Old Mr. Hucklesack
And if any mischief follow, then though shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
* Bible - Exodus 21:23 - 25
A side Note: I'm not a racist person. I use it in this story to try to correctly portray this time period. (If you get offended by this... My sincere apologies)
Old Mr. Hucklesack
By William Jones
October 30, 1893 10:07 p.m.
A glowing light brightened the cold, damp, night as a small Negro boy walked through the woods carrying a dirty woven sack tied with two pieces of freshly made rope. The moon had just reached up from its prison to reveal the path. He knew what he was about to do was wrong, but he had no choice. His parents had always raised him with fine morals and he very much at heart kept to them, but he was doing this for survival. His father's crops were wiped out by fire that was set by the local KKK and the family was starving. His father fell ill and told him that he would have to break his moral promise just once...
"I wish these here white folks knew what they was doing to us. Your ma is starving to death and so is your brother, and I ain't gonna be able to do no walkin to no wheres for awhile. I'd gladly get up out of this here bed and go to plant more crops, but I alsos fear that those white folks, wearing those awful white robes, will just burn them all down again.”
He paused for a second and looked into his son's eyes with genuine loving care that only a father could give. He could tell by the look on his son's face that he understood the dire need of the situation.
The fire flickered silently in the bowels of the chimney as Old Mister Hucklesack sat in his old rocking chair staring at the fire. His father, who raised him alone after the mother was killed in a horse riding accident, always told him about the ways of the people he referred to as mud-souls or for lack of a better word, niggers. His father hated them, and raised his son to hate them too.
His father was still alive when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that set niggers free from slavery. He died twenty years ago on his son's forty-second birthday from a heart attack. Even though his father was gone, Old Mr. Hucklesack still heard his voice. He heard it in his sleep. He heard it all of the time...
"Those folks don't obey their masters. As far as I'm concerned, I own every one of them bastards. They aren't worthy enough to lick the mud off of my boots on a dry day! Hell, the last time I was around them was at a lynching at the church by the general store in west Helena. I was one of the men in front. This middle aged nigger had been accused of sexually harassing his owner's daughter. I could see the fear in his eyes when he saw me pull out my razor strap. I can't remember anytime of ever being so happy in my life. That nigger hollered for the longest as I swung that strap as hard as I could. Each time the strap went across his back, his clothing tore and the skin underneath began to bleed. He was still screaming until he strangled to death when we hung him by the big oak tree facing the church. I loved every minute of seeing the suffering in his mud-soul eyes, as the oxygen to his little nigger brain was cut off for good.”
He continued to rock gently, his eyes hypnotically gazing at the roaring flames. The flames seemed to him to be an outward manifestation for his hate toward all the niggers of the world. He witnessed a stoning when he was five; his father was one of the ones throwing them. He remembered the smile that grew across his face as the woman who refused to work, took a hit in the temple that killed her instantly.
He shook with excitement thinking about all of the niggers he had killed over the years. He's helped his friends hang two Negro girls. He himself had killed a seven year-old Negro boy when he had discovered him trying to steal turnips from his garden. He deserved what he got. I took that shovel and introduced it to his little face. He never in my life saw a nigger's head role quite like his did.
He remembered the time that he had joined his KKK buddies when they donned the white robes and burned twelve niggers in their church. O how he'd loved it when three or four tried to run from the burning church and were shot down. He had done the shooting, and he still tingled today with excitement over his good aim at the time.
He looked at the grandfather clock beside his old bookshelf and yawned.
"I better head to bed. At my age, you need all the rest you can get. I maybe sixty-two years old, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna give any nigger a chance to enjoy life." He grinned, and began to walk to his bedroom at the far end of his cabin. He noticed that his door was slightly ajar, but thought nothing of his bad habits and began to get undressed.
He pulled off his black boots, and laid them on the wooden table by his bed. He unlatched his overalls, and they fell to the cabin floor. Thump. He pulled the covers down so that he could fit his old body neatly in the soft mattress. He pulled the covers above his shoulders and closed his eyes.
