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The muted whirring of the carefully padded bells from the wind-up alarm clock was enough to wake Enoch. Though he came awake slowly, he was immediately and acutely aware of the loose sheets that lay about him. Rather than rewrap the sheets snugly he forced himself upright, blinking.

The Count is fifty-four, was his first thought. Time to get ready for opening.

He swung into a comfortable routine.

First he dipped his hands into the fired clay bowl to splash yesterday’s water on his face and smooth down his hair. Flossing and brushing were automatic.

Although he conceded authenticity in order to enjoy the nice minty feeling that his third to last tube of toothpaste gave him, the clothes that he donned approximated the period of the reenactment. Relaxed leather leggings went over his Hanes underwear, which in turn were concealed by brown clout, inexpertly colored with walnut dye. Hokey beaded moccasins and a vest made from cured doeskin were brightened by a red calico bandanna that restrained his wiry, shiny black hair, keeping the strands from irritating his face.

He carefully pinned the last item, a rectangle of plastic engraved with the legend “Enoch Mist Over Water” and below that “Living History Docent,” on his beaded vest.

Although he had long since memorized the instructions that Mr. Listang had provided for him, step one after getting up and before eating was to always check the List.

“I’m not saying that you are slow or nothing, Ennie,” his boss had declaimed. “But you gotta be on time and do the job, rain or shine, customers or no customers, see? We get paid by the good state of Colorado just the same, so long as we keep the exhibit open. You wanna live here, fine. Keeps the college kids from pulling pranks or drinking in the exhibits. Every day, I unlock the outside and you unlock the inside once you are all dressed in costume. That way, no Sunday school go-to-meeting missus is gonna get offended ifn she sees you in your Altogether, y’see? That would be not cool!”

Enoch hadn’t seen, not really. The reservation hadn’t sent kids to Sunday school in town since before he was born. And the idea of being anything but dressed in public where everyone could see was mortifying. Not since he was a very young boy had Enoch ever risked such a thing.

Regardless, the List of park rules was clear.

Item One: Unlock The Inner Turnstiles.

Enoch walked over to the gate, which was wide enough to pass customers two abreast through the frontier style fence made of vertically set wooden poles. The park had paid extra to the installer to leave the rough bark on the trunks as well as to mill points onto the top of each upright. He opened the padlock and unchained the adult gate, which had remained closed for precisely fifty-four days.

At least, he thought it had been that many days. He might have lost a few at the start when he couldn’t eat or drink anything. But was definitely fifty-four days since he had woken clearheaded but thirsty and started the Count.

He was sure about that.

He squinted past the locked outer gate at the waiting area for his exhibit.

Empty, same as the day before.

He sighed happily. No people meant no problems. No strutting high school senior trying to impress his girlfriend by correcting Enoch. No irritating little kids crawling in and out of the museum’s children’s entrance, hiding from teachers, parents and Enoch himself.

Just above head height, a bright red and white checked banner that read “Y’ALL COME BACK FOR OUR FALL HOEDOWN!” hung stretched across the exhibit atrium. It flapped intermittently, driven by the same fitful plains breeze that blew scraps of cloth and paper past the door.

In the early days of the Count, he had heard fighting and screaming beyond the ten foot walls of the stockade that housed his exhibit. Enoch supposed that park security had eventually taken care of the daytime drunks who usually created the disturbances at the park. It had been exactly thirty-three days since he heard anything at all. He had yet to actually see even a single person.

Enoch glanced outside a second time as he snapped the padlock back onto the turnstile’s hasp, ensuring that no one would help themselves to a “souvenir.”

That seemed unlikely.

Mr. Listang never reappeared and the outer entrance had remained empty and locked day after day.

The rest of the Genuine Year Round State Fair, Family Park and Museum was empty too. Enoch didn’t particularly care about that. Not his problem.

His problem was the List.

“Boy, Ima make it reeyul simple! I give you the List to do every day, and you just follow it. Black and white, no guessing needed. Just read the damned list. That’s number one!”

Item Two: Perform Crop Irrigation.

At the planting area he looked longingly at the hose reel. However, the rules were clear. Regardless of the presence of visitors or not, the exhibit docent was to “play along.” Guiltily, he glanced up.

The cameras that had allowed park security to catch fence jumpers no longer gleamed with a little red light.

But you never knew.

Enoch plodded over to the hand pump and began filling the brown painted hardware megastore buckets that he had left there the previous day. Two buckets of water at a time, he carefully filled the dirt troughs around clusters of mounded plants.

The insects began to buzz in an agreeably soft tone.

Thirty minutes of careful work later, he had delivered one bucket each to a third of the mounds. Before the Count, he usually had help but he could only cover so much alone.

The Schedule was black and white.

Just like the rules.

Item Three: Deliver the Crop Lecture and Demonstrate the Procedure.

He carefully stepped over to the smooth patch of dirt that was surrounded by a circle of short, fat logs that were set firmly into the ground as stools. In bad times, this was when the first harassment would start, as the park customers would lounge on their stumps and question him irritatingly.

Happily, now he could demonstrate how to hoe the Three Sisters in peace. He tried to rotate among the mounds, but weeds had been getting ahead of him. The heavy clay soil shrugged off the blunt edge of the roughly forged digging adze and weeding spike unless Enoch really put his back into the chore.

He relaxed while explaining in rote form that each mound contained three mutually supporting crop plants. Golden maize to provide the uprights, pinto beans to climb the cornstalks and shade the squash, whose spiky bristles and fibers deterred crawling insects from damaging the first two.

