"Only a night from old to new," the old hag cackled.
"Sleep tonight and the morning sun will wash over your sins."
"Not a chance in hell," I smiled. "Some sins are not washable."
A thoughtful frown surrounded her wart. She lit her corn cob pipe and took a deep suck on some nasty smelling concoction.
"Damn," I winced. "If anything could wash my sins away the smell of that crap would surely do it. What the hell are you smoking?"
"Peyote, mixed with some cedar bark," she smiled. "And, yes it does seem to make my sins disappear. At least it makes them go someplace that I don't worry about. Wanna puff?"
"Maybe a slug of whiskey or something. Something real strong."
"I got a jug made by old Joe about five years ago. I use it when ever I get the grippe. I don't know if it helps but after a swig or two I could care less."
I took the jug and a big swallow. It damned near set my throat on fire and oh sweet Jesus, when it hit the bottom of my gut I was sure I was burning in hell.
When I caught my breath, I gasped, "Hells fire, lady, I should have smoked the pipe."
"No sonny boy," she cackled. "You chose the right potion. This peyote and cedar bark ain't for boys. It would really send you on a trip to hell"
I went to her sink and drank straight from the spigot.
The water slapped me in the face.
"Come on son," the preacher said. "It's time."
I sat up. Water was dripping from my face. My unfinsished meal was staring at me. I shook my head and decided that they had drugged me to make it easier.
What the hell, what would I be able to do? Beg like a coward?
No, let them kill me and get it over.
As I walked to the chanber I thought about the dream. Or, was it a dream?
Maybe the old hag was my first meeting with the devil.
Maybe the fire in my throat and gut was just a taste of what was coming.
Maybe the smell was my flesh frying in the chair.
One thing was for sure, the old hag had been right when she said,
"Only a night from old to new."
Happy New Year Keith (Carry on Tuesdays)