Saturday, August 20, 2016

"A Boogaloo," Tenet said

August, 1685
Port Royal Island, South Carolina

"A Boogaloo," Tenet said, glancing up from his near-prone position in the soft, powder-like sand. "I'm almost certain of it."

"How kin ya tell?" James Reston, Sheriff of the newly established Stuart Town, spoke quickly but did not move. He was the sort of man who quickly gathered his ingredients but took some time before deciding what he would do with them.

Tenet pointed to the oblong footprints, each with three bulbous toes. The ubiquitous grey sand, softer and finer than talcum, was perfect for holding prints, the trouble was they were quickly marred by even the slightest breeze or movement. As fate would have it, the breezes coming off of Port Royal this evening were strong and constant. "I am sure of it. These footprints are near proof."

Reston's red face, made more so by exposure to the tropical-like glare of the sun of the South Carolinian days, scrunched up. "Alligator?" he queried, turning his head too and fro like a confused hound.

Tenet nodded slightly, shrugging his wool-shrouded shoulders. "Could be, but I don't know of any alligators that also have hands." The pale man pointed to a pair of other prints, farther apart from the strange footprints and distinctly hand-like. One appeared to be nothing more than a smudged imprint, but the other, which had trailed off the powdery sand and into the thick, grey pluff mud on the river bank, clearly displayed long, clawed fingers.

Reston spat out a curse. "So what be these Boogaloo?" He turned to watch the sun slip below the western horizon. The sky was aflame with golds, scarlets, oranges, and purples and the air was filled to bursting with the evening song of the cicada and frog.

Tenet opened his mouth to answer, but in that instant the sun was gone, and an odd, shivering hooting sound joined the cacophony in the hot evening air. All around the two men, who stood on a promontory overlooking the mouth of the Broad River, a force of things emerged from the gnarled pines and veiling Spanish moss.

They looked like twisted caricatures of miniature men crudely crafted from the sticky grey pluff mud. Their arms were far longer than they had any right being and their hands seemed purposefully fashioned for throttling. Each Boogaloo was different from their brethren, reflecting the hand-made nature of these beings, and each bore signs of their crafter's marks: necklaces of oyster-shell, bracelets of beads and feathers, or mismatched armor made of driftwood or coral. Regardless of their individual features, each of them bore a sign that marked them as totems - hand-carved faces of wood, with glowing red eyes.

As the two score and more of the creatures closed in on the two men, Tenet answered Reston, "Hand-crafted death..."

Art Source: "The Boogaloo" (c)/by GaryLiabArt
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #TenetsTales, #Tenet, #SouthCarolina, #Boogaloo, #Gullah


Post a Comment