He didn’t have to endure the know-it-alls who would point out that this form of farming didn’t match his tribe, or the area, or even the other technology in the exhibit.

Pretty Sue had explained that it wasn’t his problem.

“Ennie, they don’t pay us to be exact, see? We just put on an educational show. Mr. Listang, he shuffles some of the profits to the elders, you get a place to stay somewhere out of their hair, the park gets the tax break and everyone is happy. Cool?”

It all boiled down to keeping the museum open and the exhibits running.

Enoch had agreed with Sue enthusiastically.

Living at the museum was so much better than his old life. Despite the fact that he didn’t understand most of the jokes made at his expense while he worked at the park, they were only jokes. Usually, words meant one thing. Sometimes the same words could mean something else.

Pretty Sue said it was called sarcasm.

Still, mean-spirited humor from strangers was better than the weekly beating he endured from the other kids on the res.

After thirty minutes of “authentically” demonstrating hoeing, pruning, weeding and reshaping the earthen mounds to precisely no audience, he returned the buckets to the pump and slipped into his longhouse for a snack. As a side effect of running the living history museum, the exhibit staff had accumulated a lot of dried squash, beans and corn. Enoch drew on that store as needed, but he really preferred his dwindling stash of Mountainside brand energy bars.

In between measured bites of his treat he filled the pot with exactly two cups of water and then exactly one cup of mixed dried beans, leaving them so soak as he walked back outside.

Item Four: Deliver the Hide Scraping, Tanning and Sewing Demonstration.

In front of every re-created longhouse inside the large fenced compound the park had established an “authentic North American Indian Craft activity” station. Of all the activities, Enoch preferred the leather station. Usually, Pretty Sue would be in charge there and Enoch’s responsibility was limited to fetching her a scratchy deer hide from the enormous stack of exactly thirty-two hides inside the corresponding hut. Sometimes he was allowed to assist customers if they got stuck on their moccasins or vests.

Since Sue, along with everyone else, had stopped showing up to work Enoch elected to rotate through the stations, per the List.

Some, like the cowboy forge, he was explicitly forbidden to operate alone. However, he had accumulated experience as a helper on nearly every other station.

As he strolled lightly along the worn path, he caught a flicker of motion out of the corner of his eye. He stopped to look but whatever it was had been obscured by the thick plantings that were his primary responsibility.

At the leather station, he withdrew the large scraping rack and tools. He then spent thirty minutes happily droning about animal conservation, skinning, curing and tanning while simultaneously demonstrating basic leather-working skills.

As he put the exhibit items away he again glimpsed motion. It was definitely a person with long hair and a white shirt but all he got was a momentary look.

“Hello?” Enoch paused. “I said hello?”

No one replied.

Enoch sighed. The idyll was over. Once again he would have to deal with park guests.

Not cool.

His second heartfelt sigh was even deeper.

He knew the rule about guests. No matter how obnoxious they got, Mr. Listang insisted that he “behave.” The assistant park manager hadn’t been shy about reinforcing his message.

“Boy, never you forget! The park guests are our number one responsibility! You behave. No staring, no yelling, no nothing. You stick to the list, and if you have a problem you run get me or another docent. Otherwise, you get me in trouble. And I will make you sorry you was ever born. You hear me?”

Enoch definitely heard him. Everything Listang said was loud. Even when he wasn’t talking to Enoch, he was audible from anywhere in the exhibit area. Enoch appreciated that Pretty Sue usually talked softly.


Now he had a guest, again.

This time he trudged back to “his” longhouse. Rather than stare, he just tracked the flickers of motion in his peripheral vision as the park guest trailed behind.

Once back at the front of the compound, Enoch stopped short.

The outer turnstiles were still locked.


He turned quickly and this time saw the person in the open, not even thirty feet away.

It was a girl.

Not any girl.

A mostly naked girl.

There was a lot of her Altogether showing.

Enoch tried not to panic. He knew from many lectures, often reinforced with Listang’s patented head chop, that he was never ever never to bother girls, most especially townie customers who weren’t from the reservation.

“Don’t forget this one, boy. You wanna risk a look at the girls from your res, cool. That’s between you and them. You get uppity with regular guest, a white girl…well, ifn her daddy don’t set you straight, I promise that I will!”

Listang had punctuated that lecture most firmly. He wasn’t alone.

Even Pretty Sue, who was almost always nice to him, said he was to always leave all the lady guests alone and never stare at them.

“Ennie, you be nice to everyone. The manager is a real ba— Well, he isn’t always nice. So you be nice always, especially to ladies!”

Enoch was pretty sure that staring at almost naked lady guests was the Worst Thing Ever. Before he reflexively dropped his eyes, Enoch saw that she was wearing a really stained white tank top that fell to just below her hips. Her red hair was long and in a tangled mess. When she detected his notice, she dashed back behind the plantings.

“Um, sorry.” Enoch mumbled. He faltered for a moment, keeping his eyes mostly down, but checked every few moments to see if she came back into view. He did not want to deal with any complaints that could cost him this job.

Living in the park meant escaping from his earliest tormentors. It meant freedom from the elders on the reservation who would prefer that he stay hidden so that they wouldn’t be embarrassed. He did not even want to think about having to move out of the Park.

The List. Gotta follow the List.

Item Five: Deliver the Mat and Rope Weaving Demonstration.

Enoch slumped over to the appropriate exhibit. However, the routine of the lecture gradually buoyed his spirits. He smoothly demonstrated how to use pliable vines, bark, cornstalks and other materials to make rope and weave a small section of fibrous matting. During the thirty minute show he darted his eyes about, but the lone park visitor didn’t make an appearance and Enoch relaxed further.

