I used to know these here waters better’n anybody. Hell, I’d go so far as to say this black water is what runs in my veins. Pumps my heart. Keeps me a-breathing. If you was smart enough to flay me open with the end of my musket, I know that muck is what you’d find in there.
But, you ain’t that smart, and besides, it ain’t wise to match wits with a fox. You gonna lose. Ever time. Besides, it takes a real dumb ass to float around a gator-infested swamp in a soft-sided boat. What was you thinking, Son? Never mind. You wasn’t thinking. I bet you never think past the end of your last idiot idea. Something that revolves around your sorry life. How hard you got it. How much you try. How nobody appreciates you.
All bullshit, Son.
You don’t know hard. That dead gator over there, now he knows hard. Or knew it. I watched him flail around helpless in that water, all fifty years or more of him flashing before his beady yellow eyes. He’s a monster, ain’t he? Big enough to be at least that old. He fought like a good soldier. Yep. I’m sure he wasted his final seconds feeling all sorry for himself, pissed off that an even bigger gator bit him in two. A reptile longer than your flimsy boat. Wider, too. That thing could saw you in half with one chomp, Son, and he wouldn’t even burp.
I spent ages in this here swamp, and I never seen the likes of him. Know it like the inside of my own head. Him and me – we’re the same. Kin. I always knowed how to hide in this here wilderness, and I betcha he did, too. Evasion. It’s a tactic that takes some serious smarts. But, you can’t go on evading life forever, Son. You can float into this black hell, begging to be taken, crying your pathetic little sob stories into the stillness, but life only takes you when it’s through with your ass.
Believe me. I know.
Tide’s turning. You get on outta here. Go on. And, remember what I tole you. Grab ahold of your life and clamp on like that big gator, Son. Quit living the could-a-beens, afore you end up a ghost. And, let me tell you. Having the ghost of the Swamp Fox rattling chains in your hereafter will be hell, Son. I’d always creep up you, but you would never outwit me.
This week’s series of fiction is set in historic Black Mingo Swamp. To start the series at the beginning, click here. To read more about the history of Black Mingo, click here. Thank you for reading, for commenting and for sharing my blog.