the mine were given an allowance to shop here to supplement their low wages.  That was ages ago but the glass door was the same and the wind often played tricks on Brian.  Kelly browsed the store silently almost sneezing near the handmade soaps.  A sense of deja'vu hit her, a sense of another life.  This place was heavy laden with history.  Dust and soot in every crack and crevice, age humidity and mold cleaned but never removed.  It wasn't until she notice the back of the chair rocking that she made her way to the counter.  Brian finally looked up when the girl cleared her throat.

"Yes, can I help you?"  He wasn't annoyed, at least he told himself that, but he was used to long quiet mornings and he was reading a good book.

"I was hoping you could tell me a little about these..." Kelly reached for her backpack.  He didn't roll his eyes but the light went right out of them.  This was no cash paying customer.  Kelly dumped a handful of sparkling arrowheads on the glass countertop.  Instantly his brow forrowed and his mood changed. 

He reached for one and picked at the rough melted tip with his thumbnail, "Yes, these are nice but not uncommon for this area.  Where did you find them?"  He told a little white lie, arrowheads were under ever stone, but volcanic rock was rare. 

"I dug them up this morning," she showed her dirty nails.  "There was a bunch of them all together."  More and more were laid out on the counter.  Brian blinked, this was quite a find.  "I was hoping you could tell me about them, I think they killed something." 

"These no doubt killed many things.  Arrows are shot and retrieved, not wasted." 

"No, I mean look at the tips.  And I found them all facing the same way in a circle."

"They are different."  Brian had absolutely no clue what could have cause the deformed tips.  Flint knapping wasn't an exact science and required some luck but what ever malformed the tips happened after they were made.  "Where did you say you found these?  Obsidian isn't really found around here.  The Cherokee used flint and sometimes granite and maybe quartz.  The Cherokee could have made these or maybe the Choctaw.  It's hard to tell." 

"I'm more curious about what melted the tips." 

"That's an interesting question.  Might be some ritual I'm not familiar with like shooting them into a hot fire..."  He knew his words were bullshit but he wanted to be done with the bothersome girl and get back to his book. 

"Well, who would know?"

Brian knew the answer, but didn't want to tell her.  His father would know but he never left home.  The girl was determined and he was started to get curious himself.  With a heavy sigh he knew his day would be ruined, "If anyone would know RedHawk would."

"Aaaand where can I find him?"

"He's my Dad." 

Kelly lit up with excitement, "Can you take me!"

"Can I what?!?"  Something about the girl made him take a small step back.  He had seen his share of tourists who couldn't find their butt with both hand and this girl was different.  Very different.  He struggled to put his finger on it.  She was so sure of herself, so confident and strong willed.  It made him question himself and it wasn't a comfortable feeling.  "Hey aren't you suppose to be in school or something?"

"Well... yes, but this is more important right now."  A unique thing was happening between the two of them.  Native Americans being much more in touch with the ebb and flow of nature, Brian could sense her will.  Her spirit of determination and truth rumbled like a growing storm on the horizon.  It was nothing new to him.  He'd had enough liars and users who clamed to be shopping when all they wanted was the stores restroom.  He could sense a honest buyer from a mile off.  Those were so rare, and this girl was unlike anything he'd ever encountered.  But what really confused him was her being able to read him.  Kelly sensed him like the spirit of a spooked horse.  Brian was in his own shop with his favorite chair and a good book beside him but he felt ready to run.  If someone else heard the conversation, or saw the two of them drive off together... well he felt spooked and ready to run.  The girl was a fraction of his size yet he felt threatened.  Her spirit was of a rock, and made him feel like a leaf in Autumn.

"I.. don't know what it is you want from me, but..."

"I need to know what did this."  She held out a melted arrowhead like a charm to destroy his resistance.  "I wasn't digging a fort or playing in a sandbox; I was drawn to them.  I walked out into a scrubby forest where nothing grows tall and scooped them up with my hands." 

Brian shook his head.  He struggled with his own reality.  George Orwell wrote about doublethink, and Brian fought his own mind.  As soon as he had seen the strange melted tips his mind raced to stories he had heard as a child, but he stood in front of this child ready to deny it do his last breath. 

Kelly saw the fear in his eyes, "What did these kill?" 

"Honestly I don't know." 

"You know something..."

"When I was small we had stories and legends of the Wendigo.  When the winter is so cold that not even the rabbit will come out, the man beast would come.  He feasts on human flesh but is never full.  Growing stronger and stronger he is never satisfied and will never stop until he is killed.  It is a battle of spirit, only those with stronger love can overcome his hunger and hate."  Brian pulled a tall stool over.  It was reserved for when he was watching careless children in his shop, but he needed to sit down.  Why was he encouraging this girl? 

"And you're father told you these stories?"

"No-no.. noo more that's enough."

"We thought it was a ghost at first, then a spirit, but that's all it was..." Kelly looked away hurt and ashamed, "until recently..."

Brian leaned forward interested.  There were no pictures when he was a child, but his mind formed an image of the legendary creature.  It was larger than the biggest bear, loose skin draped over the skeleton like a raggedy blanket.  It could walk like man or move like a wolf.  "You've seen it?" 

"I've.. felt it and seen it possess a man...  It was horrible.  A nightmare I'll never forget.  But you have to hear me I know it!  Just like the day ends and night will come, or the first cold wind that brings winter.  I know it!"

Brian looked out the plate glass storefront like he might suddenly see a foot of snow.  then back, "It's summertime."

"This thing is old, it came to your people at winter, but your legends have legends about it.  Do you believe the world had no spirits before Indians?"

Brian took a deep breath at the insult, but she did have a point.  "Then what do you need me for?  If you have all the answers!" 

"Because I have to kill it."

"I think you better leave whatever it is alone.  Whether it's bigfoot or a raccoon you need to get back to school.  Where are you parents anyway, do they know you're not in school?"  This little girl had just pushed him too far.  He fumbled around the counter looking for a phonebook and cordless phone.

"They're dead." 

"The words stopped him cold, "I'm sorry I didn't mean to."

Kelly couldn't believe she found someone in town who didn't know her story.  It was refreshing but for the first time she wished to have that bit of fame.  For once it might help. 

"All I want is you're help.  I can't tell you how important it is to me.  Then I'll let you go back to your blissful days of nothing."  Kelly turned to look at the empty store.

"I don't know who you are and I don't think it's right for-"

"Tell me how many times do you dust to make the shop look fresh, once a week?  This place is a Museum.  When was the last time you had a customer?"

Brian's face went blank his days ran together, had it been this week or last?  The City of Spencer gave him the space rent free for historic appeal; the shop had never turned a profit.  He took a deep breath of defeat, "So what do you want?"

"To meet your Dad."

  Next chapter:     Manitou

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