There was a soft rustling sound. His eyes flew open. He waited, but the sound didn't repeat so he closed his eyes again. There was another soft rustling sound. He sat up in bed, and looked out of his window.
The bushes by his fence were moving steadily now, but there was no wind. He scanned his brain for a possible cause of the noise, when he saw the barefoot of a small Negro boy touch the ground beside the fence. He noticed his foot was cut from the barbed wire, and that made him feel great knowing that he had hurt the boy even before he knew the boy was there. An evil grin spread across his face, as he lifted his old body out of the bed and put his boots on. His musket was mounted on the wall beside the fireplace...
The Negro boy grabbed his scratched ankle, as he used his other arm to throw an old sack over the fence. He knew that some of Mr. Hucklesack's crops would be enough to feed them until his pa could grow more crops. He begin to feel uneasy about what he was doing but he had no choice. You have to. If you don't you're going to starve to death. His mind kept telling him, as he let go of hurt ankle and picked up the sack. With a sigh, he threw the sack over his shoulder and began to walk through seemingly endless fields of cabbage, turnips, tomatoes, squash, beans, and every kind of vegetable there was. He could feel saliva begin to drop from his mouth.
He heard a footstep in the distance towards Mr. Hucklesack's cabin. He looked up, but there was nothing. He bent down towards a row of tomatoes and picked one from its stem. It smelled delicious and he was tempted to take a bite right there, but he thought of his starving family and put it into the sack. He reached for another, and quickly ripped it free from the stem. This one was huge, and he knew his family would appreciate it. He stuffed it into the bag, and reached for another.
He turned towards the direction of the noise but there was nothing. He bent back down, and grabbed another tomato.
Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.
He heard the leaves breaking under someone's weight and his pulse quickened.
Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.
He decided it was time to leave, and threw the sack over his shoulder. He grabbed another tomato, and then got up. He turned around and saw Mr. Hucklesack waiting behind him holding a musket. He'd heard about the ruthlessness of Mr. Hucklesack from his father, and he immediately screamed.
Old Mr. Hucklesack responded to this by hitting the boy in the face with his musket. Blood stained the ground, as two teeth hit the soft soil. The boy stumbled sharply, and screamed out in agony.
"Mud-soul!!” he screamed. He grabbed the sack that the boy was still holding in his trembling hands.
"Those are mine you filthy nigger bastard! Aren't you worth enough to grow you're own damn crops!" He yelled, as the boy gripped his bleeding mouth still screaming at the top of his lungs.
"SHUT UP!" He screamed. He took the sack and slapped the boy across the face with it. The boy fell backwards and flattened some corn stalks. This enraged Old Mr. Hucklesack even more.
"LOOK WHAT YOU DID!!" He screamed and grabbed the boy's ankle. He took the butt of his gun and hit it with as much force as he could.
The boy's ankle nearly snapped and he screamed louder than before. Old Mr. Hucklesack had had enough. He picked up the screaming boy and began to slap him.
"SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!" He screamed over and over again, but the boy kept screaming. Suddenly, he let the boy go, and let him fall to the ground.
"IF YOU WILL KEEP QUIET I'LL LET YOUR ASS GO." He screamed, and the boy fought his way to his feet. He stared at Old Mr. Hucklesack's face. The boy had a shocked look on his face.
Old Mr. Hucklesack looked into the boy's pain-filled eyes.
"Stealing is a very bad thing to do. It's even worse now, because you're a nigger. I would have killed you like all the others. They thought they could steal my crops too. I shot them before they even knew I was there. Hell, one of them was even younger than you." He said, and began to laugh.
He remembered vividly two years ago, when he shot a seven year-old for stealing carrots. How that boy's head had exploded in a perfect cloudy mist of red gore. He savored the moment that the boy fell almost headless to the ground with a very loud, Thud. He had taken that child's body and dumped it into the creek. The body was discovered by the priest of the Negro church. They tried to give the boy a proper funeral, but they had stopped them dead in their tracks. They set fire to the church during the funeral service and the two that actually made it out of the burning inferno were shot down by him.
He stared at the boy who was still crying, but not nearly as loud as before.
