Beamo’s Gold part 21
Little Bit and Beamo have a heart-to-heart talk. May be a little too erotic for some.
Major Kaim ordered his older goon to go lube down their cycles. The other younger goon he ordered into his command tent. The Big Men’s strong-arm Secret Service was not bivouacking away from the outlaws this night.
I got to my tent at the edge of camp, crawled inside on my comfy tiger hide bedroll. Right as I was covered up and sliding down into sweet slumber, a warm body crawled in on top of me. I felt her breath on my face and knew her earthy rose-hip fragrance. She kept me pinned down as she unstrapped her dual pistol holsters.
“It’s my birthday,” Little Bit purled, her voice in my ear like a tiny waterfall in a streamlet.
“It’s not your birthday. You were born September seven. Today is September five.”
“Don’t talk, Beamo Roamer. I like you better when you don’t talk.” She stripped naked then slipped in on top of me under the blanket. “Just shut up for once in your life.”
I complied, too talked-out anyway. Little Bit worked me up with her slender fingers then slowly guided me inside her. She straddled on top facing away, did the work with a pleasing rhythm she varied nicely as I ran my hands up and down her arched back and narrow waist. From her cooing I could tell she enjoyed calling the shots this night.
She slowly rotated around to face me in the dark tent, me still inside her and that was a real silky sensation. After the finish, her still on top and holding my arms down again, Little Bit said, “You enjoy being raped, Beamo?”
“You can’t rape the willing,” I quipped back at her. “Me not getting a kiss before the act is the definition of taking advantage.” She snickered then I finally got a kiss. A long hot kiss.
“Tee says your problem with girls is that you act the big brother, always trying to give advice that isn’t wanted. I still say you altogether talk too much, have to have the last word in every time.” She pressed the length of her smooth body up against me, felt the points of her two nipples on my chest neath the covers. The wind blew outside with a regular beat like a hand slapping the canvas.
Kind of brought down my lush afterglow that outlaws from Bonehead to Tee to my beloved Little Bit occupied themselves with breaking down the causes of my failed relationships and then got the nerve to lecture me with their findings.
“People need to preciate there is no better versationalist out here in these mountains than me. And Tee has no room to hype my mistakes as a romantic teenager. You can go tell your meddlesome brother that I long ago changed my ways in that regard. When a good-looking woman wants to ride her cycle straight into the cyclone, the new Beamo Roamer just sits back and watches the entertaining spectacle unfold. I am done speaking out good advice to shapely ears that don’t hear.” I sighed.
A howling started close to camp. It sounded human at first, thought it might be Kaim unleashing, but then it cascaded out into a blistering wail that was all about lost-soul torment and demonic rage. Another shriek answered from farther off.
“Are those…?” Little Bit’s voice instantly anxious.
“Yeah, probably best not to talk about them. They mean to keep us from sleep.”
“Poor Packit,” her voice whispered.
“Worse what humans did to Roofy.”
Little Bit didn’t respond. She sat up, struck a match to light up a bloon. The tiny blue flame showed her concentrating face for an instant. “Since we’re not going to sleep, I want to ask you something.”
“You can ask me anything.”
“Tell me about what happened when I was born.” Her voice hung out there with a pleading between her words.
“I was just seven at the time. All I know is that the grown-ups gossiped about the famous beauty with rose-red hair who got kicked out of Heights Bluff.” I paused for a moment, watched the glowing end of the bloon light up her round breasts as she sucked on it in the dark. “The first autumn her husband was out in the bush leading the Rebellion, your mother Kensy Sal fell for a troubadour. I saw him a few times. He wore a bright purple and red calico coat, had long wavy hair he kept in a ponytail. He was on short side and skinny, the opposite of Tee’s tall, buff dad. He played the guitar and the mandolin. When the troupe of muscians moved on, he stayed. Of course, it was a scandal that was as bad or worse than your mom being the wife of the renegade leader of the ‘Bloody Rebellion’.”
Little Bit stuck the bloon in my mouth. She said, “Tee told me my father left the week before I was born.”
After I oked on it and exhaled, I said, “That’s what happened. Your mom was going to pay-baby you to a barren rich woman behind the Gate. The story goes that when she first saw your face she couldn’t do it, couldn’t give you up. They say she said your face lit up the dark world and that’s why she called you ‘Light-all’ which turned into your name, Lytle.”