Without distractions, he worked his way through the List.

There was Clay Pot Forming and Firing. Also Basic and Intermediate Shelter Construction. Before lunch he was finishing up Shucking, Cornmeal Grinding, Tortilla Making and Baking. He was putting away the grinding board, stones, baskets and unused ears of corn for reuse when he saw the flash of white again.

He determinedly ignored the movement.

Don’t bother the visitors. If she wasn’t going to ask him questions, so much the better. Enoch could put up with that.

He ate lunch inside the privacy of his personal longhouse and returned to the List, repeating the morning’s activity.

The sun was high in the blue sky, warming his wiry hair. The Park temperatures had moderated as the fierce summer gave way to early fall. It was still hot enough to make him thirsty, and midway through his next lecture he dipped some water from the plastic bucket at his feet. He splashed a little on the ground and heard a short grunt.

Looking to his side he spotted the redhead crouching, not even ten feet away. Her wide eyes were fixed on the bucket.

“Um, hi?” Enoch offered.

She started, but didn’t retreat, alternating looks from his reddening face to the bucket.

“Would you like, uh, wo-would you like some water?” Enoch proffered the dipper. When she didn’t take it, he filled it with water and held it out.

She scooted forward and grabbed the ladle by the bowl portion and slurped noisily. Most of the water spilled, including some which fell on her white shirt.

“Um.” Enoch dropped his eyes again. “More water?”

“Wauugh?” the girl repeated. “Waugggh?”

“Um, sure.” Enoch reached for the ladle but had to tug it from her hands. Before he could finish refilling it she had scooted right up next to him and plunged her hand directly into the bucket and began messily drinking from her hand.

“Or you can have the bucket, whatever.” Enoch stepped back and surreptitiously watched her for a moment. She was dirty. Really dirty.

He wrinkled his nose. She smelled, well, bad.

Enoch wanted to tell her, but remembered the rules.

“Son, rule number one, right after being on time and leaving the customers alone is to follow all the rules! Don’t be making stuff up!”

Enoch thought that there were an awful lot of rules numbered one. Math didn’t work that way for him.

“Um, I have to finish the lecture.” Enoch apologized and resumed talking about the mutually beneficial relationship of the three different crop types. While he talked, he illustrated the chores of weeding, plucking any visible insects from the plants and harvesting the late season beans. The adze was too clumsy to use right next to the corn, so he switched to the sharp, narrow blade on the end of the weed pole.

Enoch tried to get back in his zone, but the new customer’s scrutiny made him feel uncomfortable. She had retreated a short distance with the mostly empty bucket, sucking water from her hand and watching him warily. He tried again to find his groove, but the bucket handle periodically clattered, distracting him.

When he moved to put away all the buckets, she scrambled nearly out of sight, dragging “her” bucket with her.

Well, he had extras. He fetched a spare from the supply longhouse and lined it up by the water pump, next to the three originals.

Still, Enoch shook his head.


When he resumed his routine at the leather crafting lodge his new customer crept closer and listened.

Throughout the afternoon she shadowed his progress. The highlight of the day was the distribution of free samples of baked corn tortillas. She ate every single one that Enoch made. After that, she stayed closer to him.

Enoch returned to his lodge. His wind-up clock read 5:30 p.m.

The List offered: Item Seventeen—Final Cleanup and Exhibit Closure.

Usually, one of the senior docents would be gathering up the remaining park guests and politely shooing them away while Enoch tidied up.

When he walked back out into the glooming dusk, his visitor was missing. He sighed in relief and began his final walk around. As usual, the absence of visitors meant that there was no trash to pick up and no little kids hiding in the empty stable.

Visitors or no visitors, he had to check. Sue reinforced the importance of routine.

“Ennie, if Mr. Listang is late, I’ll still come by to lock up after you are all done. You lock the inner gate on time, either way. If I can, I’ll bring you something nice. Pizza?”

It felt like forever since he had eaten pizza.

The last item on the List was Lock Inner Turnstile.

He twisted the bronze colored combination lock back into place and spun the knob left twice and then right once just like Mr. Listang had shown him on his first day.

With his workday done, Enoch returned to his lodge for dinner. The soaked beans were ready to drain and cook. While they heated, he went back outside to look for the girl.

“Hello?” He cast about near the entrance. “The park is closed?”

He had to be satisfied with calling into the night. She had vanished.

His dinner of stewed bean medley and tortillas wasn’t his favorite, but he no longer had Sue to bring him anything different. Besides, while his pizza count was exactly zero, his count of supplies included four heavy sisal bags of dried beans and thirty more of dried corn, still on the cob.

* * *

The alarm clock woke Enoch.

The Count is fifty-five, was his first thought. Time to get ready for opening.

Enoch began to work his way through the first part of the List, but upon turning around from his initial turnstile chore he saw the same guest again.

She stood uncertainly near the empty buckets and the pump.

She hadn’t gotten any more dressed since her visit the day before.

“Um.” Enoch looked down at the ground and then back up. “Good morning, miss.”

Wide-eyed, she stood mute, but seemed poised to bolt. Whenever he met her gaze, she immediately looked down, much like Enoch did.

“Um, I have to begin my List.” When she didn’t reply he stammered, “I-I have to irrigate the Three Sisters.” They alternated looking at each other, and then at the ground in turn.

He pointed to the planting area and then glanced back at her.

She flinched when he raised his arm but stayed in place.

“Um, I have to come over there to do it.” Enoch offered.


