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A man entrances a woman in Miami, or is he a werewolf?
Writer and artist living in South Florida
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (22)
A Thousand Camels (Poetry) A caravan of long ago [173 words] [History]
A Treat For Heinke (Short Stories) A girl finds hope during wartime [1,028 words] [Spiritual]
And The Winner Is (Short Stories) A summer camp sports competition has a surprise ending [1,132 words]
As It Comes (Short Stories) A discarded, ragged notebook found on the sidewalk brings impressions and thoughts to the person who found it. [756 words] [Drama]
Down In The Country (Short Stories) The end of the line ain't what it's cracked up to be. [840 words] [Drama]
Endangered (Poetry) A love goes bad [45 words] [Romance]
Garlic, Ginger And Golden Seal (Short Stories) An old woman's recipe for a long life [1,868 words] [Mystery]
Grandma, I Love You (Non-Fiction) Memories of my maternal grandmother [1,027 words] [Biography]
How Lizard Lenny Svaed My Life (Short Stories) A woman escapes life under the El thanks to a man called Lizard Lenny [1,255 words] [Relationships]
It's About Time (Short Stories) Ups and downs in the world of quantum physics [1,475 words] [Humor]
Just Another Joe (Short Stories) A gumshoe takes it as it comes [1,096 words] [Health]
Kylie (Short Stories) Success is not always what we think it is. A girl chooses between fame or love. [1,700 words]
Magnolia (Short Stories) A young woman finds out what a magnolia smells like [1,208 words]
Ode To Wayne Dyer (Poetry) A light roast of self-help books [262 words] [Humor]
On Turning Seventy (Essays) A woman ponders the march of time [717 words] [Motivational]
Ovidio Gets A Smoke (Short Stories) A party turns sour but Ovidio ends up sittin' pretty. [1,160 words] [Suspense]
She Saw It All (Poetry) Statue of Liberty Saw 9-11 [190 words]
Teacups And Time (Poetry) A troubled, cold soul finally finds warmth [151 words] [Spiritual]
Thank You For Not Sleeping (Short Stories) Thoughts go all over the page during the night [1,257 words] [Mind]
The Mysterious Gypsy (Short Stories) Among old photos of Northern people, an exotic gypsy's photo appears. Who is she? [1,457 words] [History]
Tom's Moon (Short Stories) A little doll makes a difference [857 words]
Too Late For Coffee (Short Stories) An old man's last days with an angel [1,489 words] [Spiritual]
He loved masks. He would smear his face with green paint and get a thrill from the surprised faces of his playmates. He could then do whatever he wanted to. He had the power. He was the werewolf wannabe. He charmed them all with his musky, dark good looks and his swift, small, muscled frame. He knew when to be silent and when to say a word or two – that the hearer would hold on to till the meaning burned into their soul and they moved to another continent, changed careers, or perhaps ran their car into a tree.
But mostly they just dropped out. No one ever heard of them again. He was the one that people would say of – "It's as if I've known him all my life." And then after the fatal statement, would dream of him (but never mention his name) while resting in a sanitorium, jail or the Costa Rican jungle where they had recently purchased a coffee plantation that was haunted by the drug mafia. One reason they were willing sufferer of his fatal bite was that he himself was in far worse pain than his victim could ever dream of. And they knew it. So they always felt that it was he, not they, who were the victim.
No one ever blamed him for their newly acquired diseases or obsessions. Though not to anyone else, but to themselves, they would say "That poor man, I wonder what he is doing now? Is he still alive?" Years would go by and he might show up in town. No one went to shoot him down or poison his soup. They would, more than likely, thank him for being their friend and ask how he was, secretly being surprised that he was still alive – for he was always so tortured. He always seemed healthy, in a good mood, clean clothes and all the appearance of a man who is engaged in dynamic activities and has it "all together." Everyone thought he was a man, because he looked like one. There were no strange marks or unusual colored patches on his skin. The people of the village in the mountains back when he was born didn't even know the full story. They knew the father was shot in a drug gangland killing before he was born.
His mother, who feared they would try to kill the unborn child, too, hid in a remote valley with the Indians. She gave birth lying in the pool formed by a cascade of mineral rich waters among the rocks. As the Indians chanted to some strange powers, the woman felt her soul move above her body as the sound of the falling water became s loud bells clanging. The Indian women lifted the body out of the water as the afterbirth washed away down the stream. It was a beautiful child, well formed, with a thick shock of coal black hair and skin the color of coffee. And it was a boy, or so they thought.
