The Indian Rock Vampire
Copyright 2014 by Joe Harwell
No part of this may be copied or reproduced in any way without written permission of the author.
Back cover copy
Julia and Laura should have been at home studying Bible verses for the Easter service, but on this Good Friday evening in 1910 they were determined to experience the full moon rise at their favorite place called Indian Rock. The twelve-year-old friends hiked to the foothills of Poteau Mountain conjuring up stories of the ancient tribes who carved symbols on the stone. When Indian Rock was fully illuminated by moonlight, a magical and beautiful feeling began to flow throughout their bodies.
Within weeks, both girls begin dreaming about strange people at Indian Rock who don’t look like Indians. When the dreams evolve into nightmarish scenes of a man being savagely tortured, both feel he is reaching out to them for help. As the frightening dream would become more than their sleeping minds can endure, they always wake with the sensation from the night of the full moon.
Powerful forces have known the origin and meaning of the symbols for centuries and fiercely guard against anyone discovering the truth. In 1958, Julia’s fourteen-year-old granddaughter Michelle disobeyed her parents and went to Indian Rock one evening with two older boys. When the dazed boys return without her looking like they’ve been savagely beaten, the meaning and power of the symbols begins to be revealed.
This is the legend of Michelle Sands, The Indian Rock Vampire.
Chapter 1: February 11, 1958 – The pretty young girl
“Hey, Uncle Bill, thanks for saving me a seat,” said Ronnie Majors as he sat down between his aunt and uncle on the second row of bleachers in the Poteau, Oklahoma High School gymnasium. “This ought to be good game.”
Ronnie’s Uncle, “Big Bill” Armstrong said, “My money is always on the small school. How are you bettin’ tonight?”
“Bet with you, Uncle Bill? I know better, but I’m sure Poteau is gonna win.”
Bill laughed and put his arm around his nephew. “Good answer Ron. You’d lose if you bet with me and you know it.”
Ronnie’s aunt, Lou Armstrong, leaned across in front of her nephew and said, “Bill, stop talking about gambling.”
Bill nudged Ronnie and said, “If you think bettin’ with me is dangerous boy, try crossin’ your Aunt Lou.” Bill and Ronnie both laughed as the crowd noise drowned them out when a player from Howe sank a big shot. Every school in Leflore County, from Arkoma in the north to Talihina in the south looks forward to this annual tournament. The large, medium and small schools play each other with an equal opportunity to win the coveted county championship, which is often won by a smaller school.
“How’s baseball practice going?” asked Lou. “You boys are probably looking forward to some nice spring weather.”
“Yeah, we are,” replied Ronnie. “We’ve been freezing our tails off out there, but I love it. I think this team is the best I’ve played on.”
“They better be good,” said Bill. “Our abstract company donated money to the booster club for new uniforms and equipment this year.”
“Oh, Bill,” interrupted Lou. “Stop pressuring the boy. He’s gonna make us proud like he does every year. Isn’t that right Ronnie?”
“Thanks Aunt Lou. And thank you too Uncle Bill. The guys really appreciate your support. We’re gonna take state this year if we keep playin’ like we are now.”
The crowd roared again as one of Poteau’s players hit a basket. Bill turned to Ronnie and asked, “How are you and that lil Nancy gal doin’? She’s a real cutie.”
Lou interrupted again. “Now Bill, don’t embarrass him like that. He doesn’t want to discuss his love life with you.” Lou turned to Ronnie and continued, “You’re taking that pretty little girl to the Valentine dance, aren’t you?”
Ronnie smiled and said, “Yeah, we’re going to the dance, but I gotta tell you, I’m not so sure how we’re really doin’. All she talks about is weddings. Heck, I just turned seventeen in December and got my car. She kinda scares me talkin’ about wedding stuff all the time.”
Bill Armstrong laughed and wrapped his arm around Ronnie’s neck in a wrestling hold, and said, “Lou honey, he’s just gettin’ started with his Tom cattin’. He ain’t ready for the taste of weddin’ cake. She’s got the hook out for you boy. You better run like hell.” Bill and Ronnie both laughed.
Lou wrapped her arm around Ronnie and said, “I can’t blame her. He looks like Elvis Presley. All the girls are after him.”
“Thanks for the compliment,” said Ronnie. His friend Larry Pate drew a foul, and Ronnie yelled, “Hey Larry, flatten number seven next time!”
Bill said, “That’s the spirit. Never let ‘em see you get mad over a call. Just bust their butt the next chance you get, ain’t that right?”
“You watch. Larry will lay that guy out before the game is over. He’s been gettin’ an elbow in the face from him, and the ref only called a foul when Larry gave it back.”
“You guys are terrible,” said Lou. “It’s just a few seconds until halftime and I’m heading to the concession stand before the crowd hits. Do you boys want anything?”