He was in a quandary. If he was going to continue the List and keep the Schedule, he had to start right away, which meant getting a lot closer to the mostly naked girl. Enoch felt his bubble of apprehension begin to expand into the start of a panic attack.

His counselor had talked to him about how to head off those feelings, which had left Enoch mostly helpless in the past. He couldn’t go hide now—he had, he just had to get going on the List.

Nerving himself, he strode uncertainly to the wash pump and unhooked the bail over the handle and began to fill the first bucket. He carefully didn’t look at the newcomer.

As the water began to flow the girl reached her hands into the stream.

“Waugh!” she cried. “Waugh, waugh!”

She withdrew her hands and sucked her fingers.

“No, you can’t do it that way.” In a flash, his incipient panic subsided, to be replaced by irritation at the break in routine.

If she was going to show up at opening, then the least she could do was drink properly and let him get on with the List!

“Here, take the dipper and put it in the bucket.” Even though he was annoyed, he used his polite voice and extended the empty dipper towards her.

That met first with a blank look and then frightened shyness.

“Waugh?” she asked, still looking down at the puddle on the ground.

“You put the dipper into the bucket and dip the water out.” Enoch was beginning to think that this park guest needed a lot more help than usual. “Here. Like this.”

He dipped the ladle and mimed sipping. She grabbed at the ladle and he backed up a step, then repeated the gesture before handing her the empty ladle. She looked at it blankly. He took it back and repeated the action with a full bucket.

“See? You have to fill it with water first.”

On her next try she dunked the ladle into the water but only managed to retain a swallow, spilling the rest.

“Better.” Enoch smiled encouragingly. He remembered what it was like to be taught by someone else.

He demonstrated yet again, moving very slowly and letting her see that he was taking his time. He treated this as the same sort of problem that he had when he tried to teach visiting little kids how to perform any of the exhibit’s crafts.

Finally she managed to get a full ladle to her mouth and gulped down the fresh water. Though she spilled a lot, the improvement was enough encouragement to lead her to repeat the action on her own.

Enoch grinned, happy to have helped out. Three ladles later, she smiled back, briefly revealing a bright white smile.

“Okay. Now I have to water the plants.” He gently tugged the empty bucket away. At the pump he noisily filled both and began the laborious irrigation process. Unseen, she had crept up behind him, watching avidly.

“Excuse me, miss.” Enoch had almost stumbled over his shadow as he continued the List. “Here, if you want to help, pump the handle.”

He showed her several times how to operate the handle. In the course of things, her white tank top became soaked. Enoch labored to not notice but instead focused on completing this task as fast as he could, trying to make up time on the schedule.

Mustn’t stare.

Staring is rude. Doesn’t matter about the “Altogether.”

On the upside, the dowsing served as an impromptu wash up, knocking back some of her eye searing body odor. Enoch was rapidly coming to hate it.

Throughout the day, Enoch and the sole park guest worked their way through the List.

Once again the highlight was tortilla making. A few bad moments were the result of his guest trying to eat a tortilla while it was still much too hot. She ran around in a tight circle, trying to escape the burning sensation until Enoch got another ladle of water to her. Her relief was palpable and Enoch felt pretty good about it.

“Whenever one of our guests wants something, you help them. If you don’t understand, then come and get me, or Joey or Mr. Listang—but always try to help. Someone gets hurt, you run to get me, okay Enoch?”

Pretty Sue had made sure that Enoch knew that helping out was on the List, sort of, even if it wasn’t written down.

Helping the park guests to enjoy themselves was definitely good. Maybe that made up for some of his inadvertent staring.

At lunch time Enoch retired into his lodge and his guest immodestly squatted outside in a shady spot. He was pretty sure that no one had told her about the “Altogether” rule.

After his snack, it was back to List. During his efforts to learn her name, Enoch inadvertently taught her his name, which she reproduced as “Eena.” Despite patiently asking exactly forty-two times, he wasn’t able to get her to tell him hers.

It occurred to him that his new friend might be like him.

Just a little slow.

Even guests who were a little slow were still park guests, so he had to help. Her surprising white smile reminded him of Pretty Sue. Calling her “hey you” was rude, so until she decided to tell him her own name, he decided to use a name inspired by her surprisingly bright grin.

Missy White didn’t object to her new name.

Enoch completed the second half of the List during the afternoon, just as he had done for fifty-five days, with one added change. Missy followed him to every station, patiently serving as an attentive audience of one.

During the tortilla-making demonstration, Enoch illustrated how to blow on the food to cool it. She beamed when her first bite didn’t burn her mouth.

At day’s end he watched her creeping into the Mat and Rope Weaving longhouse. Guests weren’t supposed to hide inside, but there wasn’t anyone to report to.

Enoch ate his dinner without any enjoyment. He was deeply worried.

Mr. Listang had been very clear that Enoch wasn’t ever to confront a guest. At the same time, park guests weren’t allowed inside the exhibit overnight—it was practically half the reason that Enoch was there in the first place!

He was supposed to call Listang himself or Park Security. But the phone didn’t work and there was not one person to tell.

And Enoch was pretty sure that maybe Missy wasn’t going to leave.

* * *

As usual, the alarm clock woke Enoch.

The Count is fifty-six, was his first thought. I better see if Missy White is still here, was his next.

As he completed his morning ritual, he heard the pump working. Outside, he found Missy dipping the ladle into a full bucket and happily, if sloppily, slaking her morning thirst.

“Waugh!” she said happily.

“Yeah, water.” Enoch was glad and everything, but there was an odor of fresh poop nearby.

