Showing posts tagged short fiction

Lyrics to “Swamp Maiden” by Connor Holmes

Hello, my dear
Where have you been?
Sit by my side
And a tale I shall spin

I left you for fear
That when they found you, you’d leave me
But darling, my dear
They couldn’t bereave me

I’d been looking for you
For what seems like forever
But darling, my dear
Never say never

Your love is everlasting
I still remember it
Your love is everlasting
I still remember it

See I left you alone
To nature’s devices
Now you’ve become
This swamp's sweetest spices

I finally found you
Sifting through mud
You look like an angel
All drenched in blood

Now, here we are
Together at last
And darling, my dear
Some time sure has passed

Don’t know if I’ll find you again
Let’s make the most of it
Don’t know if I’ll find you again
Let’s make the most of it

My mind still reels
With your moment’s last living
Our love could do
With a little rekindling

Goodbye, my dear
Sleep in the vines- I’ll
sleep soundly myself
With your face in my mind

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Picter of a Hoss/Doctor Man

   Thisun heres a story from a while back now, so member- we dint have none a this cellular cyberspace whatsits what youns find so fancy. Great whack a good it all does ya, sure, but lissen here. Times usedta be, scary wernt nothin but tha lay a tha land. ya find yerself out on a rocky road at night, ya dint have much other than yer own senses, a map if yer lucky, ta get a-right a it.

   So, like I done said, this’ll be a bit goofy ta hear what with all yer fine modern sensibilities, but hear me out. I usedta live up in tha Appalachias, little roost in Carroll County, Virginia. Town tha name a Hillsville. Twere round ‘19 or ‘18, thereabouts, when I met tha Doctor Man- tha man what brung tha picter a tha hoss- scuse me, tha picter a tha horse. He were showin it round tha Town, tellin all us folks as would hear him about a great plague comin. Now, I got a good eyen a tha thing- weren’t such a big deal, now I think a it. An I know whats bad an whats worse, ya hear- I got through tha Great Big Un. Jus a hoss, all desmicerated from thust an hunga an strung up sommere in Germinny- but ya see a picter like that an hear a man talk what like tha Doctor Man talked, it gets ya ta thinkin.

   Now, tha Doctor Man left off an went sommere up North- he don’t show up fer a good while- but he left a good bunch a his picters behind with somma tha folks what lissened ta im. Iffen youns ever been ta Carrol County, youns know there’s not much ta talk about- so ya ken imagin what folks got up ta. Great big festivals from thems who’d call it tha end times, sayin we’d mastered Gawd’s triblations an were headin up above. Staunch protestant folks kept shut up in their nice little houses, fearin tha Wrath an tha winter an hearin all sorts a racket outside. Tha clanfolk, thems like tha Allens what came from Frank Allen an his kin, took ta stalkin tha streets rifles aready. Men as would hear nothin a all this nonsense, like me, we kept aclear as best we could, but then there comes tha city folk with their shiny badges tellin us we caint never make nor buy us a spot a rye or whiskey- Prohibition, they calls it- an ya can probably guess what sommat like that does ta even tha most right minded a men. Twere like tha French trenches all over agin!

   Come spring time, tha whole a tha county were jus a terrible sight- not much differnt than that hoss from tha picter. I held out with some nice Scotch folk- nice Scotch brewers, too- an went on a walk around tha Town. Such a queer thing did I see! All tha streets were covered in crumpled up picters, thems that were left by tha Doctor Man, like they was used fer confetti or sommat, an all left in a trail ta tha courthouse. Now, I haint some kinder superstitious spook or nothin but I caint help but think what I saw then, strung up in tha center a Town, wernt jus tha firebrand pentacostals gettin wacky over tha lawd. Chillun an adults alike, an hoss an chicken an dawg an all other sorts a critters- they was all tied up together, hanged on rooftops an streetlights an even tha statue a tha Confederate man up in Main st. They wernt no reglar hangins neither, with barbed wire all stuck up their skins an even goin inter their guts an victals like was shot from a rifle. Jack Ketch himself musta done them up, since they wernt all done right; some a tha poor buggers wernt all gone ta peace. I did ma duty as a good man as I walked by, payed ma respects an took ma skinnin knife an sent along on their way thems what wernt gone yet, an ya caint blame me iffen I felt a mite bit weak at tha whole sight.

   Now, tha funny thing is, I checkt ma pockets fer ma gun- I guess fer protection, or mebbe jus knowin I can save maself from whatever gave them folks what they got- an out comes a crumpled up paper. Ol’ Scratch have ma boots if it wernt none other than that picter a tha hoss strung up in Germinny- but nows I eyed it I kinder seen it dont look much like what I saw a Germinny at all. An it wernt thust what got tha hoss, either- fer ya see, he wernt desmicerated no more in tha picter, jus covered all in wire an scratches. It struck me that it lookd mighty like ma ol’ hoss from tha war- an jus then I heard a sound what no man with a good Christian heart should hear. How ta call it… A cannon shell a-whizzin? A pig bein kilt, with all tha gurgling an whatnot? Maybe a combination a those, but worst a all it was all rent under with a hoss whinny. I looked up from tha picter-

   Well, now, I caint member what happened next. I musta passed out cos I woked up in some kinder hospital bed, birds chirpin at ma window. I was mighty well strapped down, so I calls out ta anyone that ken hear me- an who comes through tha door but tha Doctor Man from back before! I wernt in ma best a mind, so I got ta hollerin an callin again as he come closer, all jerky an slow like he were on a projecter with a stutter. Morphine does a lot ta a man, I guess. Took tha poor fella near an hour ta talk me down.

   Turns out, he done doped me up after findin me all cut an bloodied on tha street when he rode inter town. No sign a nobody else in tha whole a tha county, he said- he laughed at that! Said he figgered they were hidin from Johnny Law, what with tha Prohibition agents he’d been hearin about. I tried ta tell im about tha bodies I done saw, ta ask about tha plague, but he waved me quiet an told me it was ‘just the aftereffects, chap’. I tell ya one thing, I haint been in jus one war- I’ve taken tha needle since an never seen no massacre like that agin. Well, never seen one what wernt really there- youns probably know about what them Germinny folk got up ta later on.

   Either way, I healed up after a week a rest or so. Tha Doctor Man saw me out a his hospital- Sacred Glory Sanitorium, he call it- an sent me on ma way. I took ta wanderin tha country after that- another story fer another time, I spose. I tried ta find tha hospital agin, jus ta git things right in ma head, but haint no one around who knows a whit a what ahm talkin bout. Haint nobody heard a no Doctor Man Sacred Glory Sanitorium, nor winter festivals in Caroll County, nor any a tha worse things that came after, but I know what I saw. An I got tha picters ta prove it.

   But a picter dont mean nothin no more- so I jus tell this here story, an I keep tha picters hidden. I don’t wanna be nobody’s Doctor Man.