Finally...the drums had stopped.
"Lawsy mercy!" she cried, feeling confused and befuddled as the world snapped back into itself. She shook her head, rubbed her temples...then gasped as she saw her hand. It was large, rough, plump and strong - the hand of a very fat woman who also did a
lot of physical labor - but most of all...
It was black. Well...not so much black as very dark brown. That was normal...right? It SEEMED normal, but...it also seemed to be very wrong.
She again looked around, seeing that she was in a kitchen. She could remember coming into this room...but before that...it all went merky. She'd come here...to this...plantation? YES! She was on a plantation deep in the swamps of Louisiana (yes, that was
right) and she and the people who were with her (who were they?) were looking for someone called the 'Gypsy Witch' who ran a bootlegging opperation from a secret location...and that was when everything went muddy again. Try though she might, she couldn't seem
WAIT! Now she knew! They'd split into smaller teams when they'd found this plantation, and the Scarlet Witch had said it was protected with magic. He (wait...he?) and Hawkeye had gone in one direction, but had gotten seperated when...something happened (again,
her memory frayed and wouldn't make sense) and she'd run this way when she'd heard Hawkeye cries out...
"There you are." said a voice - warm and comforting - and she turned and saw a beautiful woman with white hair, dressed in gypsy garb. "And my, didn't you turn out just perfect! D'amballah cartainly did a number on you, didn't he?"
She felt submissive and shy in the presence of such a great lady, but she managed to squeek out "Oh, lawsy...uh, what happened tah me, Mistress? I feels all...confused an' stuff."
"Oh, you poor confused woman..." said the Gypsy Witch, as she gestured and created a mirror...reflected in the surface...
"Does dat me me, ma'am?" she said in horrified wonder. Reflected back at her was an immense black woman. A big, fat, unapologetically rotund woman with utterly massive bosoms, belly, hips, thighs and rear. Her face was all round jowls, chins, heavy lips
and flat, wide nose. She was huge...she was her. Wearing a dark blue housedress with white lace at the sleeves and neck, red and white striped apron and blue kerchief with white stars tied about her head, she looked perfectly normal...but also totally wrong.
She was a white man! A tall, important and brave man! She wasn't this creature! But...how was that possible? After all...she'd always been Mammy America. Hadn't she? As confused as she was, she was certain she'd always worked on this plantation...in this kitchen...for
this woman. It just made sense.
But if so...then why did she remember being someone else?
"Poor, confused woman..." soothed the Gypsy Witch, as she hugged the massive woman and led her towards the stove. "...you just need some help accepting the new truth about yourself. Here...let me give you a hand." The Gypsy Witch laid her hand on Mammy Americas
huge, shelf-live buttocks...then again on her enormous breasts...and finaly touched her forehead...and a warm pulse of energy filled her. Mammy moaned as her mind filled with images of contented servitude and loyalty. She was...was...
She was waddling around the kitchen, singing happily to herself as she cooked. The Gypsy Witch watched as Mammy America - her face a beacon of jolly goodnature - did the thing she was literally made for. Mammy giggled and beamed with pride as her mistress
tasted the Dirty Rice, Shrimp remoulade and Creole Jambalaya she was making. The scent of shrimp, ham, tomatoes and Andouille sausage filled the air.
"Oh, Mammy...you're a wonder! Such an excellent cook! The Jambalaya amazing."
Mammy laughed, her jowls wobbling with good humor. "Das 'cause it all Mammy wanna do, Mistress. Ah luv's cookin' an' cleanin' fo' you."
"I know you do, Mammy. You'll fit in perfectly around here. Now...I have to take care of the rest of your old team."
A tiny part of Mammys heart fluttered at that. Her team? Wasn't she their leader? Shouldn't she help them? But...no. She was totally loyal to her beloved mistress. She sighed and hoped the others would be as content as she was.
"Captain? Mah word...is that you?"
Mammy America had just put the finishing touches on a bread pudding, when the delicate Southern belle Clara Barton entered the room. She wore a Civil War-era hoop skirted gown of purple and pink lace, a wide sunhat and lacy parasol. She was a vision of southern
gentility and grace. Mammy recognised her at Hawkeye at once, and she said with a big smile "Lawsy, but yo' sho' dids become pretty, Hawkeye."
She flicked open a lace fan and fluttered it about her face, saying with a touch of pride. "The name is Clara Barton, Captain. Of the 'Louisiana Bartons', if you must know. But...what's happened to you?"
"Ah done founds ma' place servin' an' cleanin', ma'am. It all Mammy wanna do."
Clara Barton thought for a momant. She had to help poor ol' Mammy (wait...Mammy? Mammy America? Wasn't her name...something else?)
but how? Then...she had an inspiration.
"Come with me, Mammy. I'm going to find the rest of our friends, then we can leave this place."
Mammy bit her lower lip, and said "Ah don' knows if'n ah can, ma'am." She said, though a part of her desperatly wanted to do as she was told. For one thing, service was what she was made for. Also...this lady was her friend.
"Why Mammy...what a naughty thing you are. Are you disobeying me? I ORDER you to do as I say."
All Mammys arguments fell away. The Gypsy Witch and D'amballah had made her a rather blunt stereotype...and her desire to serve dominated her. She blushed, giggled, and waddled towards Mistress Clara Barton. Clara smiled, and touched Mammy on the arm. "That's
a good girl, Mammy. Now...follow Mistress Clara."
Mammy picked up a serving platter (that had once been his shield) and followed Clara, feeling content and pleased to obey. They both knew that this was wrong...but neither of them could clearly remember what was different. Instead, this strange situation...was
seeming more and more normal as time passed. Clara Barton imagined herself escaping the Gypsy Witch and finding a rich, handsome Southern gentleman to wed. And though she was conflicted, Mammy imagined herself passivly and loyally serving Clara Barton...for
the rest of her simple, happy life.
Clara Barton did think of one other thing. The whispered words from the Gypsy Queen that "A mans kiss, by the stroke of midnight, shall seal your fate." What had she meant by that?