Little kids occasionally made messes in the exhibit, and Listang had given Enoch cleanup materials, but Enoch really, really hated that part of his job.

Though he left cleanup for later, he started his daily job somewhat aggravated with his visitor.

As he addressed each item on the List, Missy followed closely. She lugged buckets of water next to him during when he irrigated. She happily tangled dozens of hide straps during the leather crafting. If her clay pot was a highly authentic clay lump rather than a “handmade bowl” which could be sold at the park shop she didn’t seem to mind. Enoch had to carefully flatten out her lumps of corn meal during tortilla making, but they tasted okay.

During lunch he thoughtfully added another cup of dried beans to the soaking pot but otherwise kept his routine.

The second half of the day was more of the same. He showed her how to look for and crush any insects in the planting beds. He guided her hands when it was time to rebuild and shape the earth troughs that captured the water for each planting mound. She was becoming more relaxed around him, even allowing him to gently place items into her hands.

That evening after they retired to their respective shelters he thought through the situation. He wasn’t sure what to do about having a guest who was disobeying the rules. No park guests were supposed to stay inside the stockade after closing.

But what if she continued to come back every day? Maybe he could persuade her to help more, even be a volunteer! He could get more of the cultivated area watered. He would have someone to work the bellows on the cowboy forge, if he dared to try it.

A park volunteer was a different matter. Then Enoch wouldn’t get in trouble for letting her stay inside. It wouldn’t be breaking the rules!

Or at least, not as much.

First though, he would have to try getting her into some sort of uniform, because let’s face it, every time she bent over in her sole garment, she was clearly dangerously close to being in her Altogether. As a bonus, once Mr. Listang returned, she would be dressed and no one would guess that Enoch had occasionally snuck a peek.

He might even have a reason to make a change to the List if he had a volunteer.

He decided to try the next day.

That night he left a bowl of beans by the door of “her” longhouse.

* * *

Today I get to recruit a volunteer! was his first thought. Then he added, Also, the Count is fifty-seven.

Missy was waiting for him by the water pump, just as she had the previous days.

The smell of poop was back, even though he had cleaned up the mess from the previous day.

Clearly, step one was going to have to be showing her the bathroom place.

Normally guests and employees used the permanent bathrooms in the park. Since the turnstiles had stayed locked and Enoch needed somewhere to do his business, he had resorted to digging a skinny, rectangular hole behind his longhouse. Every week he had to make a new one.

Today he was going to excavate the ninth trench, so the timing was right.

He led Missy around and showed her how he used a pick and a hoe to make the narrow hole.

Then he stopped short.

How was he going to show her where to go?

He just knew that going to the bathroom in front of a guest was way worse than seeing one in her almost Altogether.

“Umm, the hole is for going to the bathroom.” He sputtered, pointing at the hole.

She just looked at him and the hole on the ground.

“That is where you, you know, pee,” he tried.


“Oh man.” Enoch could not believe that he was going to do this. But if she was going to stay at the park and if he wanted to not be picking up poop, then she was going to have to know where to go.

And actually “go” there.

He turned his back to her and urinated in the hole.

She scampered to one side, watching him curiously. Red faced, he finished and self-consciously rearranged his clothes.

“Okay.” Enoch could feel the embarrassment burning on his face. He really didn’t want to dwell on this. “That is where we pee. Okay? In the hole.”

He pointed.

She didn’t seem particularly interested.

“Then you take some dirt and toss it in.”

Suiting action to word he used a gardening trowel to add some dirt to the slit trench and looked up at his guest.

Missy was watching a cloud scudding across the sky.

Enoch looked back at the latrine in defeat.

“We need to get going on the List.” Enoch figured that he was going to have to show her how to do it again tomorrow.

Not cool.

Back by the wash pump, he showed her how he rinsed his hands in the bucket. This was a familiar task and was a chance to play with water, which she seemed to love.

Next to the pump was a table with his spare leather vest and a woven corn husk skirt that he had watched Pretty Sue make.

“Missy, if you want to stay, you have to be a volunteer, all right?”

“Waugh?” She looked at him and then the bucket and pump.

“No, we aren’t doing water yet.” Enoch realized that he was going to have to show her this too. “If you are going to volunteer, you need to have a uniform, like me.”

He tapped his vest.

“Eena!” Missy answered.

Enoch took a deep breath and picked up the skirt.

He mimed putting it around his waist and tied the strings while she watched, then he held it out too her.

She looked at it blankly.

“Oh man, oh man, oh man!” Enoch said, mostly to himself.

He really, really knew that touching an almost naked park guest was even worse that the “Altogether” business or going to the bathroom where someone could see. He also knew that volunteers had to have uniforms. After all, Listang had let him work that way at first.

“Well boy, your elders say that maybe you’re smart enough to work here. You are different, that’s for sure, but a couple of your reservation friends say that you listen good, so maybe we give it a shot. First week, you get to volunteer and train. You volunteer, you have to have a uniform and a name tag. No uniform, no job.”


Volunteer equaled uniform equaled showing her how it went on.

Enoch took a deep breath, screwed up his courage and stepped forward.

* * *

At lunch time, he invited his new volunteer into his longhouse.

“Since you are almost an employee now, you can come inside.” Enoch explained as he led her inside.

Missy’s eyes were wide. She stood timidly in the middle of the room.

Her arms were folded across her chest, creasing the oversize docent vest. Getting the white shirt off her had been easy. Getting the vest on had required gentle persistence.

Enoch had taken advantage of the procedure to dump a couple buckets of water over her, greatly improving the hygiene issue.