She reached out for the bloon then found my left hand with both her hands, squeezed hard for a long time. Finally let me go to take the bloon out of her mouth to give me another hit. I coughed and gave it back to her. She took one more oke then flicked the roach out of the open fly of my now smoky tent.
I sat up to keep coughing. Outside, too close for comfort, one of the boggymos imitated my coughing with an aggressive, barking voice. Little Bit started breathing fast when a massive shadow covered the tent. A dead skunk smell began seeping inside. I reached for my Bowie knife. The shadow with the mocking cough retreated and so did the stench. I sheathed my knife.
Little Bit gracefully slid back into her clothes then siddled in close. We held each other; listened to the kaleidoscoping shrieks of the boggymos slowly fade away as the black night shifted into first light.
“I hated you,” Little Bit said in a matter-of-fact tone. “When you took off five years ago, I thought you were going out west to kill yourself. Why couldn’t you see that I was alone and needed you? Tee had deserted the militia to go form the gang. My mom was dead, your mom was dead, everybody else dead or gone or turned mean because everything around us was full of meanness.”
“When they found my mom lying face down in the alley, I got scared. I looked inside myself and saw I didn’t feel anything but relief, just like my dad. I didn’t know what the hell I was.” I let go a choking sound, not a sob but the closest for me. “I was running to escape from myself. Rode allout for days, half the time didn’t even realize when the MA were chasing me.
“My dad never beat me or my mom until my little sister Ceecee was on her death bed with the monia. I told him that we should make antibiotics. Told him you made it in a lab-or-a-tor-y from mold and that it cured fections. He hollered, ‘Where you expect I gets a lab-tory!? You gonna pull one outs your ass, you little knowitall shi-head?’
“Then he started his beatdown. My mom tried to get between us and he started in on her. All she ever wanted was to tend to her garden, read her Shakespeare I could never understand, and raise her family. But after my little sister passed, she fell into the whiskey jug. The worse she drank the worse my dad lit into her. Just like you, I hated Beamo Roamer. Truth is, I was happy she was gone, no more barrasment for me.”
She reached out and stroked my hair for a long time then tugged hard on my bullshark-tooth earring in my left ear. I looked up at her and in the growing light saw her smiling at me. The shrieking outside halted with the morn.
“I have to go to my tent and get some sleep. Sorry I acted the bitch yesterday. I understand you’re a man who likes to know where he stands with a woman, but I just can’t tell you right now, Beamo. My feelings are like a spring river that’s overflowed its banks and don’t know where it’s going.” She kissed me again.
“I guess I’ll just have to tough it out. Happy birthday, Lytle.”
“Thank you, Beamo.” Little Bit cocked one of her pistols then knee-walked to the tent opening. Looking over her shoulder, she smiled back at me, blew me another kiss, and then slipped out.
It takes either a really bad woman or a really good woman to make you second-guess yourself. It dawned on me then that Tee hadn’t told her about my oath to kill him and Bonehead after we find the gold. I was so grateful to him for keeping it from her that it made me want to change everything; find some way to work things out without bloodshed between compadres. It was vexing but I finally got to sleep.
It’s the last month of my militia duty. I’m almost twenty, riding by myself down to our joint firebase located far, far south of the Uchita Hills and Ark River. I’m trekking all the way into the Yiyou country. The Crans County Board is squandering almost one year of peace. The lack of bloodshed is too much for our Big Men so they’re teaming us up with Ha-Ha County’s Militia. We’re going against their rival, the Ark County Militia, from the second most populated county nation in the greater Zarkaria.
I’m reporting for duty because unknown animals are attacking the small firebase almost every night. My name is well known for being the man who understands animal secrets. The troopers wave on top of the twenty-feet-tall timber walls when they spot me riding down the trail to the wrought iron firebase gate.
Half of the cypress and weeping willow trees dying or dead; air smells like a combination of a mechanic’s garage and the muck at the bottom of a stagnant pond. The freshwater sloughs teem with log-sized gars and alligators. Both species with their long, teeth-crowned snouts protruding above the murky surface waiting patiently for a razorback hog or a man to get too close.
