Sunday, May 3, 2009

Don't Go Past Gator's Shack

There's a half million square miles of swamp here in the Okefenokee, or the Oak-fen-oak as the Swampers call it. Lots of places for a man who doesn't want to found to lose hisself. Basically I tells 'em to never go past Gator's Bait Shack. That's evil enough for me but sometimes a man needs a snort and a card game.

See, here on Billy's Island life is kinda simple and easy. We've got some law here in the reality that the company owns everything and if you screw up you lose your job and your family starves. That's good kind of law. But out there the Queen of the Okefenokee, who carries a gun in her apron, will shoot you just for looking at her cows.

As you get deeper in the swamp, the more villainous of its inhabitants make their homes. Simple shacks of old cypress board and metal roofing. You can't live here without a gun and if you can't shoot straight you're liable not to eat. There's not a lot of honest ways to make money here unless you like gutting gators. Can't have a still. Can't poach on company ground. Can't grow crops and can hardly raise cattle.

Back in the deep swamp there are criminals. Wanted and desperate men. Crazy women who's husbands dragged them here and then cursed them even more by dying early. Hattie is one of those women. Town's folk says she's a witch. Others say she's just insane from not being able to sleep at night amongst the snake filled black waters. Not many have seen her. At least not seen her and come back to tell about it.

I have...

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