“Lunch is a treat.” Enoch almost hesitated, but handed her a precious Mountain bar. “We don’t have too many left, but I’ll share since this is your first official day!”

The packaging rustled as she held the object.

“You open the package and eat it,” he explained to no avail.

He took it back and extracted the bar, showing her that it was food by taking a bite.

That did the trick.

She snatched the remainder from his hand and took half of it down in a huge bite. While she chewed the sticky mouthful, Enoch looked at her more closely. Her voracious appetite was explained by her very skinny arms and legs. When Missy finally forced her first bite down, he clearly saw her ribs move.

Enoch offered her a plastic glass of full of water to wash it down. She managed while making only a minor spill that didn’t damage her new vest at all. Enoch smiled at her.

This was progress!

* * *

As it had for a few days, the sound of Missy White operating the water pump woke Enoch before his alarm whirred to life.

The Count is seventy-six, he thought. Then, I wish she would let me sleep. Showing her how to fill the buckets on her own might have been a mistake.

Then he heard her scream. “Eeeena!” Then there was even more screaming.

Scrambling outside, he saw another person. This time it was a skinny, naked older man. His left arm was crooked and covered in a large swollen scab. He was cringing away from Missy, who was screaming unintelligibly at him and waving her clenched fists.

A new guest?

“Missy!” Enoch yelled for the first time that he could remember. “That is not how we greet guests!”

Both his volunteer and the Park guest shrank from his yell.

“Missy, come here!” Enoch pointed to his side and she scuttled over, looking at his face fearfully.

“Excuse me, sir.” He addressed the man who seemed terrified, but who was staying close to the spilled water buckets. “Sir, are you okay?”

Enoch examined the man from a few feet away. He wasn’t bleeding, and he seemed to be as fearful as Missy on her first day. Enoch walked over slowly, and when he had almost reached touching distance, the man scooted backwards several feet, still looking down at the ground.

The official park docent of the Native American Living History Exhibit at the Genuine Year Round State Fair, Family Park and Museum pumped some water into a bucket. At the sound of splashing, the man looked up eagerly.

“Would you like some water, sir?” Enoch held the dipper out, just as he had for Missy on her first day.

Predictably, the man remained wary, even after drinking. He followed the two docents at a distance all day. For her part, Missy stayed very close to Enoch, rarely straying more than an arm’s distance. She occasionally yelled inarticulately at the new person, but was shushed by Enoch each time.

At tortilla time, Enoch had to leave the food on a seat and back away before the man would take it. Enoch could see that his arm was really messed up. When Enoch tried to slowly walk after him, the man retreated all the way to the stockade wall, near the main atrium.

There he ducked into a small hole in the barrier.

“The children’s entrance!” Enoch could make out the man on all fours inside the short tunnel to the outer turnstiles.

Some Puebloan adobe forts included holes in their outer walls. People entering the compound had to crawl inside on their hands and knees. Hostile intruders attempting to enter were left vulnerable, emerging head first to be greeted by angry, upright defenders. The fair had elected to include that feature, targeting the interested and more agile schoolkids who were the bread and butter of the weekday tours of the exhibit.

“Is that how you got in, Missy?” He turned as his volunteer tugged on his arm, hooting quietly, but clearly still upset with the visitor.

“He is a park guest, just like you were,” Enoch replied, crouching a little to smile at the man. “We take care of the park guests, that’s our job. See?”

Missy White didn’t seem to care about Mr. Listang’s rules. Enoch let the visitor be, and shadowed closely by Missy, he returned to the List.

* * *

I hate that water pump. Enoch woke to the now familiar sound of Missy’s morning water pump action right outside his lodge. Also, the Count is ninety.

A moment later the alarm clock whirred, futilely.

He rose and nudged Blackie with his foot. The new man’s crooked left arm was still scabbed and red, but less swollen. Persuading Blackie to hold still while Enoch washed it had been…interesting. The man’s cries had upset Missy, who had cried in sympathy. Enoch had finished off the open tube of antibiotic ointment from the first aid kit before Blackie’s wound was covered.

However, the newest volunteer did like his sleep. He stood up slowly, ducking his partially bald head and grinning apologetically at Enoch. His matted beard failed to conceal that one of his front teeth was dark gray, almost black. If Enoch thought that Missy had bad breath, Blackie had set a new standard.

“Time to dress, then we gotta get on with it.” Every morning now, Enoch had to demonstrate washing his face before he tied his hair back with the bandanna. He would slip on his leather vest and then hold up another vest, woven of seventy-four corn husks and eleven feet of fine leather line.

The improvement in his wound allowed Blackie to slide both arms in without difficulty. He didn’t wear underwear and Enoch wasn’t going to share his, so Blackie had to make do with a skirt much like the existing senior volunteer.

Speaking of which.

She was outside, impatiently waiting to start the day. Missy had adapted to Blackie’s presence, but she wasn’t particularly happy about it. Even though she was a head shorter, she seemed to be the brighter of the two and definitely played a dominant role.

She would take his food if Enoch wasn’t supervising closely, or knock over his bucket during watering chores when she felt like it. If scolded by Enoch, she immediately crouched, ducking her head and hooting softly.

In order to reduce and eventually stop the random peeing and pooping that was stinking up his exhibit, Enoch had recruited the new man. It was no more than self-defense, in Enoch’s opinion. Once Blackie was an official volunteer, Enoch began to give him direction, train him and generally take advantage of having an extra pair of hands.

As a result, Enoch had added a new item to the List.

Item Two was now the morning pee.

