Halloween Tales : Eulogy For A Witch--Chapter 4

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Covering The Past

The pallbearers took the coffin a short way down a narrow lane, torches were held high by mourners on all sides and leading the way for those with the burden. We laid her in the sandy earth, beneath a centuries old live oak tree with no marker to identify the spot.

Everyone knew this was necessary and no one bothered to ask why. Some stood and gave their own memories of the witch, while others alternately laughed and cried along with them. We covered the grave and went back to the boats to leave in the darkness as we had come.

I was very surprised to see Hannah was making the trip back with us through the swamp to Grandpa's. “That was Black Hannah’s grandson who drove Mr. Hawkins here today,” my mother told my father. “She’s going back to Macon with him to live with her daughter until she finds another mentor, as she put it.”

She smiled at my father while putting her arm around him at the same time. “Hannah said grandmother especially wanted for you to come to the burial tonight. She knew you’ve always felt bad about waiting so long before bringing Scotty to her when he almost died. She just wanted you to know she always realized you were doing what you knew best and no harm was done.”

Water covers all...
Water covers all... | Source

Old Injuries Healed

At this, my father broke down crying. This was something I had never seen him do before that night. It was a long time coming I suppose, because he looked so very happy and relieved during the long boat ride back through the swamps.

The long ride didn’t seem to take as much time as it did on the way in, but the sky began to turn pink in the east as we caught sight of grandpa’s house across the open water. I suppose it was because I was still thinking about what I ‘d saw right before the casket lid was closed on the witch's face for the last time.

Just before Hannah began to lower the lid down on the casket she must have bumped it a bit. I was frozen in horror as I watched the witch’s mole fall from her lip and tumble down onto the collar of her red dress and stop there, almost as if it had done so on purpose. The witch, even after death, had revealed one final secret to the last person ever to see her face.

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Yes, the Klan had burned the wrong witch. In fact, it seems killing Sarah only made Tara stronger. Of course, great grandfather had known the difference in the two sisters as their dispositions were nothing alike.

But he had lost his one true love and he felt a certain loyalty to Tara, as she did him. This explained the coolness between them after their move to the island in the bay and after the witch's line was ensured. They didn't need to pretend love any longer, I suppose.

I never told anyone--especially my Mother--this last sad part of the tale, nor never related it to anyone else either, until now. There was a severe drought the next year and the McCall's Bay caught fire. The bottom of the bay consisted of nothing but a very thick layer of peat collected over a period of thousands of years.

This peat dried out during the long dry spell and when it caught fire it burned deep down into the peat, not be extinguished until the winter rains flooded the swamp again. Even the witch's island burned, and everything on it. Only the great oaks and pines withstood the conflagration, but the witch's grave was lost forever.

Which Is Indeed Witch

So, that's my story. Yes, a bit long and sad in places, but these tales often are. I suppose I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately, but I cannot help that. My youngest--and only--granddaughter just gave birth to twins.

Two red haired, green eyed, ferocious little girls who seem to be in constant motion. As I said, there have always been lots of twins born into the McCall clan, but my new great- granddaughters' both have hair as bright as orange flames. One of them--the most vocal and active of the two girls--has the cutest little mole right over her lip which dances around whenever she gets angry and.....

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Comments 22 comments

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 23 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Ahhhhh! the mole is a sign. Wow! Randy this is the best story I have read in a long time. Voted all chapters up, awesome, interesting and H+


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Thanks again, Phyllis. This one was once published here but was idled during HP's furious attempt to get back in Googles good graces some time back. I thought I would break it down in chapters and see how it fared.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 23 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

How did the (I don't know what to call it - spacer line?) get in there where I have to scroll to the right to see some of the words? Also, a few of your pictures are missing in chapter 3, I think.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

I don't know Phyllis! I thought that was just my computer as I've been having problems with it lately. Dammit, I hoped it just looked that way on my computer!!

