The Goats Step Up (34)

With the water of the bay held back from Tangier Island, Rory and Allen took a moment to rest. They took their break in an abandoned house that was still in good shape. Inside, there was old furniture and stacks of old newspapers. Allen took one out of a pile and began reading.

“What are you doing?” asked Rory.

“Reading.”

“What are you reading?”

Allen looked up, “The paper, duh.”

“From when” asked Rory.

“July 28, 1964.”

“Wow, that’s before either of use were alive. What was going on then? Go Twitter and just give me some headlines.”

Allen countered with, “No, I’ll give you a headline and you give me a word that has something to do with our situation and the Chupacabra.”

“Alright, go.”

“MORE MATERIAL ALSO WILL BE PROVIDED TO COUNTER REDS.”

“Hmmm,” thought Rory, “Defense. We need to create a strong defense against this thing.”

“SENATE BARS PLAN TO LIST FINANCES.”

“Trump…Just kidding. Transparency. We need to see deeply within ourselves to understand why this evil is here.”

“U.S. TO ADD 5,000 MORE IN VIETNAM.”

“Presence. We need a presence to help us defeat the impending doom.”

“BANDITS IN PARIS LOOT GEM SHOWCASES IN HOTEL.”

“Theft. We know this Chupacabra steals people’s beliefs.”

“NORAD CENTER TAKING SHAPE INSIDE MOUNTAIN.”

“WOPR.”

Allen looked up, “What?”

“WOPR, the computer from War Games. The only way to win to not to play… Too bad we don’t have that option, but we have access to the goats and if we have to go to the top of the mountain to put our war operation plan response in action, we will.”

“Something is wrong with you. EX CONVICT STUBS TOE AND GETS IN TROUBLE.”

“Karma. Hopefully we have been good because we are being asked to protect some really good goats.”

“COLLINS SAYS VIOLENCE, EVEN FOR RIGHTS, THREATENS DEMOCRACY.”

“Shortsighted. The country is based on violence. Do what you’ve gotta due, right?”

“True dat. EXPATRIATE, ON CUBAN RADIO, CALLS ON NEGROES TO MEET VIOLENCE WITH VIOLENCE.”

“Allen, you know I hate discrimination. I also just said that violence might be necessary to protect the goats. I hope the struggle for equality does not come to that. I get the frustration, though. As for us, my word is a letter, X.”

“Riiggghhhht… BASIC RULE IS TO PRESENT OVERWHELMING SHOW OF POWER: CLUBS, HOSES, AND CHEMICALS OFTEN FOUND EFFECTIVE.”

“What was going on in 1964? Weapons. I don’t want to resort to those types of weapons. What would the goats do? They have the weapons that we need.”

“SENATE UNIT TO STUDY LINK OF DOCTORS TO DRUG STORES.”

“Systems. The doctors knew what they were doing by owning drug stores. They owned the corners and had legally operating stash houses. It was a perfect system, except that it was wrong. We must have a system that protects the goats, staves off the Chupacabra, and brings everyone together.”

Poodle was gone. He left a couple of Sea Grasses behind. They were cold, so Rory and Allen drank. As usual, the effects of the beer were quick and spiritual. The guys sat in folding lawn chairs watching the goats argue about something. One goat walked over to the guys. He had a goatee and wore black rimmed glasses. He gave off reddish hue and when he began to speak, he made it clear what he thought needed to be done.

“This Chupacabra will find us here. You are not ready for its evil. We must go.”

“Where are we going?” asked Rory.

“On a pilgrimage,” said the goat.

“To Mecca?” asked Rory.

“No, to Chadd’s Ford. Don’t ask why. You will know when you get there.”

As the goat started to walk away, Allen asked, “Hey goat, are you Malcolm?”

The goat nodded and kept walking. All the other goats began walking behind the bearded goat towards the shoreline. Somehow they were able to walk across without sinking. Rory and Allen trudged into the water until it was too deep for them walk anymore. They started swimming, but the distance to land was too far and they began to fear that they would drown.

“Take your pants off,” yelled Allen.

Rory did and copied Allen as he turned his pants into a flotation device. They tied knots in the pant legs and then blew air into the pants. They were able to float and join the goats on the shore. With about one hundred yards to go the waters parted and the guys were able to walk the rest of the way.

“One of them must be Moses,” said Rory.

They rested until night. The stars were bright and the only thing the group had to navigate by was the Big Dipper. They followed it each night for several weeks avoiding towns and cities as best they could. Finally, they reached the ruins of Mother Archie’s church and school. All that remained of the hexagonal structure were pieces of the stone walls and a neglected cemetery that was located on a downward sloping hill.

Malcolm jumped atop one wall. He was steady and spoke with a nasal tone that conveyed an urgency for the group. He said, “We are here. This is where we will learn. This is where we will come together and fight the persistent evil that is seeking to destroy us. These two will learn of their potential and use it however necessary to keep man’s goodness alive.”

An old tow truck pulled into the tiny parking lot. Living on Faith, by Eric Clapton blasted from the speakers as the door opened. A man got out and yelled, “Who needs a knot tied?”

“Shorty?” asked Rory to Allen.

“There’s no way this is a dream,” said Allen.

Shorty began stringing rope over the top of the the old school house. His pattern resembled something that might be seen over swimming pools in Florida.

“Keeps the evil out,” he said.

When he was done, a dove and a crow joined the group.

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