Rayzene Back story, merged.
November 12, 1862.
War amongst men is bad. A war of brother against brother is hell. God knows I buried my brother Jacob yesterday. The soldier pauses in writing his journal entry to wipe tears from his eyes.
‘Twas a pitchfork, not a bullet, that felled Jacob. We had been arguing as usual. Jacob was angry, ranting about his Secessionists views. It wasn’t on purpose, his death.
I was bailing hay in the barn, doing my best to ignore him. Jacob came at me, stood directly in front of me as I was using the pitchfork. It pierced his leg…
The soldier stops writing. He hears the call of the bugle. I pray I shall continue this journal later.
Funny. I read what I wrote yesterday. Jacob didn’t die from the leg puncture. At least not rightaway. I would like to say it was infection. Pa was angry with me. Jacob was older, I was just not of his stature.
So I left. I marched across the border and joined up in the first Union town I came across. It shames me to think of Pa being alone back in South Carolina… Mother having already left him.
…. I swear to kill that bugle player somehow.
It would be immodest for me to say how long I lasted in training for battle. My trainers have deemed me “too flat-footed a hick to be any real use,” so I am on the front-lines now with no more training ahead of me. I would not bemoan my position, but I was told this was so I would probably die faster than “a more suitable man.”
The bad news is that their chief rifleman is an imbecile who wears the thickets glasses I have seen upon a man and he is the bugler.
The good news is I may now ignore his siren’s call to the training fields.
So I have won.
I feel I should speak further on my “unfitness” as it were. I am a Southerner in a Northerner’s army. I speak with an accent that belays my origins. Despite my insistence that I do not abide slavery, the men do not believe me. Others say I smell like a polecat with the stench of cowardice drawn down my back.
I now rue my having left home. Maybe to say I rue it more than ever now.
I have been betrayed. My superior officer had seen me writing in this journal. He took it from me and was impressed enough with my hand-writing to show it HIS superior. It does not help that my superior is an illiterate man.
The end result is that now that they see I might write my words “purty enough” I am now a messenger and spy. My life shall be in more danger than it had been before! I abhor this new promotion but I must take it up.
With that, I regretfully put my plans behind me. With the death of my brother, I had wanted to make my own new brotherhood in this world. I do not enjoy violence as Jacob had though I am his killer.
I would much rather love my Brethren as equals rather than slaughter them for any cause. I may never wash the blood from my conscience as Lady MacBeth had not in her guilt.
Ah… so it is with a heavy heart I finish this journal before I have reached any conclusions.
- James Draxtin, 1862.
Written in Pennsylvania though I call South Carolina my home.
January, 1865, New York City.
“Raisin is our name! Here we sit in the sun, drying up like a big ol’ raisin in the sun,” shouts a short man standing on a wooden box. “We have no fruit to eat, no meat, and it is all the fault of that bastard in the White House!”
A tall man passing by glares at the short man. “And you’re raising hell, shorty,” he rebukes. “Look at you! Standing on that there box of yours and yet you’re just tall enough to look me in the eye, knee-high!”
The tall man shoves the shorter man off of his box and then spits on him where he lays.
The shorter man sits up and brushes himself of as the tall fellow walks away. “You are on my list, sir!” he mutters to himself. “On my list!” he shouts. Kevin Draxtin is a lightweight with heavy aspirations. He leans over to retrieve from the box a ledger. Into the ledger he writes a quick description of his assailant and what had happened.
In the middle of his writing, the pen breaks because he’d been pressing too hard on the paper. He growls. “Pen-maker, you are on my list as well!” But he is incapable of writing this transgression down because his pen is broken now.
Someone approaches him from behind and taps him on the shoulder. Suddenly panicked, Kevin shudders. The face of the man he is looking it as obscured because he has his back to the sun. He is just a silhouette. “Are you Mr. Draxtin of South Carolina?” asks the stranger.
“No sir, I am not,” lies Draxtin.
“Well, any other fellow than Draxtin who dares stand on a pulpit calling the President a ‘bastard’ is asking to die,” comments the stranger.
“But I am Mr. Draxtin!” stammers Kevin. He is genuinely scared now.
“Good. You are telling the truth now,” says the stranger. He pats Kevin on the shoulder amicably this time. Then he helps Draxtin to stand. “Come with me, please.”
Against his better judgement, Kevin follows. “Where are we going, sir?” he asks.
The stranger doesn’t answer, just continues walking. They cross three streets, then go around one corner. At the entrance to an alley, the stranger turns to face Kevin. For the first time Kevin notices how well-dressed his new friend is. The fellow is also of medium height. He wears a stove-pipe hat.