Enoch led both volunteers over to the twelfth slit latrine trench and went first. Neither volunteer was bashful, but while Missy quickly did her business and moved on, Blackie seemed to take enjoyment in playfully waggling his Altogether around and spraying everywhere.

Not cool.

Still, it kept the mess in one place.

More or less.

Okay, it was only an improvement, but one that Enoch would take. He would work on ideas to improve the whole “aim” thing.

Item Three: Unlock Inner Turnstile.

Item Four: Demonstrate the Shower Procedure.

Even though they had just dressed, Enoch had decided that dumping a bucket over first himself and then his “staff” would be the most effective way of coping with their body odor. At each of the twice-a-day bucketings, he mimed rubbing under his arms and between his legs.

His volunteers faithfully imitated him.

Despite the lack of soap, this had yielded good results. To Enoch’s sensitive nose, the odor level had gone from almost unbearable to merely unpleasant.

With the extra help, Enoch could now irrigate the entire planted area, getting water to each mound of the Three Sisters daily. He knew from last year that in another two months the frost would begin to be an issue, but for now everything was still set.

Thus, he led the volunteer docents as they began the newly numbered Item Five: Perform Crop Irrigation followed by Item Six: Deliver the Crop Lecture and Demonstrate the Procedure.

Missy had become surprisingly precise when she watered, even though she could only comfortably carry buckets that were half full. Blackie was almost as strong as Enoch, and he easily managed two full buckets. His water pouring wasn’t much more accurate than his morning pee, so Enoch used him mostly to carry full buckets to the planting area. His strength was also useful for weeding, particularly in the area that Enoch had neglected while he was alone. It had taken a while to teach Blackie which plants were “bad,” but he eventually caught on.

There had been a few tense moments during Blackie’s first few days. He had knocked down a few cornstalks, evoking squawks of indignation from Missy White. She had pursued him with an adze cultivator. Fortunately, her first swing missed. Enoch intervened before she could catch Blackie, who fortunately had demonstrated a surprising turn of speed.

Enoch made other changes too. He moved harvesting activities to after mealtime. Since he could spare one docent to be a human scarecrow, he could dry more of the harvest’s beans, corn and squash at the same time.

Best of all, apart from his volunteers, they still didn’t have any customers.


* * *

Squeak, squeak, squeak.

The Count is one hundred and eleven. Enoch woke groggily. He looked at the wind-up clock. It was fully an hour before the regular time. He looked at the longhouse window, and gray morning light was bleeding through the curtains.

“I never, ever should have shown her how to get her own water,” he groused. Missy had been rising ever earlier and her first stop was always the squeaky water pump.

He stirred, intending to go outside and ask her to stop when he heard the first scream.


Enoch lurched upright before he was fully awake. His first step tumbled him across the prone figure of Blackie, who was just muzzily stirring. As he regained his feet and opened the door he heard Missy still screaming, but he also heard a new sound.

A gargling roar was accompanied by the sound of clanging metal.

The run towards the commotion was short; he skidded to a halt in the museum entrance. Missy White had vanished, but her screams were clearly audible, echoing off the stockade walls. They were only slightly muffled by the hiding place in “her” longhouse. The source of her upset was clear.

Mr. Listang had returned and he was mad.

Really mad!

Listang gripped the uprights of the outer turnstiles, and shook them so hard that the harsh metallic clanging actually hurt Enoch’s ears. As scared as Enoch was that his boss was so angry with him, he still noted that apparently the rule about being in one’s Altogether was no longer in force.

Listang was stark naked.

And very dirty all over.

He had a lot of all over.

Despite his fear, Enoch understood that they had to unlock the gate, right now! It wasn’t opening time yet, but Mr. Listang definitely wanted in. Up close, the body odor from the yelling and screaming figure of his boss easily bridged the gap between the outer and inner gates. As soon as he unhooked the combination lock, Enoch hastened backwards, gagging on the reek.

His backwards motion further inflamed Listang, whose shrieks seemed to reach a new, higher pitch. Enoch suspected that Listang had forgotten the combination, because he made no effort to unlock the outer gate.

“Auuugh!” A new source of shrieking opened up about an inch from Enoch’s sensitive right ear. Blackie had finally caught up with his leader, but as soon as he saw Listang, he panicked and began screaming.

Enoch just knew that introducing Mr. Listang to the fresh volunteers while they were all in what passed for their pajamas—which in Blackie’s case was also his complete Altogether—was not going to calm Listang down, no matter what the big boss was wearing at the moment.

Enoch turned to try to settle down Blackie.

The junior volunteer docent rewarded Enoch’s calming efforts by screaming in Enoch’s left ear, which immediately began to ring. The blast of sound was enough to make Enoch clutch at his head. Between his wrists, he saw Blackie diving for the “safe space” that he relied on when he was scared.

The good news was that this would get him out of Mr. Listang’s sight.

The bad news was that Blackie’s shelter was the still-dark Children’s Tunnel.

The worse news was that Blackie continued to moan loudly from inside his “safe space.”

Mr. Listang stopped growling for a moment. Fresh white spittle frosted his matted beard. With a glare at Enoch, he shuffled rapidly towards the exterior atrium. Moments later Blackie’s screams renewed and his hairy backside scuttled backwards towards Enoch.

Reaching the interior, Blackie made towards Enoch and safety.

Still stunned by the incredible volume of all the screaming and growling, Enoch watched as Mr. Listang crawled right through the children’s tunnel and got to his feet.

The park manager screamed a challenge. His bloodshot eyes held no intelligence, only rage.

And hunger.

