Burnt Corn


Harsh red clay, it moves a little when touched.  The contact to earth renders a heat, somewhat like a mercury field poisoning the finger.  The ground wasp burrowed in the mixture of sand and soil look to sting, no mercy given.  The brown tipped pine needles are shadowed for just a moment by a moving flat bed truck and then the low slung haze descends into the afternoon of Burnt Corn, Alabama.

Conecuh County 5 overlays the Federal road that snakes one end to the other Southwest to Northeast.  Two lane shoulder less broken blacktop burying the past of tree root whiskey and Creek troubled ghost.  Tokens of history undeterred by other worlds of progress rising in the still heat to speak of the end of days as they have seen.  Blood feuds between strangers and The Mvskoke settled by generals who go forth in record to rule a land.

Crossroads that speak spirit to more than memoirs.  Here by in this graveside some witch did speak, some Sabbat was given!  Utterances that spun the moon, and broke the ground, and gave silence no option in this new world.  Legacy and pain, and color upon shade, here in this kiln of the Alabama territory did Burnt Corn rise upon a colonial fire.  Here did these Red Sticks die and let their breath mate with one daemon after another.

Late July while fortune watches, water moves no more in crimson history from near Brantley’s Store.  Heavy hot air reaches ripe tentacles across the ground and stagnates against the cinder blocks that support the tin roofed building.  The promising sign of a past marketing age gives oath that the glass bottle that holds the soft drink inside will refresh the will of the empty traveler.  Time moves here for no spirit that bears flesh.

The ash taste, of the maize, the residue lingering on the pallet for hours, it is similar to the metallic taste of bad mash left unattended in the rusty can inside the grist mill.  Both acrid filled metaphors for the homesteaders burning the Red Sticks and their fields of corn.  Whispers cradled by strangers, pictures that no museum would seek to retrieve, are here now in the late July heat.

Rumor retreats until it lives.  It is in the story that legend is born.  If possible for words to be unyielding and reveal uncommon life it will be natural here.  Something has come to fruition in the Longleaf Pine and Black Walnut trees that surround the Old Bethany Baptist Church.  Cain has returned to hunt Abel, and it is here while intellect moves, that words will genesis reality. – DS 11/30/13

Burnt Corn, Alabama is a rural farming community in Southwest Alabama.  It is filled with colorful history, and is very worthy of being the setting for an Americana Gothic novel.  It is my intention and destiny to write it.  The characters and their history are still a work in progress, be assured their basis and magic will be sourced from accrued reality. – DS 11/30/2013

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