Virginia Real magazine
The real  Virginia, old and new
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Vampires in Virginia?

Jamestown Brown and the Pocahontas Pips:

 A vampirical look at the history of Virginia

By Mary Combrink

If you asked me what I like teaching the most, I would be hard pressed to answer.  I love the stories of history and bringing them to life for my students.  I enjoy math, because it’s like one giant puzzle, and there is no ambiguity.  You either get it right or wrong.  Science is all about how the world works, which can be fascinating.  And English – well, English is reading and writing.  What’s not to like?     

That’s why I feel lucky that I get to teach all four core classes.  (Okay, technically, I’m not teaching math this year, just helping as an Inclusion teacher in the classroom.  But I often I get to sneak up to the board and show the class how to work a problem, or even introduce a topic.  On one such occasion,  a student called me over, clearly impressed with my ability in math, and whispered, “You know, Ms. Combrink, you should go to school to become a real teacher!”)

Because I am constantly juggling different lesson plans and have all the information from all four subjects in my mind, it’s easy to see connections between them.  Then, I began thinking, why stop with the obvious connections?  With the popularity of “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” and “Harry Potter,” why not create a new series that combines the elements of popular literature along with the cold hard facts of American history?  And just think of the profits from the sale of “TEAM GEORGE” and “TEAM THOMAS” t-shirts and bumper stickers; Revolutionary Reds, the new line of nail colors from Maybelline; and CDs from the movie soundtrack featuring the Colonial-funkadelic fusion sounds of Jamestown Brown.  We could probably wipe out half of the national debt.  Sure, we might have to take a few liberties with facts (after all, I’m not sure any of the Founding Fathers were actually vampires), but when you’re teaching, it’s the big idea that’s important.  Right?

So, without any further ado, I give you the first installment of “The Very Hungry Wizard of Twilight,” an American history epic in at least four parts. (Five if you count the inevitable division of the last book into two parts for the film version.)

Book One:  America, the Early Years.

        She saw the man standing there in the forest, glittering like a being from another world.  The way the sun sparkled on his extremely white skin, still damp from his quick dunk in the Powhatan River.  Pocahontas stood and watched him carefully.  She had heard many stories from her older brothers about these odd settlers.  Her brothers told her that the men drank a red liquid that was probably the blood of animals, or virgins.  The look on her face had made them laugh, which led to them fist-bumping each other’s shoulders, which led to a tussle on the ground.

They were very much like wolves when they tussled.

“You should not be near that man,” said a quiet voice at her shoulder.  “He is not our kind.  What if he imprints on you?”

Pocahontas whirled and saw that her father had come up quietly behind her.  “Do you think their kind imprints?” she whispered.

“I have heard of legends that say they do.  And if they do, you will be bound to him forever.  And then he will  steal your soul.”

“But look at how his skin glitters, father.  Like jewels.”

Her father spat on the ground.  “That glittering is just as worthless as the trinkets he brought to me yesterday.  Beads?  What are we going to do with beads?  You can’t eat ‘em, can’t shoot with ‘em.  I’m going to tell the boys to kill the whole lot of them.”

“I like him, Father,” Pocahontas whispered.  “When he poured the beads from his pouch to his hand, then made one appear behind your ear, it was magic.”

Her father spat on the ground again.  “Magic?  There is no magic in the forest, save the magic of nature.”

Pocahontas rolled her eyes.  Her father rarely waxed poetic about the forest, but when he did, he could go on for hours.  She opened her mouth to interrupt him, but something had caught her father’s attention.  The man named John Smith had moved away from the river and was talking with a large, hairy man who was half again Smith’s height.  The man turned his pouch upside down and shook it, showing Smith that it was empty.  Smith pointed to the river and shook his head.  The larger man placed his hands on his stomach and grimaced, as though he was in pain.  Smith slapped him on the back, and then stepped over to a tree, slicing off a long piece of bark and handing it to the man to chew on.

 “They’re hungry enough to eat trees.”  The chief chuckled.  “Perhaps the settlers would be interested in a little contest.  Twelve of their best men in a fight to the death.  The winner will get a hen.”

“Winner, winner, chicken dinner?”

“Only if they’re not bright enough to save it for the eggs it will lay.”  Her father nodded as the plan formed in his mind.  “Yes, a contest.  We shall call it, ‘The Hunger Games.’ ”

Pocahontas shivered a little, even though the day was warm.  She hoped John Smith would win. Perhaps he would be able to use his magic.  Or, perhaps, he would learn how to shoot an arrow.

Join us next time for Part Two:  Mudbloods and Musketfire

Mary Combrink is a writer and teacher in Burleson, Texas.



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