The War of Summer's Ending

Chapter 8: Alligator Alley

Down the Rabbit-Hole

Place: The Seminole Reservation
Time: Devils’ Night (the night before Halloween)

Disclaimer: In reality, the Seminole Nation is actually a financially solvent Native American tribe, and not at all suffering from poverty or self-imposed isolation. Any misrepresentation of them that is made herein is purely fictitious, and for entertainment purposes only.

The Seminole Reservation is a land of bad roads, poverty, isolation, government-issue cheese, and despite it all, an intense self-pride and a deep-seated mistrust of outsiders. Seeing that the proverbial welcome-wagon has not been rolled out for them, Jim, Jack, Alexandre, and William decide to do some preliminary investigation. Caden and Jack check out the tiny, desperately underfunded Reservation Library, while Alexandre, Jim, and William pound the pavement.

While looking for what he believes to be a hidden file in the library’s only computer, Caden (uncharacteristically) rewrites the boot section of the PC’s hard drive, causing the two men to be driven from the library, even more unwelcome than they were initially. Meanwhile, Alexandre, Jim, and William happen across a drunk man sitting in back of the general store. After initially lashing out at the strangers on the Rez, the bum, whose name is Jonah, becomes more talkative after being gifted with some of William’s “special reserve”.

The trio asks if the man knows anything about someone named “Ezekiel”. Jonah replies: “Oh, y’mean Crazy Zeke? Used to live in that shack out in the ‘Glades. Weird guy. Never came into town but once a month or so fer supplies. Not many of us liked the guy. Thought he was a disgrace t’ the tribe, see? But, bein’ the Chief’s son and ”/campaigns/39872/characters/black-rabbit" class=“wiki-content-link”>Black Rabbit‘s nephew, most folks didn’t have the stones to kick him outta anywhere, right? They just let him go about his business and didn’t say too much about him where the elders could hear."

Leaving William with Jonah to continue pumping the man for information, Alexandre and Jim head back and meet up with Caden and Jack, just as they’re being kicked out of the library. The group decides to seek out Black Rabbit, whoever that may be. Their search takes them to the edge of town, where Black Rabbit lives alone in his ramshackle two-story house.

They knock on the door, and an old man with a slow tread and a deeply-lined face answers the door. Taking the initiative, Jack steps forward, presenting himself as the face of their motley crew, and asks if they might come inside and speak with him about his nephew Ezekiel.

Without a word, Black Rabbit slams the door in their faces.

They can hear him shuffling and stomping about inside, so Jack persists, shouting through the window. Finally, fed up with being ignored by an old man afraid of the past, Jack shouts, “When did the Seminoles becomes as big a pack of cowards as the Miccosukees?” The comment gets under Black Rabbit’s skin, and with a weary shaking of his head, the old man opens the door for them. Once the motley is sitting in Black Rabbit’s sitting-room, he pours himself a mug of coffee and unfolds the tale of his unfortunate nephew, Ezekiel.