Enoch backpedaled as his former boss sprinted directly towards a fresh target. The senior docent nearly stumbled on the wooden pallet that held the stacked brown buckets. Stepping backwards around the water pump, he tried to apologize.

“Mr. Listang, I’m really sorry about the uniforms.” He pleaded. “It isn’t opening time yet, and I have been all alone for a hundre—”

Enoch didn’t reach the end of his first excuse as Listang, his gaze fixed upon his target, closed the distance to his intended meal. He tripped on the buckets and his grasp only reached as far as Enoch’s knees. Black nails raked Enoch’s shins, drawing blood and a surprised yell.

“Sir, what the hell?” he protested.

Enoch’s instincts were better than his retort and he belatedly followed Blackie, whose panicked flight led them both into the heart of the planting area. Listang followed closely, and his hoarse yells spurred both of his prey to greater speeds. On the second circuit, Enoch stumbled as he passed the leather-crafting station.

Listang again dove for his prey, biting at Enoch’s chest and tearing away a mouthful of skin.

Enoch screamed in real terror as he realized his boss, for some inexplicable reason, was actually trying to eat him. The horror lent him greater strength and he kicked his boss off, breaking two of his own toes in the process.

His screams roused Missy, and as he scrambled to his feet and began to run again, he saw her shocked face peeking out from the longhouse door she had cracked open.

“Eeenaaa!” she yelled uselessly.

“Missy, help me!” Enoch cried as he pounded past, heading back towards his own room. Listang followed closely. Enoch could see that his hunter’s face was freshly painted with Enoch’s own blood.

Enoch fled as fast his injured foot allowed, but a terrified glance over his shoulder showed his tormentor narrowing the gap. His fear prevented him from realizing that his path had trapped him in the entrance hall of the museum, and he fetched up against the inner turnstiles.

This wasn’t fair! He had done not just the best that he could but he had helped customers. He had followed the List faithfully. Instead of appreciating that or even listening to Enoch’s explanation, Mr. Listang was attacking him for no reason!

Blended with his bone-deep fear and feeling that he was going to lose no matter what, Enoch felt it.


His schedule was ruined. His crops damaged. His work unappreciated.

Listang had never really liked him.

Had bullied him.

Even if he ended up dead, Enoch was going to fight.

He pushed off the inner gate and punched Listang in mid lunge.

Enoch’s fist pounded the much larger man right in his gaping mouth.

And Enoch immediately regretted it.

Listang recoiled, screaming, but now Enoch’s own hand was cut and bleeding, and his thumb stuck out at a funny angle.

Hunger overcame pain, and Listang attacked again. This time the maddened, stronger man dropped them both to the ground and the one-time park manager ducked his head down, biting at Enoch’s chest.

Despite the excruciating pain, Enoch fought. Blinded by his attacker’s mop of stinking hair, he clubbed ineffectually with his hands. Listang’s hands tore at his face, splitting Enoch’s lips and gouging his cheeks.

It was about to be over, but Enoch didn’t stop fighting.

And then Listang reared up, screaming, not in hunger, but in pain. The cannibal turned just in time to catch Missy White’s second earnest jab in his short ribs. The puncture from the sharp spike of the weed pole was shallow but painful. Listang instantly focused on the small naked woman, who stumbled back involuntarily, her fear written across her face.

Enoch kicked reflexively, and tangled Listang’s feet. The furious man tumbled to all fours on the packed dirt, facing away from his previous target. His head snapped up, and bloodshot eyes glared at Missy.

A snarl rumbled from Listang’s chest. His powerful arms and legs tensed as he stood, preparing to rush and overwhelm his next meal.

Just as Blackie ran up, nearly stumbled, and with a wild but powerful blow, swung his cultivating adze.

And buried the pick in Listang’s skull.

For a moment, the tableau was frozen.

Enoch waited to see what would happen. Although it probably didn’t matter, considering how much blood was splattered about, he couldn’t help realizing one fact, despite his fear and pain.

There was a lot of Altogether in view.

Pretty much every everywhere.

Listang dropped his arms to his sides, and swayed as Missy charged forward several steps, screeching incoherently. Using both hands, she raised her weed pole overhead and with all the leverage of the long handle, swung downwards at their suddenly quiet attacker.

The pole snagged the red and white welcome banner and rapped Listang smartly on the shoulder.

The blow was heartfelt but the wooden pole rebounded harmlessly upwards.

Listang dropped limply anyway, the adze still buried in his head. One end of the torn banner still hung from the alcove ceiling while a segment emblazoned “HOEDOWN!” was draped diagonally across the fresh body before tailing off onto the ground.

Enoch’s ears were still ringing from all the screaming and he had no idea what do next.

So he just lay back for a moment, his chest, hand and foot throbbing.

I guess I better check the List.

* * *

That morning the count was one hundred and thirty.

Enoch leaned on his weeding pole and smiled with pride as Missy dropped her empty bowl off with Blackie, who was rinsing all spoons and bowls in one of the wash buckets. Behind him, the Three Sisters were thinning out. The last of the crop was about in and first frost wasn’t too far off.

With lunch over, it was about time for the afternoon List to start. As he had healed, Enoch had made a few changes to the List, adjusting to the new reality of his small world.

The new staff had been invaluable. For all that they were a bit slow, they had saved his life, literally.

Blackie suddenly growled.

Enoch followed the junior docent’s gaze and saw a small naked figure emerge from the children’s tunnel entrance. Blinking, the young boy looked around and, spying the scene inside, ducked back into the shadow.

Enoch smiled again.

The newest volunteer had arrived.


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