This blog is about me and my past life. I’m not going to keep letting the pizza and Chinese delivery guys(aka num and nuts–or null and void when I’m really mad at them–like I am now) get their two greasy pennies in… Lady friend just told me that the Indian ghost in the last post was there to enlighten Gabe and me. I knew that. I didn’t know that then, or at least, over time, after dreams and stuff, I knew. Num and nuts told her that tidbit. I don’t care. They should learn WordPress and posting and build their own site. I don’t care.
Btw, I have no idea why I titled this post “Skin.” But we’ll see…
The Indian ghost vanished from the salt marsh not long after scorning us. He seemed only bemused by our violent attack upon his being, and we doubted he was the preternatural killer who we were after. We thought Chuck A. Luck had lied to us again, and decided to return to his eating house and tell him so.
Gabe the gorilla and I made our way back along the moonlit beach, toward Coney Island Point. We headed inland as we neared Gravesend Bay. We walked on a sandy road. The grasses and green trees scattered around us glimmered in the heavenly light. Long before we saw a single person, we heard the sweet discourse of a brass band. Following the music, we cut through high grass and weeds and came to a street with clapboard homes, each surrounded by spacious yards. The street was lit by gas lamps and quite a number of pedestrians with hand-held lanterns. There was a lively crowd at the end of the block, and it took a moment to recognize that they were outside Chuck A. Luck’s eating house. The band was playing in his yard. A cloud of smoke hung over the revelers. The light danced off the bands’ silver instruments.
A serving girl from Chuck A. Luck’s dragged a table into the yard. A male hefted a large ceramic bowl upon it, filled with grog. The girl spooned it into mugs. We set down a few pennies for the sale and were treated to a fiery rum grog. The gorilla thought it too spicy and that it needed more molasses. I finished my drink and paid for a refill. The two of us then continued our search for Chuck A. Luck.
We headed into his eating house, where the tables were now occupied by gambling men, playing cards and dice games. There was so much money changing hands, it was a surprise not to see the proprietor insuring the house got its share. Within minutes of entering, I broke into a violent sweat and my stomach roiled. I waved across the crowded room to the gorilla as I made my way back outside where the brass winds blew a haunting tune and the lights had grown elongated. Something was clearly wrong with me.
I staggered off. I went up a sand dune and headed into the weeds, wanting to vomit. Suspecting that I had been poisoned, I flung the mug that was clutched in my greedy hand–crammed two fingers down my throat and purged a hot stream of sour fluid.
I fell to my knees in the sand. Head bent, with the corner of my inner most perception, I could see a pale, hunched figure approaching from the gloom. I was certain it had designs on my lifeblood.
I passed my hand over the handle of my holstered Colt revolver and removed the knife sheathed next to it. I needed immediate protection and guns were hardly of use against demonic creatures. But I had a spate of dizziness and fell face first into the sand, and then reached for the revolver, hoping to fire a warning shot. The gun was gone! An ice cold hand clenched my hand with a bone-crushing grip, and dragged me through the sand, away from the eating house. It was Chuck A. Luck, who now had a ghostly pallor and beady black eyes that were devoid of even a scintilla of life.
I was losing consciousness and imagined I was about to shed my mortal coil. Though bleary-eyed and woozy, I half-believed I was dreaming, especially as I saw two men sneak out of a dark hiding place. It seemed quite comical and unreal, because they reminded me of Gabe the gorilla and myself. That is to say, they were demon hunters. I noted this upon seeing that they brandished the proper instruments for the job. One man had the long stave with the razored brand for the marking of the demon, and the other man carried a bludgeon for the general assault. Both men had flaming red hair and skin the color of blood. I recognized them. They were the Irish brothers we had met not long after arriving at Coney.
They darted abreast and struck so swiftly upon the demonic incarnation of Chuck A. Luck, they were like bolts of lightning…
Here are all the posts in this series: Episode Forty-One
Skin (Late April 1854 – Coney Island)