So there I was enjoying a beautiful Kentucky afternoon while renewing the widow Abner’s brownie wards when some damned fool in a city truck (and if you don’t know what a city truck is its one them fool jacked up trucks with a nice shiny paint job, too much chrome, and no gun rack in the back window) comes barreling down the road too damn fast, skidding out on the turn, crushing the woven beechwood, hawthorne and silverbell knotwork I had been preparing to bury at the northeast corner of the widow’s property, scattering my candles hither and yon and damn near running me over in the process.
As I was deciding whether or not to throw a couple low grade curses his way and trying to decide which one to use (I was leaning toward making the dumb bastard a magnet for lice, only temporarily of course) I was interrupted in my cogitating by Deputy Dalton’s 97 ford bronco screaming down the same damn road. At least Jed knew how to drive on dirt and managed to stay on the road, and Sheriff Garrett who was riding shotgun did have the good manners to throw me an apologetic wave as I got yet another cloud of dust and gravel square in the face, but to say my day had ceased to be pleasant was an understatement.
Well there I was cursing under my breath about idiot city boys who come up into the mountains with bad intentions and the idiot cops what chase them when I got a twinge in my right earlobe that told me something bad was about to happen. AS if my day wasn’t bad enough now there was gonna be violence. Exasperated I looked up into the clear blue Kentucky sky to see if I might have an ally up there when I spotted Hank circling on the thermals looking for a meal. Hank’s a crochety old red tail but he and I had history so I sent my sight up into the sky and made contact.
“Need Ride, Help” Hawks aint much for long winded conversations. Fancy-pants eloquence tends to piss them off.
“Rabbit?” See what I mean, no hemming and hawing, no unnecessary jawing, just straight to haggling.
“Mouse?” You gotta be tough with red-tails, you get a rep as a pushover and next thing you know they’ll be asking for a whole damn sheep, though what in the hell a red-tail would do with a sheep I have yet to figure out.
“Squirrel. No Squirrel, no Ride”
“Squirrel” I agreed and spit on the ground to seal the deal. Old hank came plummeting down in a predatory dive centered on my head, and if you aint ever had 2 and a half pounds of raptor homing in on your kisser you got no damn idea just how intimidating it can be. But I held my ground and looked him square in the eye and just before I got a face full of talons he flared out his wings and dropped to the ground on the other side of the gob of spit just as light as a butterfly landing on a rose. I sat down and focused my eyes on his, there was the familiar feeling of being on a merry go round moving way too fast and next thing I know I’m looking out of Hanks eyes as he flaps those big old wings and lifts of like the avian death machine he is.
I’ll tell you, if you’ve never seen through a Hawk’s eyes then you got no damned clue just how piss poor human sight is. Hell I was judged 20/20 back when I fought in the great war and my eyes hadn’t gotten any worse by the time I served in WW2, but Hank made me fell like I’d spent my life half blind in one eye with an eyepatch over the other. He could see the ticks on a dog ass three miles away. Well he could have if he had had any interest in ticks, or dog’s asses.
As we circled up into the sky I pointed out the candy apple red truck that has just then taken yet another turn too fast, resulting in said truck being quickly and forcibly stopped by a red oak that was even older than I was. As I watched in horror through Hank’s superior avian vision I saw some damned fool dressed in too tight jeans, too shiny boots, and the reddest shirt I have ever seen in my life come out of the car with the biggest damn handgun It had ever been my misfortune to lay eyes upon.
“Is that damned fool trying to fire a deagle one handed?” I thought to myself?
Hank, being as privy to my thoughts as I was to his eye sight began to to look around in rage, utterly offended by the idea that an eagle might be trying to horn in on his territory.
“Not eagle, deagle” I replied with a mental image of the ridiculous gun.
“Noise hand. Pah”I shit you not, he actually thought “Pah” I believe Hank may have spent more time around me than is healthy for any bird.
By this point the deputy’s bronco was skidding to a stop in front of the garish truck, but unfortunately for old Jed the cloud of dust and gravel he created in doing so obscured his view of the crazy fool with the oversized gun, and now I knew why I’d had my premonition. I could tell by the way Deputy Dalton and Sheriff Garrett were getting out of the car that they assumed the city feller was hurt and only I knew better. Damn it, this was gonna end up costing me a rabbit after all.
“Hank, Bad man. Bad noise hand. Hank hunt”
“Rabbit” I hate it when I’m right sometimes.
Once we were agreed things happened pretty fast, Hank streaked down like a bullet, flaring his wings and extending his talons just as the crazy bastard with the idiot gun raised his hand to fire, only instead of the big bang he had been expected he heard himself scream as the pain of his wrist and forearm being shredded hit. For one crazy second he looked into Hanks eyes and I could see the madness within his. Hank and I both shuddered at that because there wasn’t nothing natural about that particular kind of crazy, and it had more than a touch of damnation to it.
Well old hank flapped his wings and got out of there likety-split, but by that time Deputy Dalton had seen the gun on the ground and the hawk flying away and while he looked confused as hell he’d been trained well. He had the city boy on his stomach in the dirt and his arms cuffed behind him before he asked any questions. The last thing I saw before Hank turned back to where I left my body was Sheriff Garrett tipping his hat to Hank and I while shushing the deputy. Les always had been a well mannered boy
This is my newest WIP. Its also the least fleshed out, Ill have to do quite bit more research on american folk magic and I may end up changing the exact location, but hopefully this will give you the gist of what I have intended. I hope you all enjoyed it.