General Fiction posted May 8, 2018

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The day the creek disappeared.

Granny Moon

by Sugarray77

A Disappearance Contest Winner 

Granny Moon was a crotchety old woman, who lived alone in a rundown Smokey Mountain cabin and quietly made moonshine that she sold for two dollars and a peck of corn. Her true name was Elmira Ruby Turner, but was known to all as Granny Moon because of the moonshine. The still was located in Turner county way back up on Caddo Creek in Viney Holler. The creek water ran clear and pure and put out an ample supply. She had made shine for nigh on to fifty years and she said she planned to go on for fifty more. No one disbelieved her. She was cranky and hard to get along with, but with her family connections, longevity, and ready supply, her shine was always in demand.

Granny had three sons that lived nearby and they checked on her regularly but ignored her business enterprise. For them, it was out of sight, out of mind, and they didn't want to know about it. But the day came when Granny's world and still could not be ignored.

Granny Moon's corner of Tennessee was having a tourism boom. Everywhere you turned, the land around Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Dolly Parton's tourist attraction was being bought up by city folks wanting to live in the country. They wanted rustic farmhouses with city amenities, and they were impatient to get them. This especially applied to running water. One day to Granny's chagrin, the creek dried up. She walked up the creek and found the water had been diverted to someone's well and irrigation system. Granny called Son #3.

"Delbert, I want you to come pick me up and take me to town. I want to see you, Earl and Calvin. Tell them I'm coming." Granny told her son. A trip to town was rare and Delbert knew something wasn't right.

He quickly went to see his older brothers and said, "Ma's coming to town and wants to see all of us. Lord, what can be wrong? You know she never likes coming to town. She says there are too many people."

Earl and Calvin sat in Earl's office with worried expressions. Their mother could be difficult, but she was their mother and they would move heaven and earth for her. Delbert left to get her and the other two tried to figure out what could have caused this unusual visit.

Delbert arrived at the old cabin and went in to get his Mother. When Granny came out she gave a loud "Humph!"

"Why did you have to bring the squad car, Delbert? It's going to look funny with me riding in the County Sheriff's patrol car." Granny told him.

Delbert said, "I wasn't thinking about it, Ma, I was wanting to get here as fast as I could. Is anything wrong?"

"We'll talk about it at Earl's office." Ma said. She rode quietly all the way into town.

As Granny Moon opened the door to her son's office, she noticed the gold lettering was becoming faded. After so many years in this office, her son's name needed to be repainted. She decided she would suggest he use his full name of Earl Thomas Turner, County Judge, Turner County. She thought that had a nice ring to it.

"Hello boys," Granny said as she greeted her sons.

"Delbert, bring that chair around here so I can see all of your faces at once." She commanded. Delbert moved quickly to obey.

Granny began, "I know you boys are fine men and each of you are a pillar in our community, even you Calvin, as the local banker, make a fine contribution. We Turners have always been at the heart of things, but times have changed, as you know, with all of those tourists coming to live here in Turner county. So many folks are crowding in that water is getting in short supply. Why, just this morning the creek dried up and it seems a new family has diverted it to their well. Now, I'm not one to complain to neighbors or start a feud over such things. My motto has always been to live and let live. You boys know about the still, why it's been there since before you were born. I guess with no water, I'll just close it down. The reason I wanted to see you was to ask which one of you has a room for me to move into since I have no water and won't be making moonshine any more. I'll just move in with you and get used to city life."

A deep silence covered the office as the stunned men took in what their mother had said. They looked at each other with round, unbelieving eyes. They had always thought their mother was safe out in the country. They couldn't imagine her living in their homes.

Earl said, "Now, let's not be hasty. I'll send a road crew out tomorrow to divert the creek back to its course."

Calvin said, "If we need to hire a man to dig a well, just let me know."

Delbert chimed in with, "I'll visit the new folks and read them the ordinance on diverting water."

"Is there an ordinance on diverting water?" Granny asked.

"There is now." both Earl and Delbert chimed together.

Earl asked his mother "Will you stay with us tonight and we will see about getting the creek running so that you can go home tomorrow?"

Granny stood with a twinkle in her eye and asked, "That will be fine; so which one of you is going to take me to dinner?"

The three sons stood with grins on their faces and said in unison, "all of us."

A Disappearance
Contest Winner
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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