By Ken Daniels
Jim Bennett hears his mother, Martha, screaming for help. Scurrying into the shanty’s yard, he finds her frantically chopping at a wild sow that is attempting to drag his youngest sister, Era, into the dense vegetation. Martha injures her unborn child, and assistance is requested from Granny Rue, a midwife. Lilith Ketcher, visiting for the night, assists.
After an unfortunate encounter with a traveling preacher, Lilith continually seeks solace from the old midwife. Moved by Lilith’s plight, Granny Rue tears pages from the Bible, throwing them into the fire in front of her shanty. From within the vortex of flames, a presence is summoned.
Soon, Lilith and Granny Rue are enthralled with the blaze.
Lilith returns to Granny Rue’s shanty after the midwife’s untimely death and finds the fire burning. Inside the shanty, she experiences a disturbing occurrence. Hurriedly leaving, she spies the cover of Granny Rue’s Bible in the fire’s glowing embers. The flames lash out.
Lilith marries Zach Rewis but refuses to consummate the marriage. She provides for Zach–except for physical intimacy.
At Zach and Lilith’s home, a Sycamore tree deposits huge amounts of debris. Unable to burn the piled leaves and branches, she returns to Granny Rue’s to retrieve smoldering chunks from the fire.
Behind the home, the blaze comes to life. Zach returns to find his wife beside the tall flames. Lilith regains consciousness outside the yard’s fence, naked, lying on the bare ground.
Confused and bewildered, Lilith faces her father-in-law. She remains bound until the Sheriff arrives. Behind the house, Zach’s brothers add debris to the fire. The rapidly decomposing body is examined. The lawman interrogates Lilith near the blazing fire. She admits to killing her husband and damns the house.
A result of Frank Bennett’s drunken actions, his family moves into Zach and Lilith’s former home. Martha fuels the fire heating the wash pot. The sound of a crying infant fills the back yard. Martha’s mental stability suffers.
Numerous inhabitants of Alexanderville are profoundly affected by the many unfortunate events. Isolated, primitive, and struggling to survive, they are not aware of the chain of events that link the mishaps.
Running Through Palmettoes is a captivating and entertaining story. It depicts the residents of the South Georgia backwoods in a previously untold, flame-tinted light.
You can purchase the book online from Smashwords in multiple eBook formats at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/81479.
eBook formatting and Cover Design by Shelley Glasow Schadowsky.