Moonshine

I have two brothers, one younger, one older, and we’ve been brothers before in at least one past life that I’ve seen.

Deep in the woods of Mississippi, while the three of us were young men, in our early twenties I’d say, we visited an old man who had built a cabin that was nestled in dense forest. A long, winding gravel road made its way to this place.

One of us must have been acquainted with the elderly gentleman because he received us warmly and invited us in.

From the outside, this cabin blended into the surrounding trees and slope so well that it was difficult to see until we we’re stepping onto the front porch, and the inside, well, it was something to behold.

The old man had constructed his cabin so that one wall was formed by a very large tree, probably an oak of some kind, and it merged seamlessly into the timbers and rafters of the building so well that it looked as if the gigantic tree and structure had agreed to live and grow with each other.

Centered in the floor was a circular pit which was formed by numerous rectangular stone blocks mortared together with precision and these blocks passed through the wooden planks of the floor to rest on the ground beneath. A few rickety wooden chairs were scattered about.

In the pit a small fire burned and released its heat and smoke upwards into a bell-mouth shaped chimney which hung down from the roof to about five feet above the blocks. Surprisingly, this design collected the exhaust from the fire so well that the air in the cabin was fresh.

It was the tree, however, that was the centerpiece of this place and it was truly a work of art. The old man had carved into the living wood shelves, ledges, nooks and cubby holes and then polished the exposed grain to an incredible smoothness. Sitting on these flat, gleaming surfaces were bottles of various sizes and colors, each one filled with moonshine and stoppered with a cork.

Distilling spirits must have been a lifelong hobby for the old man, because he had collected roots, berries, tubers, nuts, grains, bark and other assorted natural ingredients and mixed them in different proportions to create several alcoholic concoctions of wonderful flavor.

My two brothers sampled several of the mixtures and seemed to be in fits of joy over how good the stuff tasted. The old man laughed at me and pushed a small glass into my hands, telling me to try some, don’t be shy.

I said something like, “Well, I gotta drive us home, so maybe just one won’t hurt.”

I tossed the drink down in one gulp and then froze while I stood there. What I had just poured down my neck was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted.

He laughed at me again and said, “Nuther one?”

I didn’t need to say a word, he just started pouring more into my glass.

The last image I saw in this vision was me curled up in a corner of the cabin, sleeping like a log.

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