“Mr. Lincoln, sir, I….” stammers Kevin.
The stranger glares at him then laughs. “I am no more Lincoln then you are Betty Boop,” comments the stranger. “Is he the only man allowed to wear such a hat?”
Kevin doesn’t comment. He is feeling foolish.
The stranger enters the alley. When he notices that Kevin isn’t following him immediately, he says, “I promise you I won’t harm you. Or rob you of more than your dignity.”
“Sir, my dignity is quite important to me,” says Kevin, following.
“You are a man with ideas of the future, Draxtin. I am here, with my friends, to foster that dream,” comments the stranger.
Kevin pauses in his footsteps. “Friends?”
“I know why you protest, Kevin. You are unemployed and hungry. I own a railroad. Do as I say to you and you, too, can be part owner of that railroad.” The stranger turns about and smiles.
“My dignity, sir? Do you mean to… to… do something to take my virtue from me?” asks Kevin. His stomach growls at the mention of food, though.
Before the stranger can answer, someone behind Kevin speaks. “Hello, Paul.”
Paul smiles. “Hello to you, Jesop.” He turns back to Kevin. “You know my name now, Draxtin. We are even.”
Kevin looks behind his back and curses. “You are friends with a black man?”
“I am friends to many people, Draxtin. And so should you be. Jesop works on my railroad as a foreman. You will work with him from now on so you should be friends with him as well.”
Before Kevin can protest further, Jesop fishes out his wallet from his pocket. From it he withdraws two hundred dollars. “We are friends, aren’t we, sir?” he asks.
His prejudices temporarily forgotten, Kevin agrees. He is then handed the large sum of money. He takes a moment to wipe the wad of cash on his pant’s leg before putting it in his own pocket. “Consider my dignity bought, gentlemen!”
“The hell you say?” asks Jesop. Paul laughs.
Paul says, “We aren’t here to buy or steal your dignity or virtue, Draxtin. I told you Jesop here is my railroad foreman. Unfortunately I cannot make that public knowledge. So you will learn from him how to pretend to be foreman. I imagine you’ll enjoy shouting at the workers.”
“Ah, good,” comments Kevin.
“It is good to make friends, Draxtin,” says Paul. Jesop doesn’t look convinced.
Paul walks a few feet more into the alley. There is a door. He knocks on the door.
A slot in the door that is eye-level opens. “What do you want, human?”
“I am Paul. Let me in.”
“I do not care if your name is Patricia, human. I won’t let you in,” says the voice. It closes the slot.
Paul isn’t pleased. He looks over at Jesop. Jesop nods. He pushes Kevin aside. Kevin doesn’t protest. He’s thinking he should have not taken the money.
Paul hits the door with his bare fist. It crashes inward as if a cannon ball had hit it. There is a scream from inside. Before Paul enters, he says to Kevin “Forget you saw that. You, too, Jesop.” Both his companions blink and then look at each other in confusion.
“I am Paul. Thanks for being so hospitable,” Paul says. He walks into the room, stepping on the shattered door. The creature beneath it groans under his weight.
Kevin looks inside from behind Jesop. What he sees makes him turn white with fright. He runs. Jesop curses, but Paul grabs him before he can give chase after Kevin and pulls him into the room.
Kevin turns, sees the men go into that horrible place. He continues running, hoping he never sees either man again. He hopes will not be realized. It is a week later that he will meet Paul….
Kevin is sitting at a bar, very drunk. Again, Paul approaches him from behind and pats him on the shoulder. Kevin curses in surprise.
“Money gone, Mr. Foreman?” Paul asks.
“No no no no,” lies Kevin. Seeing the look in Paul’s eyes, he says, “Yes.”
Paul smiles. “I hired you to be my patsy, Draxtin. Not be a sponge to soak up all you could drink.” He turns to Kevin, no longer smiling. “It is good that you escaped when you did, my good fellow. I could not have assured your safety.”
Paul glares at him. Kevin sucks in a breath and holds it. “Next time, wait until I tell you to run, though.”
The bartender comes back and looks sourly at Kevin. “Friend of yours, buddy?”
“I am Paul,” says Paul.
The bartender suddenly smiles. He reaches across the bar, offering his hand. Paul shakes it. “Paul! So he is a friend of yours!” The bartender laughs. “I’ll waive the tab then. I never seen a man drink AND eat away that much money in such a short time.”