I stop for a great alligator as he walks across the trail; it takes a long time for the length of him to cross. All the brackish water I’m coming upon now is just oil-slick dead. Gulls and other waterbirds that should be white streaked with black tar, falling from the sky, thudding onto the fire ant-mound-covered ground.
In the evening distance hundreds of oil and gas well fires, burning over a thousand years, light up the cloud-covered sky with an amber glow that will not allow a true night. Just a hundred miles south is the oil-slick-dead Carib Sea. I call out but no voice sounds in my ears.
Check in with the Ha-Ha Captain. Nineteen-year-old Corporal Tee Sal stands there with his stage actor smile and his conspiracy. We talk but no sound comes out of anybody’s mouth. I try to give him the Sol-zhen-it-syn book but Tee only takes the Che Gue-vara cycle journey book.
Tee and me play chess until the sunset but amber light half the brightness of the noon sun still prevails. He takes my queen and beats me, his mug a proud visage and then the heavy bricks rain down into the firebase. I pick one up. It is a gold bar stamped with the eagle emblem of the United States. No one else notices my stunned staring at the shiny yellow. I see myself from outside and know that I am in a dream but can’t stop it.
The hundred combined troopers randomly spout muzzle-fire out of the four sides of the rectangle firebase into the stunted, amber-lit brush. Troopers mouths crying out with empty voices. Four lay there knocked out.
“Animals don’t have hands to throw bricks,” I tell them, “It must be the Ajun tribesmen.” My lips move but they don’t hear my words. We can’t hear but we understand each other somehow.
A Ha-Ha trooper with an eye patch and big arms steps up in front of me. “Ain’t Ajuns, wiz kid. They shoot pointy arrows from crossbows. Them outside the skunk booggers.” His name-tag displays “Sergent Heritor Ucy.” He moves his lips, opening his big red mouth, barrel chest inside his homemade uniform of python hide. He’s maybe fifteen years older than me. His words get inside my head somehow.
“They ‘tackin’ ‘cause I bopped a grenade at they momma and baby.” He brainsick grins, one brown eye smugly glares at me. He holds up his rifle that has a grenade launcher mounted under the barrel. “They jus desolation vermin, wiz kid.”
“You practice being ignorant or does it come natural?” I say back. Even though I only saw one when I was eleven, I know enough from questioning scavenge-man storytellers. I think: Only way this fool got close to a boggymo is it was occupied with its young; he hurt the mother and young and now they will kill him and us if they get a chance.
“You tallest midget I ever saw, boy,” Heritor Ucy says directly into my mind. He spits bacco wad on my boots.
My lips move to call him out, Tee at my side, but the Second, a lieutenant from Crans County, stops us with barking orders no one can hear but they still land inside my head.
Now we rush outside the fort, beat the bush to flush out the attackers. Heritor Ucy points his rifle into a thicket. He cocks his rifle thirty times, rapidly ejects all his bullets, but believes he is shooting. The last bullet jumps out the side of his weapon; at the same time a long, black furred arm reaches out from the bushes.
We run through the trees and shrubs to get a clear shot. I see the boggymo pick Heritor up like a toy and with the white teeth in its massive jaw, bite the man’s right arm off. I stop and see the boggymo with its big owl eyes and flaring nostrils. It leaps with delight and screeches inside my head as Heritor Usy’s arm with its big bicep and trigger hand dangles from its mouth.
No one shoots as the boggymo runs zigzagging around the trees so fast it’s not in any one place until it disappears. They take Heritor Ucy back to Ha-Ha County. He is alive but never speaks again, I hear. He stares into the blank with his one eye the rest of his life.
The next night we evacuate. The wall of firestorm tornados from the sea rages towards us. Every eight to ten years the methane gas from thousands of leaking wells in the Carib Sea builds up to just the right level on the surface until a lightning strike sets off a million square miles of oil blanketed waves. We ride allout as a three-hundred-feet-tall inferno sweeps far inland behind us. Wind sucks us back into the firestorm but most of us escape. The smoke blocks out the late February sun. Only one-third the normal light shines for over a year. Three thousand starve to death in the greater Zarkaria during this evil time.