Thursday, January 28, 2016


Things began to happen. God bless the Red Paint People. They've seen everything and they know everything. Belonging to a continuous culture that goes back to Cro-Magnon times has to be worth something. Edith has a special friend among them, a quiet gentlemen (well, they're all quiet), named Newt. His father wanted to name him Salamander, but his mother thought it sounded too ethnic, so they compromised with another name for the same amphibious being. Outsiders think it's short for Newton, but it's not short for anything. It's just Newt. He looks like Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise. They all look like Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise. And the females all look like famed skier, now in trouble with the law, Peekaboo Street. Regular 'VW's' (WonderLanders) know that. He talks to coyotes and they talk back. They ask him what cars are and how long humans live and what's with this fire and food thing and who the hell really believes the world is round and what the hell IS 'the world?' Stuff like that. He asks them if ass sniffin' is all it's cracked up to be and what other creatures they like to hump, besides each other and humans? Most of what goes back and forth between them isn't in words. It just 'is.'

Edith asked Newt to take a look at the words she copied from the back page of Jonathon's book. She called him. Luckily, his cell phone was charged. Red Paints always forget about that. Technology is a bunch of crap to them. Years ago, they though 45rpm records were like Frisbees and electric table fans were big toe amputaters.  They're nature people. You know the types.

So Newt wrote down the letters exactly like she said and did his best. Now the Red Paint population in the dense woods known as The New Jersey Pine 'Barrens' is only a tiny remnant. Other surviving Red Paints exist in Greenland, Newfoundland, Norway, Iceland and Michigan's Upper Peninsula, not to mention a few settlements along Hudson's Bay. They say tiny bands can be found scattered in remote parts of Europe too. Our crew, the Pines crew numbered about thirty six people... enough for a 'meeting of the minds.' So he blew the ram's horn (Jews aren't the only ones) and wherever they were within the 'colony' each and every Red Paint Person (the adults, that is) stopped what they were doing and 'listened.' Look, some were too far away to hear the ram's horn, but via their own, home-grown brand of telepathy, they felt the sound. The colony was still... twenty three people, some curing skins, some playing zithers, some digging deep in the cold mud and snow, looking for 'thousand year old' snapping turtle eggs. Synapses jumped from head to head. Eyes blinked a little. Guts grumbled. Brains jiggled. Then the humming started. That's when each one shares what he knows with the others. Two hundred and thirty heartbeats later, a man comes walkin' out of the trees. Mr. Edith sees him comin' toward the porch and opens the door. The cabin's a real homey place. Folks drop by all the time. Most Piney People ain't Red Paints, just in case you didn't know.

Red Paint guy nods and says - Good afternoon. Is your woman to home?.... Mr. Edith goes - Nope, she's still in the city with her vampire buddies. That's why I can drink my wine. You want some? It's homemade. Mostly bog grapes and a little crawfish juice. Nice batch too. (he holds up the old, irregular, green glass bottle) Red Paint guy thinks a few seconds, smiles and nods again. Mr. Edith gets a glass (I believe it has Barney Rubble on it) and pours him some. Got a nice, deep amber color. Smells real tasty too... Guy takes a sip and goes - I'm here to tell her 'bout 'the words.'..... What words? - says Mr. Edith. What about the wine?.... Oh, I like it fine, thank you. A true, quality fermentation, but I'm here for the words. Vampire buddy found some words. Don't know what they mean. Your Missus thought we could help...... Can you? - asks Mr. Edith..... The Red Paint guy nods a third time and asks for a piece of paper and a pencil. Mr. Edith looks in the junk drawer and gives him what he needs. Guy writes something down. Looks like two lines.... Guy says - Here, you save this. We thought she was here, but you save it. Newt'll send another copy out by coyote. Put it in an old artillery shell. Fix it to the collar. Coyote blend right into the city. Look like a skinny, gray dog. Run fast too.... How's it gonna find her? - asks Edith's husband.... You leave that to Newt. They his coyotes. They Red Paint coyotes, if you know what I mean?. Then he winks, holds up the old Barney Rubble jelly glass and asks for more. Gets some. Stays for sizzlin' hot Taylor Pork Roll and cheese sandwiches on pan toasted Kaiser rolls too. Big, old cast iron fryin' pan give 'em a real good flavor.

You might ask why Newt don't just call Edith back on his cell phone, like she called him. But he won't. 'Smarts' might come into the Pines that way, but they don't go out that way. God damned cell phones. Never know who's listening.

He fortified her with a big old steak, 'fore he send her out. Newt, I mean. Slue-foot-Sue one a the best. She a real good coyote. Fast too. Be there in twenty four hours. Edith'll feed her real nice too, 'fore she send her back. Piney Folk know.

Vampire Jonathon gonna know too, 'cause true meanin' a them words in that artillery shell.

God bless the Red Paints.....

And in case you're curious, go Google Red Paint People...

They real... You bet they real...

<more next time>


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