I don't know how to fix it either. :(


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 23 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

It is still readable, though, and I so enjoyed it. Little things like that don' t bother me, I was just curious. The only way to fix it, I believe is to write all over again in a word doc and keep it as four parts a you did. That would be a lot of work.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 23 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

PS: If I can help (if you want to change it), let me know. I can put it in my Google Docs account and share it with you. But, still, you would have to delete all chapters and resubmit them -- but, then you would loose my wonderful comments. :) Let me know if you need help with that.


DJ Anderson 23 months ago

Perfectly timed; this old witch's tale. Told as only you can tell them.

Yes, I remember this one well, my friend. Your beloved tales of the old South bounce around in this old head. I do enjoy them all.

I would not worry about the line up of the print. It does nothing to diminish the quality of this intriguing story.

We will be heading south for the winter in about 10 days.

It has been a dreadful summer with family issues draining away the

usual joys of this wonderful time of the year. Simply stated, I am too

old for all this drama.

I need a bumper sticker that reads:

Snow Birds Heading South --Stay The Hell Out Of Our Way!

Leave a little southern sunshine for us, Randy.

I send my best to you,

DJ.


handymanbill profile image

handymanbill 23 months ago from western pennsylvania

I really enjoyed this story. Good time of year for it. very interesting.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 23 months ago from Taos, NM

This is the best Halloween story I have ever read. This would make a great movie. Have you thought of publishing this as a book? What a great tale. I love the twist at the end. (Sarah/Tara).


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 23 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for sharing a great story, Randy. I enjoyed reading it very much, especially on the night before Halloween!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

DJ, good to hear from you and come on down here where it's warm! I'm pleased you remember this tale and found it worthy of a re-read. Thanks as always for your kind words. :)


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Thanks Bill for your input and time. :)


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Suzette I really appreciate your input and time as I enjoyed creating this tale. Sorry about the long paragraphs but the formatting was screwed up and I've not been around the last few days to fix it.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

AliciaC-Sorry to be so long in responding to your comments as I've been away for a while. I'm pleased the story fit the season for you. :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 23 months ago from Central Florida

Wow, I did not see that coming! What an awesome tale, Rodney. A tale of legends, to be sure.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

I'm pleased you think the tale was worth your time, Shauna. Again, thanks for your time and input. :)


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 23 months ago from Tampa Bay

Randy, I wanted to get back to this hub and let you know how much I enjoyed reading the entire story. You have such a wonderful sense of making words come alive for the reader. We feel like we're right there in the boats in the dead of darkness, standing under the live oak, looking in the casket! Thanks for sharing these marvelous stories with us!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

I'm very pleased to hear your comments, Rebekah. This story was easy to create and it seemed to write itself once I started with the sisters. I suppose it was because of the old tales of the swamps and bays I heard as a child growing up around them. Thanks again for your input and time. :)

Again, I'm sorry for the formatting problems on these chapters and the large blocks of unbroken text. It wasn't originally that way when I published it and I'll soon fix it.


Linda Robinson60 profile image

Linda Robinson60 11 months ago from Cicero, New York

Hi Randy fascinating super hub loved all the terrific information and the exceptional details, so well writing making you hang on to every word. Look forward to following you for more of your intriguing hubs and so nice meeting you. Linda


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 11 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Good to meet you also, Linda. :) I'm very pleased you enjoyed this tale as there's a lot of truth wrapped up in this saga. I hope you're enjoying your time here on the hub as it's a rocky road at times. Thanks again for your time. :)

Randy


Linda Robinson60 profile image

Linda Robinson60 11 months ago from Cicero, New York

Thanks Randy and yes, I know that but still love this site definitely and all the super people you connect with. How long have you been with them? It has just been a little over a year for me. Take care. Talk to you again. Enjoy your weekend and happy hubbing. Linda


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 10 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Sorry I missed your last comment somehow, Linda. Soon I'll have been here 7 years. but it doesn't seem that long. Thanks for your time and comments. :)

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