“So, Norman, may I and Draxtin here go to the backroom?” asks Paul.
“What backroom?” asks the bartender. He rolls his shirt sleeves up around his large arms.
“Remember, I am Paul,” Paul says calmly.
“Oh! That backroom, Paul!” says the bartender. He gestures to the back of the bar. “I’ll open the door for you from here when you get there.”
Kevin reluctantly gets off his stool but stumbles in his drunkeness. Paul whispers in his ear, “I am Paul, you are no longer tipsy,” and Kevin’s legs finally agree to move him again properly. Kevin is mystified until Paul whispers for him to forget that had just happened.
Paul leads the ruddy-faced Kevin to the backwall. True to his word, the bartender pushes a button and the wall opens up like a door. None of the few other guests bothers to follow as the two men walk into the secret passage and down the small flight of stairs into the hidden basement. In fact, they all seemed to have averted their eyes the moment the wall started to open. After they’d gone, the door closed up behind them.
The bartender mutters beneath his breath, “Good luck to you, yon heavens,” before busying himself cleaning the glasses Kevin had drunk from.
“Interesting trick, Paul,’ Kevin comments.
Paul is silent. At the bottom of the stairs there is another door with a slot in it. Kevin tenses, but Paul shoves him forward and knocks on the door.
The slot opens. The guard asks, “Who is it?”
“I am Paul,” Paul says. “And this is Mr. Kevin Draxtin.”
For a moment, Kevin is surprised to hear his first name AND last name pass through Paul’s lips. He’d thought that Paul didn’t know his full name for some reason. Then he recalls what he’d seen a week ago.
It had been a glimpse of some kind of altar in the center of the room, the floor covered in blood. It was some kind Pagan or Occult shrine Kevin was certain. The fact that he didn’t know the difference between the two didn’t occur to him. Nor was he a religious man.
Kevin shuddered at the idea he’d see the same thing in this room, but the guard this time said, “OH! Paul!” Well, actually the words came out in a squeal of delight.
The reason for the odd inflection in the voice became apparent as the guard opened the door and Kevin suddenly found himself staring directly at a woman’s bosom. An uncovered bosom at that!
Kevin looked inside and there were quite a few uncovered bosoms in there. And women attached to them at that! Kevin tilted his head and smiled up at the first woman. She smiled and waved at him, cooing some compliments at him. Sometimes, it was good to be short, Kevin thought.
Kevin eagerly entered the room, followed by a laughing Paul. Their guard remained stationed at the door. She called out, “Have fun, boys!”
Kevin smiled back at her. “Thank you!”
In the middle of the room there was no altar this time. No blood either. But there were men wearing… black robes? Each of them sat around a large card table, hoods removed. The ones not playing wore their hoods up and either watched or were engrossed in some sort of debauchery.
Paul said to Kevin,”Welcome to our little club, Kevin. No more booze for you although you won’t find the cheap stuff here.”
Kevin laughed. “Are you kidding? I…”
Paul interrupted him, “I am Pau and you are no longer a drinker.”
Kevin sobered his expression. “Ah, it is a sinful thing, imbibing! I uh…” He blinked. “What the heck are you doing to people when you say that!?!?”
Paul glared at him. Kevin decided not to ask again.
Just then one of the women walked right up to Kevin and hugged him tight. Kevin turned to look at her face. “IRENE!?!!”
The woman was equally shocked. “KEVIN!?!?!” She disengaged, holding her hands over herself. “What in the heck is my ex-husband doing here?”
Kevin shot back, “EX-HUSBAND!?!”
The argument would have continued if Paul hadn’t of said “Shut up, both of you weasels!” He was so mad, he forgot to say his usual spiel. Thankfully, they took his advice.
Irene made her way to some other John. Kevin didn’t bother watching her as she went. He wasn’t surprised either. When he looked in on the card players again, he had another surprise. One of the men playing was his son, James.
James sat at the table, a woman behind him with her arms around him. She held onto his cards for him. The reason for which became apparent… James only had one arm left. He tapped on a card with his left index finger that he wanted her to set down on the table for him.
James was saying, “So there I was, my friends! And you wouldn’t believe who took my arm!”
One of the other men interrupted him, “Your brother Jacob!”
James glared at the man. Kevin was almost surprised it was Jesop who had spoken impertinently to his son. Almost, but not quite.
James agreed with him, “Yes, Jacob it sure was!” He laughed. “I am sorry, gentlemen, but I had heard from my father that Jacob had died.”
