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Whiskey Wise Woman
Uprising #4
The bar front was deserted, except for two shifty-looking Eastern European youths, both wearing the masks he had so despised for these past dozen, miserable years. But, as indicated to Major Wolf’s still-keen eye by the stovepipe smoking in the snow above the peak of the roof, the dining room around the corner was occupied.
He had hardly believed it when it happened, that after fighting in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Africa for 30 goddamned years, that when he came home a civilian at last in 2020, that those rear-echelon-somebodies were already deep into waging war on the American population. So-called and such-like was why he and Ishmael were checking out in this dramatic fashion—wanting to push up daisies in God’s own primal places, not being intubated in Man’s godforsaken safe spaces…
His fateful reverie was interrupted by Ishmael’s big hand on his shoulder and his easy voice to his ear, “The light’s on in the kitchen, Wolf, and the dining room has got a fire stoked—a woodstove, a Ben Franklin, I bet.”
They all tramped in with gear and packs and booze bottles, quite rude and pretentious in former times now gone, but fitting for the raw times where the world had now gone.
A beautiful little peach of a gal, not a third his age, looked up at him from under square-cut brown bangs, little girl pigtails bouncing about her ears, and said in what he took to be a Russian accent, “All we have is beer”—then, cutting herself short as she saw the men had their own bottles, continued, “Bringing your own hard liquor is fine, so long as you serve a shot to the owner—his personal rule. We have Rainier on tap, biscuits in the oven and bison stew on the stove—donated by our Absaroka guest,” she said, somehow smiling all the while, all 5 feet and 85-pounds of darlinghood, as she at once motioned to the single, large central table, around which were seated a crew of curious characters and glided past them towards the kitchen in little canvas sneakers.
The Coon wasted no time walking round the table, pulling a chair away from the right-most guest, and placing his back to the Ben Franklin in the corner, seated now a foot off the table corner, two feet from the closest guest, who Wolf would think the coon would want to nuzzle up to.
“Right you are, Ish. Haven’t seen a one of those old wood stoves in some years, too lost to recall.”
Wolf looked at the coon already tipping his bottle, his sap gloves still on, surly as a striped coon done just raided a chicken coop.
Next to that Punk City Coon or whatever bullshit name he used to obscure his identity and declare his true criminal propensity, who took the extreme right side from this vantage—the left side for those so seated back to the wall, everyone with their back to the wall and facing the entrance. These five folks could account for the four visible vehicles. But he doubted it. They were mostly in pairs.
Furthest to the left, where of course the coon had seated himself, were two model quality Caucasian beauties of blonde Norwegian type, either one of them towering over the thirsty coon squatting at arm’s length by their side. They were attired in ski gear or snow-mobile outfits, pink and blue beanie hats declaring that the taller one in blue was the dyke in this rug-munching pair of lesbos and the one that only towered 5’ 10” in her pink beanie cap obviously the bitch of these two beautiful, barren bitches.
In the center of the table were—not to be outdone—two willowy little faggots, holding hands like girl scouts at a biker party and shivering under his baleful glare, who appeared to have been dressed for a late summer hike and driven indoors by the unseasonable blow.
To the right—well, to Wolf’s far left—sat a goddamned Indian, a Crow, dressed like one of Custer’s scouts, except instead of a Sharp’s rifle, this old boy, damn near as old as his 70 years, had an aboriginal self-bow, a horn knife, a ceremonial goose-rib breast plate, and a fucking war bonnet if one could believe his own eyes. Why any decent Indian had been wearing hats for 150 years. In the corner of the small room, all but consumed by the vast table, was even a war lance, adorned with one feather each of the raven, eagle and owl, just as the war bonnet was decked out with these same bird feathers in threes, like tracers, armor-piercing and metal jacket rounds in a machinegun belt.
As Ishmael, muttered, “My name is Ishmael. I might as well sit with my back to the door. I’ don’t figure that cute little gal will back-shoot me,” and took a seat in a heavy wooden chair, the ice was broken—kind of.
The two lesbians waved, nervously.
The two queers hugged each other and the more sissy one cried a single tear.
Ishmael then looked caddy-corner across the table at the chief and asked, “Absaroka?”
The Indian answered, stoically, “Thank you, Ishmael. Joe Medicine Crow. Brought two buffalo quarters in on my packhorse for butchering. The wolves would not let me get at the rest. The butcher has closed shop, so the cook makes dinner.”
Ishmael answered, “Thank you for your gift. You get him with that bow?”
The Indian barked a hard laugh, “No. He was my prize animal, a pure white buffalo—would have never killed him. His name was Basket of Plums. The wolves killed him. I emptied my thirty-thirty chasing them off and here I am come, awaiting what comes.”
The more miserable of the two queers whined, “You had to name him—like I’m still going to be able to eat him after hearing that!”
The other faggot hugged that one and Ishmael glanced a disapproving look up at Wolf, so he came out of his pre-battle assessment, because he just knew in his blood that shit was kicking off soon—this was just all to strange.
Ares hovered near.
He did not bother two address the lesbos and the queers, but looked the old Indian in the eyes and announced, “Wolf, Major Wolf. My grandmother Betsy was half-Lakota. So you and me are enemies to-hell-and-gone and back. I appreciate your prize meat, Mister Medicine Crow.”
He made to take a seat across the table from the old Indian, then set down his pack instead, placed the bottle of rye on the table and motioned caddy-corner across the table and announced, “The thirsty negro is named Coon.”
The queers and lesbos gasped in horror as if someone had just ripped a fart in church. They all looked at Punk City Coon as if to pity him, then, the way he licked his lips at the two lesbos, made the four dainty turds of humanity shudder and recoil.
Coon then nodded respectfully past the rest to Joe Medicine Crow and the old Indian did the same.
Major Wolf, grinned, passed the bottle across the table to the Absaroka and opined, “Forgive his rudeness. He comes from Baltimore.”
Old Joe grinned like cracking leather under his deep brown eyes and extended his hand for the bottle, “Two drunk Indians in one town, Major Wolf. What will they say?”
For answer came a mournful, piercing howl from the snow-blown street without, and they all glanced, Ishmael and Wolf having to turn, to look out through the snow-crusted window frames.
As the chill played down Wolf’s spine and the queers and lesbos shuddered and hugged like puppies with monkey arms, Ishmael, always the man of cuddly concern, asked, “There was an old timer out there crossing the street when we pulled in. Should we”—“No,” cut in the voice of Joe Medicine Crow. He’s Wendigo. He was watching from the tree line above my ranch. He is why I have come here to die. He follows, he finds, he brings, he binds.”
The queers were flat-out crying and hugging and the lesbos were hang-jawed and beautiful in their own plastic way and he thought maybe he might love one of them before the night was out, then realized with a start that night had not yet fallen, despite the darkness above the snow without. He stood again and declared on impulse, “Then a toast, to what comes!”
With that, Old Joe downed a shot and handed the bottle across to Wolf and he did likewise as Coon took his thick lips off his bottle of rum and extended it to the closest blonde beauty, who recoiled as if from a snake and began to shake.
The men laughed, all four of them, old and hard and tempered by the myriad iniquities of life. In their midst, the lesbos and queers shrank as the smaller sissy, quaked, “This is it, this is everybody in town, except the staff—just us and Putin’s evil step children?”
And the men laughed, heartily and hard, as the wolf that had startled them all to chills moments before, was answered, by a cacophony of mournful, canine wails.
And the men laughed, laughed sharp, long and dark, with a night finally worth living falling before the blank curtains of the Stage they had all, for many long years, now been weary of retaking with each creeping dawn.
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