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Appalachian Moonshine Ladies

A story crafted from three random words: sacristy, field hand, touching.

Jessup the field hand entered the sacristy, touching its walls with gentle, though work-worn fingertips.

“Ha!  Got ’em all in one.  Together.” he sneered.

Though, no one else did.  Obviously.  Granny Mae, Aunt Sis and Ms. Merril (who wasn’t so young or available as she sounded, it was more about the respect she was due) pretended not to notice an obvious trail of dark drips, the same one Jessup must have tracked.

“We, sir, are prayin’.” went old Miss Merril.

“Praise be ta’ God.” Granny Mae cramped her fingers closer together in prayer, then rocked back and forth on the kneeler.

Jessup challenged that they weren’t all kneeling–

“I’d be the only one of us in the sodality not required to kneel.” Aunt Sis said, without turning round into the blare of early morning light.

“S’more that she cain’t.” Mae sort of whispered.  Women of a certain age realize there’s no need to ever shroud an opinion.  Though, a near-drained mason jar Mae and Miss Merril passed behind Sis’s wide back was mostly concealed.  Those two giggled over a loud complaint that there had better not be anymore left after her turn, like they assured.

The two old black ladies bent over their false prayers then, laughing.  Jessup dismantled his shotgun then and there.

He cried, “I had to come all the way into a church just to find the ones who went and pushed over the Foreman’s cows?  I had to get ready with these night-vision goggles ordered specially for my birthday by the Foreman himself from cheaper’n dirt dot com,” these he now ripped off, “my final will and testament given to Ma, and my bounty hunter’s certificate all ready to go… but here, three little old ladies just got drunk after Bingo last night and decided to stay out and do exactly what the college kids n’ the cycle gangs have been drivin’ me crazy over these last few months?”

More huffed chuckling, but Miss Merril rocked and prayed even louder.   Good Lord, do please forgive a whole bunch of things none of them remembered…

“I went and called the police!  They hardly wanted to come before, but they really ain’t gonna come round no more, now.  You three made a wolf-cryin’ man outta me!”

Now, the trio of old women scooted around on the sacristy pew.  Pearl teeth and prayer beads almost threw Jessup off, until he noticed the doily-lace collars stained with drops of amber colored moonshine.  Ms. Merril stopped their spurted laughter with a waggled finger in both directions.  The Foreman and his right field hand might have been stuffy, and hardly liked by anyone for ratting out distant pockets of moon shine business in the Blue Ridge Mountains, everywhere except homely parishes and their matrons apparently, but it didn’t mean poor Jessup wasn’t due some good apology.

“WOLF, WOLF, WOLF, WOLF!” they mouthed like goldfish then threw their gloved hands up, praising the Lord and laughing.

Jessup became indignant as a result.  “And here I thought it was that danged Shenandoah Strangler, again!”

Thanks to Webster’s New World Pocket Dictionary, and a few flipped through pages at random.  If you have some of your own words, feel free to send those in too.  And, special thanks to Mom who had a lot of random, southern moon-shine stories to share, throughout my childhood.

Also, I wasn’t here for very long after I was done writing and fact-checking.  But this is all too fascinating, really!  http://www.blueridgeinstitute.org/moonshine/an_industry_in_decline.html

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Filed under: Randiddles

About the Author

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I've always wanted a place to share my weird, wild, nature-loving, talking animal, multicultural and multilingual fantasy fiction stories online. I also have a fashion blog!

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