Kevin walked to the table and glared at him. “He lost a darn leg and had to get a wooden one,” he said. “Poor cuss may as well have died. He was never the same after that!”
James stood up, knocking his cards from the woman’s hands and they fell on the table. Everyone at the table folded at the sight of what his hand had been. “Father!”
Kevin said “My no good un’! I see Jacob wasn’t smart enough to lance your writing arm.”
James held his right stump with his left hand. “I am surprised you remembered me being a Southpaw, father.”
Kevin was about to shout, but he remembered he was with Paul. That didn’t prevent him from steaming. “I am here, meeting again my no-good son and the woman who birthed him… I am also here, seeing Jesop playing cards with fellows who are his betters.” He spits. “‘Foreman,’ my eye.”
Jesop glares at him from the table. “The hell you say?” He laughs. “I would have you know I am the son of a railroad man. It was willed to me. But you white folks don’t think the will is worth the paper it is printed on.” He scowls. “Thinkin’ I’d lie about something like that.”
Irene came to Kevin’s side. “You will respect my friends, Ducky.” She reaches over and twists his arm.
Kevin cries out in pain, “Unhand me, who taught you how to do that?”
Irene releases him, but grudgingly. “Paul did. I don’t see how you mind Jesop and all when—-” She blushes.
“When WHAT?” demands Paul, rubbing his arm.
Paul smiles wanly. “You really wanna know, Draxtin?”
“Know, know what?” Kevin is confused.
Paul holds his hand before Kevin’s face, palm up like a cop directing traffic. Suddenly the hand begins to shimmer. “He may see as I am truly.” The skin on his hand starts to darken. So too does his face.
Kevin gasps, “Whatever is happening to you, don’t let it happen to me!”
Irene comes Kevin’s side. “Don’t worry, Ducky. I said just about the same thing when I first saw it.”
Paul has completed his transition. He smiles. “Now who do I look like to you, Kevin?”
Kevin looks at the foreman at the card table and back at the black man standing before him now. “You could be twins… You look like Jesop.” He shudders. “You don’t even look like Paul any more.”
Paul says to Jesop, “Maybe you should show him as well, friend?”
Kevin is confused. “Show me what?”
Jesop shakes his head. “If I must, I must.” He raises his own hand to his own throat. He, too, transitions.
Kevin gasps again. “You… you now look like Paul did! But how?”
Paul sighs. “Power of suggestion, my friend.” He reaches below his shirt collar and reveals a small stone necklace he is wearing. The stone is a shaped like a black semi-circle.
kevin looks over at the foreman. Jesop shows that he is wearing a white stone semi-circle necklace.
Kevin gasps. “Paul, why are you black?”
Paul shakes his head. “Same reason you’re white. I was born this way.”
Kevin shakes his head. “I would never have guessed.” He wipes sweat from his brow. “Did you also lie about owning the railroad?”
“Oh, I own it. Bought it from Jesop in fact.”
“I would rather believe Jesop stole the deed,” Kevin said.
Jesop rises again from the table. Paul interrupts him. “Stop arguing!”
“I am sorry,” Kevin says. He is shocked to find out he means it. He looks at Paul. “How on Earth do you keep doing that to people, Paul?”
“A magician never reveals his secrets, Draxtin.”
Kevin swears. “I have been tricked!”
Paul shakes his head. “You had to be tricked. In order to form our Brotherhood, we had to find ways to be accepted. Men like you, Draxtin, they judge people too much by what they look like. These stones I was given, they are powerful persuaders.”
“What ‘Brotherhood, Paul?” Kevin asks.
“We are in the midst of a Civil War in case you haven’t noticed, Kevin.”
“I liked it better when you called me by my last name, Paul,” Kevin said sourly.
Irene jabs Kevin in the ribs with her elbow. “Don’t interrupt!”
Kevin rubs his ribs. “Unwomanly as usual, Irene. As usual.”
“I watched my own brother die, Pa,” James says from his place at the card table. His assistant is now sitting on his lap. “He tried to kill me, heck he maimed me before he did it!”
“You maimed him first, Jimmy,” Kevin says.
“Don’t argue, any of you!” Paul yells. He regains his composure. “As I was about to say, brothers thirst for each other’s blood… well… not exactly but you get the idea.”
Kevin shudders. “Don’t remind me of that viper’s nest, Paul! Please do not!”
“It is all because of a wish, Draxtin. They wished to hunt, so they hunt men. It was an easy enough wish to grant.” He sighs. “My wish was harder to grant, it took more steps.”
“What wish, Paul?” Kevin asked.