As they went to place a woven cloth over the woman's face and body (for she had died), the woman's soul returned to her body and she was able to move her lips. "No-o-o-o," she had moaned, as the Indian women ran into the bush, leaving the baby crying on the ground. The woman brushed away what had been her shroud, and tenderly lifted the baby to her breast. The boy and his mother stayed with the Indians until he was sixteen years old. She then sent him to the capital city where some distant relatives helped him get passage to Miami. The boy, who knew the ways of Indians, yet had an uncanny ability to blend into any surroundings, quickly found local bars as a friendly place to meet people and pick up the local flavor.
The little joins in the old part of town and in walking distance of his little room off Flagler Street, were his new life. The Indians of his youth had treated him with a certain amount of fear, calling him "the boy of the dead" behind his back, but otherwise, treated him no differently than their own kind. Here, on the streets Little Havana, or more specifically, the local bars, it was another story. He quickly found that people were drawn to him like a magnet. They seemed to follow him and whatever he did, they tried to copy and hung on his every word (of which there were very few). Mostly he would drink cheap beer and a vodka here and there. Once in a while it would be Aguardiente. When he was feeling grandiose, he would do a good brandy. When he would plan to take someone to his little pad (he had no problem getting a willing taker) he would have a couple of shots of tequila.
This kind of life, supported by generous donors to his cause – the cause of being basically sex, drugs and rock and roll, would have destroyed most any man or woman quickly enough. Aids was rampant in Miami at the time, yet he always came out smelling like a rose. Others about him fell, never to get up again, suffering from a swollen liver, or beaten senseless in an alley. Many died in clean Miami hospitals. And he used no protection, not when it came down to the finish line. But Zack, as they called him here (his mother had never given him a name for fear the drug lords might then trace him), seemed to thrive and get better and better quality of acquaintances and benefactors.
I met Zack three years ago. It was Springtime in Miami. Beautiful blooms were popping up on the trees and bushes – pale pink frangipanis, blood red bougainvilleas and orange ixoras were everywhere. But then, Miami was always full of blooms and the weather was always Spring or Summer. And most people in Miami whom I knew paid little attention to all this beauty. Even the blooms themselves seemed to peek out of their stems apologetically. As if concrete was king, and they trespassers. The neighbors in my apartment house on South Miami Avenue were having a down and out fight and I decided to take a walk down the street.
Soon crowds began to appear from all directions. I found myself in the middle of a festival on Calle Ocho, the Latin street that used to be called Tamiami Trail. I sat down on the curb, feeling the scorching sun beating down on my uncovered hair that I quickly gathered into a pony tail. My crisp pale green blouse melted into a wrinkled wet mess, sticking against my arms and back. The only fresh thing on me was a creamy blossom behind my ear. I had picked it as I walked along a hedge down the street. Latin rhythms blasted from giant speakers deafened my ears as I watched what looked like hundreds of people yelling, dancing, drinking beer and otherwise having a noisy good time. In all the commotion, I suddenly felt a chill down my spine. Then I felt someone slide down next to me, touching my hips as he squeezed to sit down.
" Nice flower," he remarked. His eyes, and then his hand touched the flower above my ear. I could not see his face, for he had a mask over his eyes, carved from a coconut shell. "I come from a land of flowers," he continued. He took off his mask and smiled. I will never forget that smile – all white teeth against copper tan skin and lips and hair as black as indigo, shining in the sun. I noticed he was very handsome, the kind of handsome that disarms most women. I was no exception. My love life in this glamorous city had been nonexistent.
Why was I thinking of love? It was only a stranger in a street festival paying a compliment. I had no idea he was a werewolf, well, not quite. It has been almost three years now. Needless to say, he had the same effect on me as he had and surely continues to have on most women and men he meets. I cannot even think of what he might be doing or where he may be living. I know he left Miami soon after our affair burned into a singeing, destructive, nightmare. My mind tells me different, but my heart knows that it was all my fault. I hurt this tortured soul. I didn't mean to, but the pain in his eyes was so great when he said goodbye, that I knew I was the cause. Looking out the window of my room I now see the tips of tall Australian pines. I'm not quite sure where this hospital is, but they tell me the gardens are lovely, full of blooms. I wonder if it is Springtime?
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© 2007 Liilia Morrison
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