Halloween fiction: "The Eyeball in the Jar"

In 1922, a lynch mob in a red clay town killed a local handyman. He was dead from a broken neck even before they strung him up, but as plenty of blood came out of him anyway as he dangled, the mod was satisfied. The stated reason for the murder was that he'd overcharged one of the mob for digging a drainage ditch, or maybe that he'd been disrespectful to someone's wife.

The real reason was that the mob was drunk and times were hard in that red clay town. Three of the members of the mob were facing foreclosure if the rains didn't come soon. The bottles passed around and talk turned from crops and cattle to banks and bills, and then soon enough turned down darker, uglier lanes. Talk led to action, and someone's fate was sealed. It could have been any one of a dozen hardworking men hauled away to the low, lonely marshes and battered by the mob that night. It happened to be the handyman.

As the sun rose the next morning, it shone brick red through lowering clouds. By nightfall, the first heavy air blew in. Gusts followed and rain followed after that. Since no one had the decency to cut the handyman down from the lonely tree where they'd strung up his already-limp body, he was left to swing in the storm.

Storm winds blew for two days, pushing over windmills and outhouses. The thundering rains raised creeks to their banks in some areas, well over them in others. It was all some could do to keep all they owned from being washed away.

When it was over and the water receded, the land near the creeks was changed, but only a bit. The tree with the dead man was gone, uprooted and swept away.


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  1. Neat start to this one, Tony. I'm interested to see where it goes.

  2. Very cool beginning! Looking forward to seeing what direction it takes.

    Minor typo - in the first paragraph, was the "mod" satisfied, or was it the mob?

  3. Intriguing! I'll be tuning in the the next episode ;)

  4. Promising beginning, can't wait to find out what happens next!

  5. Poor handyman left swinging in the storm.


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