Darango: Prequel to the vampire Asher

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The backstory, or one of the theories, of one of the most mysterious, elusive demon/creatures of all time, the vampire Asher's dear old Dad...Darango!

The crunch a scorpion makes under the heel of your boot in the desert is not a wet one. It crackles like bones being crushed or a giant stepping on twigs in the woods. The heat is an unbearable one, the kind of heat that sends snakes mad, the kind of heat you hear about in saloons with piano players with less than ten digits. These are the thoughts that go through the mind of an outlaw on the lam, a man on the run from just about every lawman this side of the badlands, a man with no horse because it died of heat exhaustion a few miles back, leftovers for the vultures, leftovers only because this lowly gunslinger already ate most of it, along with a few snakes and bugs along the way. This gunslinger was just about on his last legs, on the verge of collapse, death a half of a heartbeat away. He crumbled to one knee, attempting to drag himself with his other leg but failing miserably and falling into a heap in the desert sand. The wind had started to pick up and a storm was well on its way, the howl of the desert wind like a banshee in the distance, aching to be heard and felt by whoever it was about to rip through in its mad torrent of malevolence.

“........señor,.......amigo.........:wake up, ay? C'mon....vamonos....", Manuel poured some of his tequila all over the face of the gringo who spat and coughed most of it back up. "Wh.....where.......who are you?", his timbre was hoarse, shaky as he got to his feet. The little Mexican helped him as much as he could, as much as he was allowed to, this gringo was proud and wasn't the sort to ask for help from anyone.

"I had you for dead, you were just lying there.....get up, c'mon, we gotta hurry, ay? He's almost here........"

"Wha.............who's almost............what are you talking about, you crazy Mexican?", the shakes had clearly gone, the stranger was starting to get his bearings, in more ways than one, all six foot, four inches of grizzled killer that he was.

"Diablo", Manuel's eyes opened incredulously as he mouthed the name, "...he's on his way and he's gonna be looking for you, ay? We're gonna have to get out of here and fast, ay?"

"Who in the Hell is this Diablo, and who the Hell are you", indignation rose in his voice now, shaky again, but with a different kind of tremble, steely, this wouldn't be his first gunfight if it came to that.

"C'mon, forget all that, just hurry, okay? There's a bounty on you, gringo, and Diablo's looking to collect, less' go, vamonos", Manuel, the crazy, little Mexican urged the stranger with his hands, pulling him to his burro and carriage just ahead of them.

The hut itself wasn't that dingy, but the aura of neglect permeated its very essence. The gunfihjter was reminded of something. Something the air tried to hide but initially couldn't. It wafted into the head of the gunfighter in large swooping gushes, so much so that he lost his footing at the entryway, the door of these ruins of a domicile that the Mexican called 'home'.

"C'mon, ay", the little Mexican urges him on, shuffling ahead into the dank splendour of his house. The table, or what remained of it, was smack dab in the middle of the hut and on it was a bottle of tequila and a couple of shot glasses. The gunfighter/gringo stumbled over to it and proceeded to help himself to a shot. The Mexican encouraged him, while he made his way to a room at the back of the shed, only to shortly re-emerge with what could only be construed as a photo album of sorts. He dropped it in front of the gringo with no name and motioned for him to open it. The gunfighter obliged. Snapshots of reservations and Native American cemeteries, with a few braves smattered in-between flanked the gunfighter's vision.

"What's all this about, Manuel?", the gunfighter's patience was wearing thin, too many unanswered questions and not enough explanation for what was 'unfolding' as this eternally long day wore on. The Mexican pointed to a few of the pictures of Indian braves and chiefs alike, explaining to the gunfighter his unknown 'ancestry'. His name was Darango, according to the Mexican, and he was part Cherokee, part Navajo. "Just what the Hell are you goin' on about, you crazy Mexican?", the tequila did not slow the gringo's nerves, instead it sharpened him, quickened his blood, cleared his mind.

"You're the one, gringo, you're heem", the Mexican spoke in riddles,"...the great bear, the wolf, it's you, vato...you're the one...and this was your hijo, your son, look..."

Baby pictures all look the same and the gunfighter could no more tell this child from any others that he'd ever seen...or killed! He raised up slowly from the table, pushing the table away from him and feeling his belt, his gunbelt, for his 'lady', his six shooter supreme, extended barrel, platinum tip.12

'Espera...wait, gringo, I show you...", Manuel Valesquez, all one hundred fifty pounds of his diminutive frame, scrambled madly into his back room, eager to show this gringo gunfighter that his words were not just lip service. For all of ten minutes, the gunfighter waited outside, waited for the Mexican to return with an 'explanation' for all this hoopla he was spewing on about. He was starting to get a migraine, his left temple now throbbing from the heat and the rancid tequila that stung the back of his throat. Ten minutes became fifteen, then twenty, then thirty as the gunslinger's patience expired with a fury and he made his way, with a purpose, to Manuel's back room. What met him, what he saw there, was profound, life-altering and epic in its display of decadence and depravity...and sheer and utter terror!

The gunslinger's eyes widened, his grip on his gun loosened and time, as he knew it stood still. Darango was confronted by an egg. An egg intertwined with what could only be described as an octopus, one that consumed half of the room he stood in. The poor lighting only added to this grand guignol of the grotesque as the egg, protected by this monstrous encephelapod, began to hatch before his very eyes!

The egg did not so much hatch as it did explode! Tendrils, replete with rows of razor-sharp fangs, tails and suction cups, ripped themselves away from the tree-like, encephelapod abomination mother mass on the bed, and attached themselves with fervour, to their new host, that of Mr. Darango, the gunslinger with no name and soon to be no face, no body.....They exploded into thousands of stidgeon, carrion, wormlike parasites, speckled and reptilian in appearance, exploded all over the like of Mr. Darango. He screamed and clawed and even shot a few of them in this feeding frenzy for his flesh, but it was all to no avail. Within seconds, he was fully consumed. All that was left of the lofty, mysterious gunslinger was a shredded overcoat, pieces of a boot and the remains of a bag of chewing tobacco that the gunslinger, Darango, once kept in his breast pocket.

The parasites now too, also seemed dead, their purpose achieved, their appetites sated. They now twitched and melted into the ground and bubbled over in lavalike, goopy puddles of magma/acid, acid that was once their blood, now seeping in the floorboards and the walls of the room within. They dissipated to a standstill, dissipated until...until they started to reform! Reform in the image ot the gunslinger, Darango!

In all of three minutes of undulation and sinewy metamorphosis, the gunslinger, Darango once again stood tall at the door of the back room! The gunslinger/thing reached into his top pocket for some chewing tobacco, which he deftly, one-handedly, rolled into a poorly fashioned cigarette, and flicked it, just as deftly, into his paper cut of a mouth. "Stupid gringos, they just never learn", Manuel Valesquez's voice resonated from the throat of the gunslinger, Darango. "Pobrecitos. Muy triste", Darango/Manuel, mockingly, made the sign of the cross and shuffled off and away from the doorway of his back room now, shuffled off to his table where he poured himself another shot of tequila. On the point of downing it, however, he changed his mind, and proceeded to ingest the entire bottle, glass, worm and all...

Submitted: October 27, 2010

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