Wednesday, March 28, 2012

World Gathering, Episode 12: Shee-oot! Lookit That Thar Dragon!

As I made my way to the Everglades--flying high enough that the casual observer would mistake me for an odd-looking eagle or a bat with insomnia--I filed all the annoyances of the weekend: Gozon and his mysterious speech, Galendor's coincidentally timed appearance, Brunhilda the vamping Valkyrie, Coyote--there was an annoyance I wished I could file away permanently. I savored the irony of the brownies making a mess of people's things while trying to clean them--only in Mundane--and, God forgive me, I savored the thought of Grace getting into a magical cat fight with "Terpie." I really wish I'd have been there to see it.
 I found the national park with no trouble and selected a nice secluded spot for my nap. It was a little damp for my tastes, but in the heat of the afternoon, the tepid water felt refreshing, and after scaring off anything stupid enough to get in my way, I settled down among the reeds for a snooze. I did devote part of my attention to keeping tabs on my environment, however. Mundane fauna didn't recognize dragons as a natural predator. My size might deter most of them, but I didn't want to take a chance on some alligator or puma with delusions of grandeur thinking I'd make a nice lunch.
Of course that also meant that half an hour into a very nice nap, I became aware of humans talking. Two of them had mouths so foul that if they'd been on television, the conversation would have sounded like this:
"Whoa! What the (bleep) is that?"
"(Bleep) if I know. (bleep) (bleep). Let's (bleeping) stay the (bleep) away from the (bleeping) thing. (bleep!)"
"Like (bleep). I want a closer look."
"(Bleep) that. It looks (bleeping) dangerous. I'm staying (bleeping) far away, (bleep/personal insult)."
"You (bleeping) coward. I'm the one who's gonna get (bleeping) close to the (bleeping) thing. You just keep the (bleeping) camera rolling."
Obviously not a tourist group; maybe some natives out for thrills. I stayed still and feigned sleep. I was going to give them the thrill of their lives.
I almost blew it, though, then someone said, "Action!" and PottyMouth screeched out, "Sheeeew-Dang! Can you see that big ol' snout hidin' in them thar bushes? I'm tellin' you, chile, I ain't nevah seen no gator that size or color a'fore."
Big snout? Me? Now he was asking for it.
"Look at them teeth. I sweahr, they's the size of my bowie, they is. Jes look." I heard something snap and a friction sound like a large knife against a plastic case. I waited for him to try to lay his knife near my canines, but he didn't approach, and I guessed the camera was doing a close-up. At least this time they'd get my better side. I wondered who these jokers were.
I heard him put the knife back in its sheath and say, "Yessir! This here critter ain't like nuthin' I ever seen. We may've jes found us a new species. You know the Everglades is home to twenty threatened species and fifteen endangered species, including the Day-Lee-own sable sparrow and the south Florida American speckle-headed turtle. She-oot, we ain't got no turtle here, do we? Let's see if'n we can get ourselves a closer look."
I waited while he snuck up close, muttering reassurances and facts to me and the camera audience. Then as I heard the tendons in his knees creak as he knelt, I opened my eyes and said, "Shee-ooot! That thar accent is thicker than cold pea soup!"
Some days, it's gratifying to hear the screams.

If you like the story, the book is even better!
More antics, more mystery, new ending. Order from Amazon

(c) Karina Fabian.  World Gathering first appeared in serial in The Prairie Dawg

No comments:

Post a Comment