"I'm going to let you live. The only reason being is that I don't feel like cleaning up your blood off of my plants and field like I did the others. I'm letting you off the hook so get your ass off of my property. You have until the count of ten before I shoot at you just because I hate you. Now get going!" He yelled and gave the boy a kick in the ass that sent him half-running, half-limping away with his sack. Old Mr. Hucklesack raised his musket to his shoulder and took aim.
The boy began to pick up speed.
An earth-shattering blast of fire came out of his musket and sent a metal bullet right into the boy's back with a sickening, splat. The boy fell down and lay still. Unmoving. Lifeless. Old Mr. Hucklesack laughed and began to walk over to the body. He couldn't believe that the boy had believed him, and he kept laughing almost uncontrollably. By the time he had reached the body, blood had soaked into the soil turning it a pale crimson red. The plants surrounding the body were covered in splotches of gore that dripped from them in steady trickles. He rolled the body over on its back and grabbed the legs. He dragged the body past his garden, past the two tall oak trees, and pushed the body over the small cliff overlooking the creek. The body landed in the water. Splash.
With his evil deed done Old Mr. Hucklesack retired back to his cabin to get some sleep. He drifted into a gentle slumber. He saw niggers hanging, and being shot. He loved every second of it. He dreamed that he was the one that shot Abraham Lincoln and not that other fellow. Deep into his dreams he smiled, and laughed. However his sleep would be rudely interrupted before he could tighten the noose on another nigger...
October 31, 1893 12:01 a.m.
The bush by his fence rustled slightly. His eyes opened and then closed again when the noise didn't continue. The bush shook again, this time with more force than before. His eyes opened with glee. I gets to shoot me another one. This time I won't even leave my house. He thought, as he pulled his boots on and grabbed his musket. He looked through his window and sure enough, there was another person walking into his rows of vegetables. He saw them kneel down at his tomato plants and begin to pick them.
He lit the candle sitting on his table, and opened his door slightly. He saw the person look towards his cabin, but then go back to gathering tomatoes. He lifted his musket to his shoulders and took aim. He's not gonna know what hit him. I'll take the back of his head clean off. He thought, and began to pull the trigger. An owl hooted in the far off distance.
He pulled the trigger. The bullet hit the boy where it was meant to and his brains exploded out of the back of his head much to Old Mr. Hucklesack's glee. He laughed and closed his eyes just thinking of how his aim was still as good as it ever was. He opened his eyes, saw the boy, and let out a horrifying scream. The boy was still picking tomatoes! He was missing the entire back of his head, but he continued to pick them as if nothing had happened! Old Mr. Hucklesack couldn't believe what he was seeing. His heart skipped a beat and sweat began to run down his face. He began reloading his musket, pouring the black powder from his small sack and placing the bullet in the barrel. He fired again, this one exploding one of the remaining sides of the boy's head. Blood splattered all over the plants and grey brain matter painted the ground. The boy fell down this time, but picked himself up and continued to pick at the stems.
Old Mr. Hucklesack threw down his musket and flung the door open, letting the cold air enter his cabin. He began to run towards the boy. Sweat was beading down his face, and his mind began to shout things at him.
You must be seeing things! You must have imagined the gore that came out of his head. Yeah, that's all it is. You missed him. He's probably so scared he can't move. No need to worry. Go kill that good for nothing nigger before he gets his revolting nigger hands on any more of you're tomatoes! Go kill him with your bare hands! GO KILL HIM NOW!!
Old Mr. Hucklesack's fists clenched up to strike the boy, but his legs turned to jello when he looked at the boy's face...
"Y-y-you-your h-ead! I-it's al-most Go-one! You’re dead! You’re dead!" He yelled at the almost headless boy. He looked closer and recognized immediately who it was. The little boy's clothes were wet and dripping. His mouth was still swollen from the shot he received earlier. Old Mr. Hucklesack screamed.
"It can't be you! You’re dead! I saw you die!" He shouted, as the little Negro boy continued to pick tomatoes. He grabbed the boy's shoulders and shook him violently.
