Demons and Dragoons
I turned about and paddled downstream with the ebbing tide. Past the rotting gator. Through the Narrows. Stopping to breathe only when I was around the big bend in Black Mingo Creek, the hairpin turn that was like passing through a wormhole in time.
The sun glittered like diamonds on black velvet, their mirage parting to let the front of my kayak slice through it. A graceful white egret burst from the line of green up ahead, dancing on the wind and dipping its downy feathers like it was waving to me. In the stillness of that corridor of atmosphere, between dark liquid and open sky, I inhaled a sense of peace. A split second later, the biggest gator I’d ever seen torpedoed into the soft side of my kayak flailing its toothy maw, its jaws crunching through canvas and rubber, through fiberglass and plastic, through skin and —–
“Miz Watkins! Miz Watkins! Yoo-hoo! Yeah! Sleepin’-in-history-class-girl! I am TALKIN’ to you! Which Red Coat gave General Francis Marion – the esteemed namesake of this institution of higher learnin’ from which you hope to earn a no-count piece of collegial sheepskin – which one of them British harridans gave him the name ‘Swamp Fox‘?”
Silence. Shuffling paper.
“Stop lookin’ in the text book for the dang answer! If you don’t know, just say ‘I did not come to class prepared, Dr G Wayne King, oh mighty esteemed and most overlooked candidate for the title of Prof of the Year in the history of this university’……..Say it! SAY! IT! Dr G Wayne King should be Prof of the Year! In fact, ever body get up in your seats – RIGHT NOW – and shout it as loud as you can! All together now………DR G WAYNE KING SHOULD BE PROF OF THE YEAR!”
That’s what I got for taking Benadryl. It was my first and only experience with what turned out to be – in my whacked system, anyway – a powerful hallucinogenic drug.
This week’s series of fiction is set in historic Black Mingo Swamp. To start the series at the beginning, click here. To read more about the history of Black Mingo, click here. Thank you for reading, for commenting and for sharing my blog. Oh, and if anyone cares who gave General Francis Marion the nickname ‘Swamp Fox,’ it was British General Banastre Tarleton.