The Roanoke Colony Mystery
Huffing slowly up the hill, Palo jogged up to where Elohanta sat idly whittling a stick.
“How....”, Elohanta began, holding up one hand to show Palo his palm. “....is it going?”
“That's a good one,” Palo said, rolling his eyes and grabbing Elohanta's waterskin. Taking a large swig, Palo flopped down on the ground and tried to catch his breath. “I never heard that one before. Be sure to pass that down to the young ones, timeless humor like that deserves to live through the ages.”
“Why are you such a crab-ass?”
“You know those colonists that the Chief wanted me to contact?”
“The ones whose ship just left? What about them?”
“I think we need to stay away from those people. Far away.”
“Why?” Elohanta asked, putting his knife back in his belt and leaning toward his friend. “Are they a bunch of jerks or something?”
“I think they're cursed,” Palo said, looking ashamed. Elohanta looked at him for a moment, seemed to seriously consider what he was saying, and then began to chuckle while pointing at him.
"I'm serious! You weren't there. You didn't see....the things that were happening.”
“Okay,” Palo began, taking another pull off the waterskin. “First day I'm there I decide to hide out in the trees at the edge of their settlement. I'm watching this farmer come along, he's carrying one of those pitchfork things, an axe, and a rake. He sets the pitchfork down on a stump, pointy end up...”
“Yeah. He goes back, gets something else, comes back, and then -boom- falls on the damn pitchfork! Sticks him right in the chest.”
“Ouch. That's certainly unlucky, but cursed?”
“Wait for it,” Palo said with dread. “So he's yelling, he's got a pitchfork in his chest, and he's flailing around. These other two guys, I'll call them Curly and Baldy, run up to help him. Curly grabs the pitchfork, yanks it out, and ends up hitting Baldy right in the throat with the blunt end. Baldy starts gasping for breath. Curly, hearing Baldy start choking, swings around while still holding the pitchfork and ends up stabbing Baldy right in the eye.”
“Then Curly starts screaming, he throws the pitchfork down, and tries to run for help. He ends up knocking the first guy over, right onto the axe. Guy gets an axe stuck right his back. Curly panics some more, steps on the rake, it flies up, and hits him in the eye. He stumbles and then....”
“He falls on the pitchfork?” Elohanta whispers, hands flying up to cover his eyes.
“He falls on the fucking pitchfork.”
“So, were they...?”
“Dead. All dead. I sat there watching for a few more minutes and then I moved on.”
Elohanta sat and looked out over the hills, thinking. After a moment he turned and considered Palo for a moment.
“That does sound pretty bad. Was there anything else?”
“I watched them try to plant a garden.”
“They tilled the earth, seemed to know what they were doing, and then this woman insisted they plant 'Salt Berries' and proceeded to sprinkle salt all over the place.”
“But....but that isn't a thing that exists....”
“I know, Elohanta. I know.”
Smith balled his fists in anger and faced off against Thomasson. Both men seemed close to exchanging blows.
“I'm telling you,” Smith shouted. “I eat a lot of salad, so I know how to spell it.”
“Just because you eat a lot of something doesn't mean you know how to spell much of anything. Idiot.”
“It's C-R-O-U-T-O-N. Not...whatever the hell you were saying. If you spelled it out, you would see how wrong you are. Look, you have a knife, go carve what you said into that tree, and you'll see I'm right.”
“That's not where I was thinking of carving it!”