I approached the band of mo-hawked, tattooed, shot-gun wielding, hollow eyed rustics without fear, like in the old westerns, since to show fear would reveal your malevolent intentions, what does a good man have to fear? Of course that kind of thinking could only apply to those with narrow tribal instincts, unaware of all that could go wrong in communicating oneself, or the shifting caprice of nomadic savages.
The steam punks roving about in their treaded locomotives, led by Casey Jones, driving that train high on cocaine, divining his actions based on a 17th century brain gurgling in some biological stew of some unknown arcane recipe and meting out rough personal justice with his steam powered pneumatic gauntlet and coal shovel whose edges had been filed razor sharp. They were lounging about the periphery of our once beautiful community, our neighborhood watch Captain tied over its cow-catcher, skin blackish-white and peeling, eye sockets infested with wasps.
I was noticed almost immediately as their double bull fiddle transitioned into a low growling whine as the natural tension of the moment dictated. How they can demand a fearless approach, it doesn't make any sense, everything about them radiates wicked menace, but then I remembered, I was a suburbanite G-d damn it. I adapted my fear into a passive aggressive current, like I have used when dealing with familiar teenagers or minority peers, allowing me to both control through subtle condescending deference and placate with future promises of ice cream, like centuries of our family have done just to get by in this world, like when the first Anglo settled next to a Saxon. They didn't make a big deal about it, even invited them in for some mead once to prove it wasn't a Anglo Saxon thing, but later proving it was after getting drunk at the winter feast and screaming about how Anglos start all the wars in the world and calling their matriarch “sugar bosoms” and then forming an enduring relationship of quietly hate loving each other till their children misogynat, you know, the American way.
“ Well, hi there neighbor! You guys sure look like you are having a bang up ole time her today with your epoxies smelling and mouthwash tasting, but something tells me you fellows might have more fun with, well...Cocaine, maybe, just a thought. Not wearing a wire or anything” I said, feeling stupid, there hadn’t been a transmission from here in weeks and the authorities were complicit, but their flaring nostrils, drooling and manic eyes told me they had liked what they heard.