"Why can’t you just die like all of the others! Just drop over! DIE! DIE! DIE!" He screamed again and again, but despite the fact that he was being the shaken, the little Negro boy never looked up once. He continued shoving tomatoes into his old dirty sack. He swung at the little boy's face and connected with a sickening crunch. The boy's head almost came off of his shoulders. It now hung behind his back. The only thing keeping it on were the remaining strands of muscle left in his partially destroyed neck.
"What the blazing hell is GOING ON!!!" Shouted Old Mr. Hucklesack. Sweat was pouring down his face like a waterfall. His palms felt clammy. His heartbeat was irregular. He grabbed the tomato the boy had in his hand and crushed it between his palms. All of the sudden, the little boy stopped and grabbed his hanging head. There was a sharp, Rrrrrrrriiip. Blood squirted down the boy's back, as he tilted his head in order to lookup at Old Mr. Hucklesack. He had an emotional hurt look on his face.
"You were only up to four." He said and kneeled down to pick a fresh tomato off of another stem.
Old Mr. Hucklesack was speechless. He wanted to strike the child again but his mind couldn't take what was happening. There was another rustling sound from the bush by his fence. He looked over and what he saw terrified him to the very confines of his soul...
Six Negro people were walking towards him. One of them was decayed so badly to the point that worms rested in his brow. There was a noose tied around his neck. Behind him there was a Negro woman. Worms were moving around in her nose and in her hair. Her temple revealed a very deep gash. Her eyes sparkled with fury. There were four more behind her. Each of them were children. Their clothes were wet and tarnished. One of them was a little girl who he had killed nine years ago. Her face was covered with earth and one of her arms had rotted completely off. Her pigtails were still hanging from her rotted shoulders. The other three were boys that had died four years ago. He had shot them all down in his rows for trying to get turnips. Each of them looked hurt. One of them was missing an eye. Old Mr. Hucklesack screamed and began to run back to his cabin.
Water rippled in the creek...
Old Mr. Hucklesack heard it and looked back. His mind just about shut down with what he saw next...
Out of the creek they came. There looked to be at least twenty if not more. Their bodies were charred to the bone. Black scorched flesh dropped onto the soft muddy bank as they climbed their way up the small cliff and began to walk towards him. One of them held what looked to be a bible. The pages were burned to reveal nothing but ashy blackness. The book began to deteriorate as he walked. There was a child in front of them all. It was pointing an accusing finger at him.
"YOU HAD US BURNED! WHAT DID WE EVER DO TO YOU! THEY WERE TRYING TO GIVE ME A PROPER BURIAL AND A FUNERAL AFTER YOU KILLED ME! YOU AND YOUR BUDDIES CAME TO THE CHURCH AND STOPPED IT! THEY MAY HAVE HELPED, BUT IT WAS YOU WHO THREW IN THE FIRST TORCH!" It screamed in fury. Pieces of charred flesh fell from its face revealing blackened teeth.
Old Mr. Hucklesack could take no more. He ran as fast as his old aching legs could carry him into his cabin. He latched the door tight and looked out the window. The bodies were walking toward his cabin. Their grisly faces showed determination to avenge their deaths. They were seeking retribution. They were seeking revenge. His garden began to overflow with the blood of the innocent. The plants became a shade of crimson red, and more bodies began to unearth themselves amid the rows of vegetables.
All of them were children. Some of them were covered with worms. Their clothing was torn so badly that their little bodies were completely exposed. One of them was a girl. Her hair was almost completely gone, but her face was only partially decayed. She pulled herself out of the ground, destroying cornstalks as she pushed at the dirt. There were three others still trying to unearth themselves. One of them had a huge gaping hole in his forehead. Worms were busy wiggling around and some of them were falling out as he clawed at the dirt. More and more clawed their way out of the soft soil. They all began to make their way to the cabin...
Old Mr. Hucklesack stood with his mouth agape and his eyes locked on the army of Negro corpses walking toward him. One of the children walking toward him smiled, as their decayed arm dropped to the ground. He screamed. He couldn't take in what was really happening. Every nigger he had killed, or helped kill was coming for him. He dropped to his knees and prayed to a god that for the longest time he didn't acknowledge.