“I wished to be rich. A small voice in my head then told me the steps I should take to reach the goal of that wish. I truly thought I was going insane when it first happened.” Paul shakes his head.
“Maybe I am also insane, Paul?” Kevin looks at his own hands. He pinches himself. “God, I think I have gone insane or I am dreaming. Let me be dreaming!”
Irene smiles. “You aren’t, Ducky. You sure aren’t. This is real!”
Paul reaches in his pocket, retrieving a different necklace. He holds it in front Kevin’s eyes. “Have you got a wish, Kevin?” he asks.
Kevin reaches for the necklace. “I wish I understood all this,” he said as his fingers closed around it.
Suddenly, Kevin sees beyond his perceptions. He is in a jewelry shop, but when he looks down he cannot see himself because he had not been there. What am I seeing? he wonders.
You are seeing the past. Hush your thoughts. I need to concentrate to make the vision speak truly.
The door to the jewelry shop opens. A black man who looks much like Josep enters. A bell rings as the door opens, triggered by his entrance.
The shopkeeper walks into view and stands behind his counter. “May I help you, Sir?”
The customer looks behind himself. “Me?” He smiles. “I’m just used to being called ‘boy’ by people of your complexion, Mister.”
“My name is Mr. Schwartz,” the shopkeeper says. “Well, Schwartzkoffel if you must know.” He grins. “I’m a jew, so I know how you must feel…. maybe a little.”
The customer reaches his hand out and the shopkeeper shakes it. “Jesop Jones be me.” He frowns. “I mean that would be my name.” He frowns again. “I don’t like the two Js together.”
“Not a fan of alliteration I see.” Schwartz smiles. “I would say ‘Paul’ is a good Christian name… if i were Christian. Well, anyway, how can I help you, Jesop?”
Jesop smiles. “I will keep that name in mind… ah… I just want you to cut a stone I found into pieces. And maybe mount them on some chains.”
Schwartz laughs. “Lemme see the rock.”
Jesop complies. He sets it on the counter.
“You’re joking, Paul.” Schwartz says. “That’s lump of quartz and not very good-looking one.”
Jesop frowns. “You can’t cut it?”
Schwartz smiles again. “I can cut it, just not sure it be worth you paying for. How about I do it free of charge?”
I don’t understand, Kevin thinks. That explains a little but not the rest. Show me when he finds the rock I guess.
Now Kevin is seeing Paul —- well, Paul when he was still Jesop anyway —- in a field with other black men. Their ankles are connected with shackles and a chain.
Paul is swinging a pitch axe. He occasionally leans over to pick up rocks he finds and puts them in his pockets.
“Jesop, what the hell you doin?” one of the other men asks him. His fellows laugh.
“I like to think that I might get a wish if I pick up the right ol’ rock, Louie,” he replies.
“Well what’s your damn wish, a genie to kiss you?” asks the other man.
Paul picks up a rock. As he does, he says, “I wish I were rich!” Paul stiffens as if he’d been given a shock.
A white man in a uniform comes by. “What the hell? Did I say you convicts could gibber like women in a sewing circle?”
Paul looks oddly at the white man. “I think we’re free to go, don’t you?”
“Uh, well, technically y’all been doing some free labor because I found you jaywalking…. so you done some good work.”
“Good enough to be paid,” Paul suggests. It isn’t a question.
Louie shoves Paul but Paul doesn’t notice.
Uniform guy opens his wallet, “How much you want? I only got fifty dollars.”
Paul smiles. “Undo the shackles and give us each twenty.”
Uniform guy frowns. “I can’t do that.”
Paul looks uneasy. “Why not?”
“Son, didn’t yer momma teach you how to count? There’s five of you. I can only give ten each.”
“Alright then, give us ten each.. after you unlock us,” Paul says.
Louie laughs. “Better yet, give Jesop the keys and shoot yer self!”
Uniform guy pulls his pistol, then looks at it. “I can’t do that.” He puts it back. He reaches in his pocket, grabs the keys, and tosses them to one of the other men in line.
“I’m not Jesop!” says the third man, indigant.
“Can’t tell you fellas apart. Don’t want to!” gripes uniform guy. He rubs his face. “I think I’ll go for a walk, think this over…” He wanders away.
Paul slugs Louie in the arm. “Dammit, Louie, I was on a roll. Now he might decide on his own to call a lynch party!” He looks at the third man. “Undo us or give me the damn keys!”
I believe that is all, the voice says to Kevin.
What did the voice say to Paul. I mean what did YOU say to Paul? Kevin asks.
