Michael's Dispatches20 Comments
- Published: Monday, 26 November 2012 14:01
26 November 2012
About a month ago, I came home and found mysterious blood trails around my home. I mapped them out, studied them, and kept trying to recreate the scene. The scene confounded me. I did not assume that it was blood. There was no physical evidence of painting or use of chemicals. After a long look, blood was the only thing that made sense. Whatever it was, a human or humans put it there. A child did not do it. Some finger marks were far too high for my 4-year-old neighbor who runs out to greet me, and she is the only child who is ever here.
Shoe marks were too large for the girl. A palm mark on the ground was man-sized. I checked that she was okay, and her father helped me search. It was clear that someone had sat in the blood to rest, just feet from my door. In context, none of this made a lick of sense.
There was no sign of blood near the doors or the windows, but there were some tiny splatters on the second floor, as if a giraffe had done it, or someone had swung a blade. If there was a machete fight, my neighbors would have seen it, and there should be some flesh or clothes lying around. It was confusing.
The neighbors said that they saw nothing, and they were equally confounded. I cast about for hours trying to pick up the trail in the general area. You cannot just turn off blood like that. I could sense that whomever did it lingered, which made no sense. Then they apparently vanished in a vehicle, which also made no sense. Nobody could come in without being seen. Over and over I walked the tracks and I just could not figure it out.
I thought that maybe someone working on the banana trees hurt themselves, but this was a lot of blood for one person to spill, and the patterns did not make sense. Why would they bleed so heavily and hang around without telling anyone? Was it a criminal? The mystery remained.
So I came home an hour ago (Sunday), and there were new blood trails. Many of them. I cast about my home every day, so I knew that they were not there yesterday. I did not see them this morning. Again, I started photographing and mapping the blood spatter, and this time I was going to call the police.
Before I did that, I did what you should always do at a time like this, which is to find the oldest person that you can find, and ask them. So I asked an elderly woman, she looked at the blood trails, and she laughed.
She walked back to her home, and she came out with a big knife. She said, “It is banana blood!” None of my other neighbors knew it. They are all city slickers, not farmers.
She cut a banana tree and she showed me the clear blood, and then she rubbed some onto the concrete, saying it will disappear now, but you will see it look like blood tomorrow. Sure enough, it disappeared. By the next morning, it began to appear brown. (Tonight it is brown, about 30 hours later.)
This explains why I did not see it in the morning. She told me that our neighbors were cutting banana leaves for the Loi Krathong festival.
She laughed hard at me and asked me if I felt better.
I will buy her a small gift, because she taught me something about tracking.
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This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoGood detective work, Michael! I'd have run straight to the police, with conspiracy theories boiling in my head! :oops:
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoHi Michael,
Good story. The drop on your pic nic table felt from a height because the splash is quite big!
No zombies around then... :lol:
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoLoi Krathong is a Thailand festival. So does this mean you no longer live in the US, Mike? Can't say I blame you. How is the cost of living in Thailand?
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoIf you get that stuff on fabric and it turns brown, you cannot get it out, no matter what you use.
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoI do love a tale with a happy ending.! We elders are a treasure trove of knowledge.
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoYou drew me in with the title! Great ending; I'm sure your neighbor was greatly amused! Smart of you, to find a wise elderly person to ask first.
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoHaving lived in Hawaii for many many years, I raised all different types of bananas and yes, when you trim leaves or cut the plant when the bananas are ready to harvest, they do "bleed" a sticky residue which looks like blood. Even on the machete blade it stains the metal. Lucky you have an akamai neighbor!
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoI'm a little disappointed. I figured zombies. :lol:
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoThat was a very funny ending! Thanks for sharing that and I might add that if it had been me, I would have been hysterical and paranoid beyond belief. Thanks for the laugh!
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoWith the state of the world these days this was a welcome laugh.. thanks Michael...
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years ago"what you should always do at a time like this, ... find the oldest person that you can find, and ask them."
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoSawadee Khup
I laughed until I cried. My first Loi Krahthong in the Land of Smiles brought similar memories. I was there with the Air Force Advisory Group 1970-1973. Good duty, great food, cold Singh beer and fantastic women - what more could a GI ask for? Then there were the stories about the accidents - (...and the driver fled the scene.) Personally, I preferred Chaing Mai for the climate though and Bangkok for the night life.
Khop khun Mak for the memories.
The Old Sarge
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoPaul did you know anyone with USN/USMC Task Force 157 back then?
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoMichael,
Its great that you can still tell a great story outside a war zone. Like Scotch7 and some others, I loved the line about what you should do at a time like this - find the oldest person you can find and ask them. The older I get the more I appreciate how much we've lost by cutting off our elders and making them extra weight rather than light.
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoNever understimate the wisdom of the elderly, or overestimate that of yourself. I fear many, MANY of our young people today have no idea what a tremendous resource is right there under their noses.
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoAll that trouble and there was a simple solution from the very start..... just take a big lick of the stains and you would have known right away.... Don't try this at home kids..... lol... good story.
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agomy goodness, lol
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agocoffee
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoReminds me of your posts from the tracking school in SE asia... stop and ask people what they saw. I'm watching the rabbit tracks in my back yard that lead from the apple tree branches I left for them. Oh the things we do in the north country to entertain ourselves when winter claims 16 hours of daylight.
This commment is unpublished.· 5 years agoHm... sorry but doesn't look like blood to me. Looks like it comes from the plant.
This commment is unpublished.· 4 years agoI knew straight away once I saw your photo but kept reading to see if you have found the answer.