“No thanks,” answered Ronnie.
“I’m good too,” said Bill.
After his Aunt left, Ronnie nudged his uncle and asked, “Do you know the name of the Howe cheerleader standing over on the far right?”
“You mean the one on the end with long dark hair put up in a ponytail?”
“Yeah, that’s the one. Look, she’s turning around talking to a lady in the stands.”
“Oh, my goodness. She couldn’t be Julia Stone’s granddaughter?” Bill slapped Ronnie on knee and said, “Yes, I know her. The woman she’s talkin’ to is her grandmother, Julia Stone and the one sittin’ next to Julia is the girl’s mother, Amanda Sands. Her father, Jonnie Boy Sands, is sittin’ next to the mother. Damn that girl is cute, and all grown up lookin’ too. It’s no wonder she’s cute considering her heritage. Her grandmother was a real looker in her day and still looks good for an older gal. Amanda’s a nice lookin’ woman too. I believe the girl’s name is Michelle. Man, I haven’t seen her since she was a little kid. What’s the matter? She caught your Tom Cat eye?”
“Well, she is cute. I’ve never seen her before. She must be at least a junior or senior. I thought maybe she just moved here or something.”
“Let me see,” said Bill as he counted on his fingers. “I remember when she was born, so that would put her about…. Oh hell, you ain’t gonna to like it.”
What do you mean?”
“Well boy, looks can be deceiving, and she certainly looks like she’s your age, but she ain’t more than fourteen years old.”
“Fourteen!” Ronnie exclaimed. “You’re kidding me, right? If that’s a fourteen year old girl, she’s the best lookin’ one I’ve ever seen.”
Bill laughed and said, “Calm down Tom Cat. I ain’t kiddin’ ya. I know her entire family and remember exactly when she was born. She’ll be havin’ her fifteenth birthday pretty soon.”
“I still can’t believe it. Wow, she’s really something.”
Bill was still chuckling, and continued, “I know some twenty year old gals who’d kill to be put together like that, but I’m tellin’ you boy, if you got your eyes on her, you better stick with the Poteau cheerleader. She’ll be a lot less trouble for you.”
“What do you mean?”
“First of all, Michelle’s only fourteen, and damn, I know you like ‘em young and dumb, but fourteen? Plus, I’ve been hearin’ some rumors about you and Larry’s shenanigans with the freshmen girls in Poteau this year. You better be careful. If you get in that kinda trouble, I doubt if all my connections will enough to save your butt.”
“Don’t believe a word of it Uncle Bill. Those freshmen girls are always throwin’ themselves at me and Larry. Anyway, what’s the harm in showin’ a good time if they’re beggin’ for it?”
“Well boy, you still need to watch it. If you try somethin’ with that one over there, her old man and the rest of the family will wanna cut you up into pieces.”
Ronnie started to say something, but Bill stopped him and continued, “You damn sure don’t wanna cross Julia Stone. She and I went to school together in Howe. She helped me with my school work, and I would always try to sit across from her when we took a test to look at her papers. Later on she went to college in Tulsa and married a guy from there who was a lawyer and settled here with her, but he was killed in a car wreck a few years later.”
Bill paused, and then said, “Julia showed everyone she could handle her own business back then, including me. I have more respect for Julia than any other woman I know, besides your Aunt Lou of course.”
“Wow, Uncle Bill. I’ve never heard you talk about anyone like that. Was her grandmother your girlfriend?”
“No, it wasn’t like that.” Bill smiled and said, “Julia Stone’s granddaughter. Damn, she’s really somethin’, but I’m not kiddin’ Ron, you need to leave her alone. I know she looks all grown up, and you boys may be out of freshmen girls to have your way with here in Poteau, but she’s just a little freshman kid. I’m tellin’ you, stay clear of her for your own good.”
Lou Armstrong returned from the concession stand and said, “How’s the game goin’?”
Bill scooted over so Lou could have more room to sit down, and said, “Well honey, Ronnie and I have been people watchin’ and kinda’ lost track of the game.”
“Let’s get back on it. We gotta win the first round so we don’t have to fight our way back through the losers bracket the for the rest of the week.” Lou sat her pop down and put her hands on the sides of her mouth and yelled at the top of her voice, “Let’s Go Pirates!”
Bill and Ronnie both yelled with her, then Bill looked over at his nephew and said, “Your Aunt Lou yells for the Pirates like she was born a Poteau gal. You’d never know she was from Fort Smith, would ya?” Leaning closer to Ronnie, he continued, “I’m tellin’ you the truth about that other deal. You’d be better off to steer clear, OK?”
Ronnie nodded in agreement and they all cheered as the halftime buzzer sounded.