"MAKE THEM GO AWAY. PLEASE MAKE THEM GO AWAY. I'M SORRY FOR WHAT I'VE DONE TO THESE PEOPLE. PLEASE MAKE THEM STOP!" He shouted at the ceiling. With the first sound of his door beginning to splinter, he knew his prayer would not be answered...
He was still on his knees begging god to make them go away when the door broke apart. The first one in was decayed man. A noose hung lifelessly from his deteriorating neck. He pointed a bony hand at Old Mr. Hucklesack.
"YOU KILT ME! WHY! WHY DID YOU TIGHTEN THIS NOOSE AROUND MY NECK?" The man shouted, as he grabbed the end of his rope and held it up so Old Mr. Hucklesack could see it.
"THE ONLY THING I WANTED TO DO WAS PICK UP SOME PLANT FEED! I GRABBED IT OFF OF THE SHELF AND THEN YOU AND YOUR BOYS GRABBED ME AND THREW ME OUTSIDE! YOU ACCUSED ME OF STEALING YOU SON OF A BITCH!" He continued to shout. His bottom jaw looked like it was about to fall right off of his face.
Soon, he was surrounded by the innocent lives he had taken. They were all cursing and yelling at him. He looked up and saw one of the charred bodies reaching for his head. Old Mr. Hucklesack screamed and slapped it away. It was like hitting a burnt newspaper. The hand and part of the arm flew apart. It drifted in the air with the breeze that had entered the house. Old Mr. Hucklesack could feel his heart beating like drum. He thought his heart was going to jump out of his chest. Suddenly, the boy that he had shot earlier stepped forward holding his severed head. The boy smiled at him. Blood trickled down his mouth, as he spoke.
"I told my pa about you." He said, as blood squirted from his mouth. Old Mr. Hucklesack could feel his mind slipping away...
"I told my pa about you!" He repeated again, and started to laugh. Old Mr. Hucklesack could feel his eyelids growing heavy.
"I TOLD MY PA ABOUT YOU!" The boy screamed at him and began to point at him with his free hand.
"I TOLD MY PA ABOUT YOU!" The boy shouted once more. Old Mr. Hucklesack's eyes began to close. His breathing slowed. His heartbeat began to slow.
"I TOLD MY PA ABOUT YOU!" The boy screamed again and again. Old Mr. Hucklesack's eyes closed and he sank into darkness.
I TOLD MY PA ABOUT YOU!
I TOLD MY PA ABOUT YOU!
I TOLD MY PA ABOUT YOU!
Old Mr. Hucklesack woke up on the floor of his cabin drenched in sweat. His nostrils caught the scent of smoke. He opened his eyes and looked around. The bodies were gone and there wasn't a trace of them on the floor. It was all a dream. It must have been. I guess I'm getting soft. I had a nightmare about all of the dumb niggers I killed. Wait a second, that smell isn't a dream. Oh my god, my cabin is on fire! His mind told him, as he got up and saw the roaring flames coming from his bedroom. The flames were beginning to spread throughout the whole place. His bookshelf began to blaze along with his desk. He got off his back and noticed a very fowl odor coming from himself. He didn't think too much about it and scrambled out where his front door used to be.
He ran past his old horse trough and into his garden. He noticed that the ground was stained red. No it can't be! That was a dream! It had to have been! He turned around and saw his cabin's roof collapse on itself. He looked at the burning rubble and sighed.
"This isn't all a bad thing." He paused and thought for a moment.
"I can blame this on a nigger and get my buddies to go lynch a few more just for fun!" He said quickly and grinned.
"This is gonna be fun! The boys will really lik..." He stopped in mid sentence, as a bullet caused his head to cave in. He fell down in heap. There standing near his fence was an old Negro man. He held a smoking musket in his hands. He was crying.
It turns out that the boy Old Mr. Hucklesack had killed that night wasn't dead when he threw him in the creek. He managed to make it home, but died on his way in the front door. His father had known immediately what had happened. The Negro man disposed of Old Mr. Hucklesack's body easily enough. He buried it in the garden. No one ever found out about it. Each time that old shovel hit the dirt, there seemed to be voices singing happily in the breeze.