It is a secret, only to be known to Paul. You may ask him if you wish but he will be compelled not to tell.
Suddenly, Kevin is back in his own body. He is drooling.
Paul ask him, “I say again, Kevin, are you okay?”
Kevin wipes the drool from his face. “I was having a vision, Paul. You were Jesop Jones then.”
Paul frowns. “That has been a secret for some time, but I guess no longer. Have any other visions? What did you see?”
Kevin frowns. He shakes his head. “You were in a chain gang for jaywalking? I didn’t know fellas like you were forced to do things like that just for a small crime.”
Paul looks at him sternly. “Sometimes that’s light punishment.” He raises a brown hand to his face. “I rather be Paul,” he says.
Jesop says, “I rather be Jesop.”
Kevin snaps his fingers. “I should have asked to see when you inherited the railroad.”
Paul smiles. “I think you won’t be allowed to know all the details, Draxtin.” He nods at his own thoughts or to something only he can hear. “Maybe you will see yourself inheriting that damn railroad if you do good work for me.”
Kevin looks confused. “Why would I suddenly get the money to have a railroad?”
Paul is no longer smiling. “You may. You may just shall” is all he says. “Damn those things. How many damned Asian people have died building those damn things? How many of my own people for the sake of ‘progress’?”
Kevin doesn’t speak.
“Is it worth the lives of a hundred men, busting their backs, just to cart an old lady across town, sitting on her ass the whole way while the train moves her there?”
Irene laughs. ‘Watch you mouth, Paul. I’m an old lady.”
Kevin joins Paul’s club and it a week later that they meet in the same backroom.
This time each man and woman is wearing a brown, hooded robe. The card table is folded up and left forgotten in a corner. The room is lit dimly with a few candles.
Paul is standing at a podium. “So now down to business. What shall we name this group of ours? Kevin, when I met him, was babbling something about a raisin.”
Kevin laughs from his place in the audience.
Paul might be smiling beneath his hood. “I suggest if we do use it as a name, we spell it differently so people don’t think we’re a fruit selling company. Any suggestions?”
It is over an hour before someone suggest “Rayzene.”
Paul then takes votes on the various spellings. And the most popular one Rayzene.
James raises his left hand. “Why can’t we use the word ‘Apple’ and spell it like ‘Appall.’”
Paul shakes his head. “And give away our leader’s name? I thank you for the homage, though, James.”
James laughs. “I hadn’t thought of your ego, Paul, but why Rayzene?”
“It could apply to us Raising the consciousness of our members,” Paul muses. “God knows I’ve learned much in trying to follow that dream of yours, James, you told me about when we first met.”
“Tell us more about this dream my son had, Pau,” Kevin says. “Lord knows the boy had his head up in the clouds enough as a youngster.”
Paul laughs along with the others. “His dream was for Brotherhood among all men…”
Irene chimes up, “Don’t forget Sisterhood for all women, too!”
Kevin scoffs, “Sounds like incest.”
Paul doesn’t laugh this time. “It wouldn’t be that way, sour puss. We would still have outwardly appearances towards following the rules and customs of law. BUT we within our own societies will vote on issues that matter to us and will take steps towards amending the laws.”
Someone asks, “Will we be a political party then?”
“No,” Paul says. “We will not be that outward in our presentation. We will vote in or out the people we feel best support our views within the local government.”
“Will we march on Washington?” asked the same person.
“Not yet. Not until we have more members…. not until we have enough of a group to raise serious eyebrows. I was thinking we’d start by creating our own force in the working world. Something called ‘Unions,’ but that will be for later.” Paul thinks for a moment. “We also need to also think of ways to advertise our group, but not on paper. We don’t want outsiders to find a handbill with our group’s constitution or whatever plastered all over it to use as evidence against us.”
Kevin pipes up, “Don’t advertise. Invite. Only tell people you know you implicitly trust to join us, one man or one woman at a time.”
Paul smiles. “Agreed.”
Kevin raises his index finger, “And don’t scare the heck outta them like you did with me that first night. That setup was hair-raising!”
Paul frowns. “It wasn’t a setup, Draxtin. I was invited to a meeting and I assumed it was a meeting of our own sect. I don’t normally batter down doors when I am among friends.”
Kevin is confused. “Another sect? Doors battered down? I saw none of that…” He scratches his head. “A voice called you ‘human’ and the next thing I know you’re standing ON the door with someone underneath it.”
Irene gasps. “You interrupted the Vampeer?”
Kevin shrugs. “