The Works of Mark Edgemon from

Mark Edgemon has been writing for 30 years. He writes and publishes short stories, articles, poetry and scripts, as well as, produces audio comedy productions for over 700 radio stations nationwide.

Contact Mark through his website, Creator and the Catalyst.


Well sir, It’s ben a long time since I’d seed ol Tom Sawyer. I’m growed up now, yet I cain’t hep thankin’ bout doz years hed an I waz together, an tha ad-vice hed gave me. Dem waz spessal times, an it hep shape my en-tire lif, tha way I thank an tha way I talk. I gess tha bess place ta start is at tha be-ginnin’.

I waz a pore black boy razed in a town called Duck Bottam Creek. Tom Sawyer waz tha only white slave I’d ever knowed of. Yasee, he waz razed by black folks, wen hed waz an orfan, an thot he waz black too. He waz never thot ta hav much smarts, sos no folks ever set em straight.

I first met em wen I waz over at my dance teachers house, takin’ cloggin’ lessons. She waz an ed-ja-kated wurman’ jest bout tha smartist of all tha wimmin’ I knowed at tha time. She waz a mintey fine high stepper. Tha only bad thing bout her, witch got ta be downrite problemsome waz, her feet stank.

She’d hired ol’ Tom Sawyer ta feed an slop her hogs. It didn’t pay much, but he liked it on accounta it waz all ya cud eat.

Now Tom ain’t no smarter than a turnip, but he waz a nice feller. He got emsef enuff money ta live rite gud, guder than most folks round those parts.

Wile I waz cloggin’ he waz lookin’ at me thru the winder. Wen I wuz leavin’ he wuz outside waitin’ fer me. He’d ast me wud I be willin’ ta go up ta his cabin, an stomp out some bugs fer him, like I did fer my cloggin’ teacher. I splained ta him bout me dancin’ an he sed he understood. Than he’d ast me again ifin’ I’d be willin’ ta go up an stomp out some bugs fer him, sos I sed yes, an spent tha bedder part of tha day cloggin’ up an down in his cabin.

After-wards, He’d made us some food. It waz purty gud, sept I cud see how someone cud git plum tired of fried balloney samwiches. I reckon dat wuz his fav-or-rite food, next ta fried bananner samwiches.

He wazn’t much on readin’, ritin’ or ciferin, sos fer as long as I knowed him, I done it fer him.

He’d never had himsef any wirman frens, sos he made up one an sed her name wuz bessie bell. He tald me she never got old, witch made me kinda sa fer him, not sharin’ his life wid anyone sept me.

He’d wud often tell me sayins’ dat he’d hurd bout thangs in life, sos ta hep me ifin’ it wud ever come up agan.

Once he tald me bout wen he took a little squirrel ta school fer show an tell. He grabbed a holt a dat little feller an stuffed him rite inta his britches pocket. Well sir, rite as he sat down it got ta be plum excitin’.

Dat squirrel musta been rite scart on accounta he commenced ta clawin’ an scratchin’ an bitin through his pocket, till he got out inta his britches. Uncle Tom started a hollerin’ an a dancin’ an a jumpin’, till he undid his britches rite quick an pushed em down ta his ankels.

Dat squirrel ran over ta tha winder, an didn’t stop runnin’, till he wuz at tha top of tha oak tree, somewhares across tha road. Folks heered tha commontion all over tha school an came runnin’ up ta tha class room door, ta see Tom wid his britches down ta his ankels. Well, everone knowed Tom, an sos no one thot this wuz strange of him. But tha folks outside in tha hall wondered, whut it waz exactly, he waz plannin’ ta do fer show an tell.

Uncle Tom had a hard time holdin’ down a job. He wud say dat it waz tha wite man, who held him back. Uncle Tom, bein’ wite himsef, cudn’t see tha fact dat he waz wite too, so he blamed tha wite man fer all his problems. He heered dat fer years from hiz father, who always blamed whitey, from keepin’ him down, ta not bein’ able ta lite his cigaret. Uncle Tom never smoked, sept tha time he dropped a lit match on himself.

I kept goin’ ta Tom Sawyer’s cabin, til tha day tha incident happened.

I wuz plannin’ ta git over ta tha cabin later in tha day. Wen I waz a ways off, I saw a ball a fire shooting down from tha sky. Moments later, I heered a loud noise. I ran hard, til I got close e-nuff ta see, dat a ball of fire, had landed on tha cabin. As I got closer, I saw a big rock rite in tha middle of whare tha cabin waz an everthang waz on fire. After tha fire died down, thare waz nuttin’ left.

I had mixed feelins’. I waz sorry dat Tom Sawyer waz gone, but I waz glad dat I wudn’t hav ta eat any more fried balloney. I sat up dat nite, an pondered how gratful I waz fer my frenship wid Tom, em bein in my life and all. I thot bout how no one wud grieve fer him sept me. I went ta bed dat nite sorry bout dat.

Tha next day, I woke up an went on with my life. As I did I saw somethin’ dat waz pure a-mazing. Ever one in Duck Bottam Creek had become simple minded over nite, everone sept me. Some how, tha town waz cursed with tha fate, dat everone thare, wud become simple minded ifin’ thay stay thar long e-nuff.

Tha years past quickly. Wen I waz eighty, General Washington sed he wanted ta make Duck Bottam Creek tha new capital of our country. He didn’t like tha name sos he named it after himself. Even tho tha town is now called Washington D. C., tha curse still remains on tha town ta this day. If folks stays thar long e-nuff, thay still be come simple minded.

Copyright © 2007 Mark Edgemon

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