Supernatural Fiction posted August 5, 2010

This work has reached the exceptional level
Moonshine in bottles and in the sky.

The Legend Of Old Punkin'

by Realist101

And so it is told, 'nigh on to seventy two years after the facts, this tale of Mikey Dove, Joe Johnson and their old Chevy truck, Punkin'. Them two, they were the best runner's in Macon County, but one night their luck just plum run out. So sit a spell an' listen well, and I'll tell you this tale of a moonshiner's hell ...

Joe and Mikey left the burning cabin of their friend Satch, to walk, determined and angry, through the dim moonlight down Copperhead Road. Not a word was said between them, they now allowed the anger at Satch's death and the vision of Gibson Taylor hanging from the oak tree, to give them the strength to get home.

Once there, they collapsed on the worn kitchen chairs, as the early morning sun just started to light the room.

They stared at each other, the words afraid to be spoken. They both knew who had murdered Satch. And Lord help them if they were to be caught out alone now. The burns they had seen on their friend, were the signs of the local Klan, which had infiltrated the law these days and it was the local coppers wanting all the shine trade too.

But finally, after guzzling a gallon of water between them, Mikey broke the silence.

"We gotta git that generator replaced Joe, right now. But it may be too late what with the fire 'n all."

"Old Punkin's up by the tree, I doubt anybody'll find the road ... but let's git. Go find them tools 'n I'll grab that other generator. It's gotta work. Ain't no time for a trip ta town."

Joe got up and splashed cold water on his face.

"Let's git Mike."

"Alright, but damn Joe, I'm beat."

"I know, buddy ... me too."

They finally rose, exhausted, but gathered what they needed and started the journey to rescue the old truck. And late that night, they rolled real easy, back down the lane to Joe's shack, old Punkin's lights shining bright again. They had gotten lucky, the spare parts had worked and they had managed to save the shine. It would be sold out of state this time, if they could get it across the line.

Joe Johnson and Mikey Dove slept that night like dead men. The moon passed over the small house, unnoticed by all, except a lone owl, who softly called out both their names and flew off to hunt the banks of the nearby creek on silent, watchful wings.

That next morning, the Feds found the burned cabin of Satch Clemens and the grave of the old blind man too. They knew who had been there and quietly gathered, determined to shut the moonshiners down, once and for all.

Just before the crack of dawn, them revenuers snuck up on poor old Joe's house. But Punkin' was already gone. They had done took that load of shine and skedaddled out'ta there.

And those Feds were so mad, they almost blew that big fancy Ford up, hell-cattin' it out of Joe's lane. The one driving was a hot-shot from D.C. and his self-righteousness took over his senses. He almost went down a bank into the trees along Able Hill road ... but held it tight, luck letting him keep the big car on the road.

It wasn't too far ahead, that the orange Chevy truck was gliding easily along, beneath the shade lining Able Hill road. Joe wanted the load to stay cool and he would cross over to Alabama on the back roads. Mikey knew them well, he had been Joe's guide before.

Fatigue had silenced them both, until the sound of a speeding car was heard.

"Ye hear another motor Joe?" Mikey also had the hearing of a cat. He could pinpoint the rustling of a mouse thirty feet away in a still woods.

Joe eased off the pedal of Punkin', letting the motor ease.

"Damn, sounds like a Ford too. If it's the Feds, we're in a tight spot. Ain't but two ways to turn here now."

Joe didn't hesitate. Old Punkin' roared to life, there were no hidden lanes close this time. Speed was all they had. The bottles in the bed of the truck clinked in protest, but Joe didn't relent. The ghost of the DeSoto pushed Old Punkin' to near flying and the tires screamed in defiance of the unfairness of the law. It was a chase to defy death itself and this time Old Punkin' wasn't far enough ahead.

They say that old orange Chevy almost set the road on fire, trying to leave those revenuers behind. It out-ran them for over thirty miles. Until Punkin' finally blew a tire, sending Joe and Mikey over a cliff, down into the pits of hell itself. Those Feds, they just stood up top of that huge gorge, watching Punkin' burn, with not a shred of emotion, regret, or guilt. It was just another day on the job to them.

But you know what? If you go sit along that section of road ... it's Highway 61 now-a-days, and if you're patient and wait until way after midnight, you will see the headlights of old Punkin' coming. And you'll surely hear an old Dodge DeSoto V-8 gearing' up. It'll be Joe and Mikey, making that last run. They've been trying now, for all these years. Come on with me now. It's past midnight. Let's go for a drive down Highway 61.

Tall Tales & Campfire Stories contest entry


This is the final part to "Old Punkin'", I hope you enjoy, and thank you for reading. Also to Photopeb once again, for the loan of this photo.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Photopeb at

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