Scene 24 – Tuesday After Dinner Story
Tuesday After Dinner Story
John sits back in his chair, cleans his mouth and rubs his belly after finishing his meal. “Nice! That was awesome babe,” he says, sipping his tea.
Su is still finishing her meal.
John looks over Su’s lap for Lucky. ” Luck?”
Su points at John with her fork.
John looks around and sees Lucky sitting beside him with his paw up. John starts laughing and Su contains a laugh as she eats.
” Hahaha, boy you don’t miss a single movement of the fork do ya man?”
Su shakes her head no.
Lucky starts panting and puts two paws up.
” Look at that, the power of steak,” John says.
John feeds Lucky some scraps. ” Say Maw maw.”
Lucky sneezes and shakes his head.
” Rwaw,” Lucky says quietly.
” Momma,” John says.
” Rwaw rwaw,” Lucky says louder.
” Good boy!” John says, feeding him a piece of fat.
Holding another piece in his hand as he looks at Su, ” Hey remember that time when Justin and the kids were over for dinner and we were making him say ” I’m hungry” and Justin said ” Make him say Justin?”
” Yes! that was so funny,” Su says.
Su starts smiling and points towards Lucky. ” Look, look he’s doing that thing with his lips again.”
John looks at Lucky and as soon as he does, Lucky speaks, ” Ar ruh ruh rrr.” Sneeze.
” Are roo hung gree? Good boy!” John says sounding it out for him.
Lucky sneezes again all over John’s foot, ” Oh Luck! God I hate when he does that.”
” Huh?” Su asks chewing.
” He sneezed on my foot. Nasty.”
Su starts laughing, ” I know it, I hate when he does that too. Come here puppy puppies.” Lucky quickly walks over to Su, taking a small piece of meat from her hand.
” Ok, ’bout ready to finish that story before we go out for the sunset? Which isn’t long from now.”
” How long?” John asks.
” Maybe fifteen minutes.”
” Yeah I think I have enough time. Where was I?”
” Something about the Gasparilla chanting something.”
” Right. Ok. So Gasparilla tied an anchor around his waist, chanted something thought to be an oath that was really an old Calusa chant and threw himself overboard. The Navy killed all the pirates on his ship. Well, this chant was the same chant that the Calusa chanted just before disappearing forever into the water after having nowhere to turn, but to the water.”
” That’s where I got confused,” Su says.
” Ok, alright, The Calusa, also known as the “Shell Indians” lived here and controlled these islands for hundreds of years before the Spanish arrived looking for treasures and the Fountain of Youth. They built islands and canals systems with the shells they discarded from their daily lives.
They were at war with other native Indians and with the Spanish Conquistadors. The Conquistadors chased them from their land after suffering diseases that devastated their population.”
” Who got the disease?”
” The Calusa, they were ravaged by small pox and other deadly diseases they had no resistance against.”
Su nods. “ Ok, that’s sad.”
” Very, these were fierce warriors. It’s probably the only reason they lost. Ponce de Leon was killed by a Calusa, died in Cuba from a poison arrow.”
” This happened here?”
“ Yes, but Ponce de Leon hauled ass and died from that arrow in Cuba about a month later.”
” Ok, I see.”
” So the legend goes that the Conquistadors were chasing a small group of the last known surviving Calusa inland from the Gulf side when the Calusa spotted another enemy tribe on land. The Calusa ran and fought where they could but knew they were ultimately defeated. The Calusa turned to the Gulf waters and started chanting as they slowly walked further and further out disappearing into the water. They never came back up.”
” Maybe they swam off to Cuba.”
” No, someone who witnessed the event, I think it was an Indian lore story, not sure. But the story was passed on for generations that the chant was a chant that turned the Calusas into the snails that create the shells you find here on the beach. And! They did this because and again it is said that the Calusa believed that the spirits, three of them — Two go into lesser animals and one remains with the body in the eyes. One of those spirits stays with the shell when the snail dies and as the shell disintegrates into particles and eventually into sand, they are continuously reborn as other snails use the sand to build their shells. Forever living on the beaches of Sanibel, the place they called home for so long.”
” Bullshit! Who told you that story?” Su says in disbelief.
” Not only that, some say they see ghosts of the Calusas on the beach sometimes.”
” Where did you hear that?”
” I read it online before we came here, look it up. There’s a story about some headless girl and a couple others too.”
” Ok, I don’t believe it, but whatever.”
” It’s just a story right?” John says.
” Let’s go Poe.”
John laughs, stands up and looks for Lucky’s leash, ” Where’s the poe!?”
Su starts laughing knowing he is referring to a woman on a game show who claimed she was a virgin and couldn’t find the pole she needed to pole vault across a divide of water between two obstacles, when it was right in front of her.
” So funny,” Su says smiling.
” Yeah, good stuff,” John agrees.
” Ok now let’s go.”
” Hoe” Su says.
” Yeah, like garden hoe?” she says.
” Yeah right.”
They snicker as John finds Lucky’s leash and puts it on him.
” Grab the camera,” Su says.
John hands Su the leash and grabs the camera off the counter, ” Let’s go,” he says as he turns around and sees Su is already outside.
John steps outside, locks the door and is met with Su holding out a blue plastic bag.
” Dang that was fast.”
“ Had to go,” Su says.
” You go ahead on out, I gotta wash my hands, I’ll meet ya out there.”
John cleans up the mess, throws out the bag and washes his hands off in the hose.
Fumbling with the camera and walking through the dunes he zooms in on a small yellow flower with a brown center and takes a picture.
Looking up he focuses on Su and Lucky then snaps the photo. Su is watching the sunset and smiling and Lucky is standing next to her sniffing the wind and looking around.
Stepping atop of the dune, John sees what Su is smiling at. There is a multitude of colors in the sky, it is ablaze with heavenly looking fires.
Dark purple and fire orange clouds lined with pink, float into dark blue-ish purple clouds over the waves. The clouds kiss the water further out with purple rolling outward and upward. A bright orange and red ball where the sun is, is piercing through the clouds and outlining them with a dark umber glow that fades back and around into a fiery orange mass of rolling clouds separates the little bit of blue sky that is left.
The water has a mauve glow to it as the tide crashes to shore from small waves that glide slowly onto the beach carrying sea foam that recess back as another wave comes ashore caressing the sand.
Several birds are quickly running back and forth from the waves as they slowly make their way along the tide line up the beach seeking their little treasures by stabbing their bills into the sand.
The wind is blowing steady, cooling the beach.
The sun dips beneath the horizon, partially guarded by a blanket of cotton candy colored clouds.
Copyright © 2013 by John Edward Petersen