By Vincent Louis Carrella
Within the deep mountains of Appalachia, the Flints of Leatherwood, Tennessee, unfold the note of the gospels by way of dealing with lethal serpents and ingesting lye in entrance of enormous gatherings of the trustworthy. Believing his ten-year-old son Jacob—called Toad or Spud—to be a prophet, Charles, the patriarch, takes the boy down a protracted and hard direction as they go back and forth the again roads of the postwar Deep South looking for God and plumb the depths in their unorthodox model of religion. yet unexpected, stunning tragedy will shatter Charles's adored dream of establishing a ministry and an everlasting church—and set younger Jacob on a dramatically diverse path.
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Additional info for Serpent Box: A Novel (P.S.)
His eyes have never lied to her, so he can always sway her, the way he sways all people who stare into his clear black eyes. She steps from the tub and water drips from her feet as she crosses the small cabin. Charles watches the trail of shiny footprints on the wooden floor. She reaches into a sack and takes out a folded quilt and brings it to him. The quilt is all white and embroidered with their names, and the date of their wedding. It was a gift from the old woman. She took it from their bed so she’d have something to comfort her during her stay in the cabin.
I just want to be there. What if he’s still there? It can’t be worse than it was today. Before I saw that, I was nothing, I was sleeping, I was like an ant crawling on the 21 SERPENT BOX ground. I heard about it, of course. I knew what they did up there. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same as I was before. It’ll be dark. Well, I have a light. It’ll be worse than it was today. Maybe I should come too. Don’t you dare follow me. This is a thing I have to do. Alone. 22 3 NO BETTER CLOCK THAN A CHILD C harles Flint stares through the screens in the Bible room out to the low hills beyond the house where the road cuts through and rises to meet the woods beyond.
The serpent is still as stone in his sack, and this worries him. Perhaps it will rouse itself in the tree. Perhaps if he warms it, for it is cool here in the heights and his breath comes out blue and does not rise. He sees the dark wall of dreaded brambles and he hears the low whisper of cold water over stones, the sound of Moss Creek beyond, like the faint sound of bells. He walks along the bramble wall and searches for the tunnel through which, the map says, he must crawl. In his mind is the fresh vision of the dead Cornelius Loop and the corpse he discovered in his dark waking.