Father Stark from “Lott’s Mountain” decided to stop by today and talk to me.

Me: “Hello, Father Stark. You’re a reverend of …”

Father Stark: “Pastor or preacher suits me just fine. Reverend’s gettin’ all fancy and I just ain’t that type. The good Lord don’t need fancy. You bring what you bring to him. Fancy clothes and titles don’t mean nothing to him.”

Me: “I’m going to get to the point. Are you brainwashing people?”

Father Stark: “Now you talk real sharp and don’t get to beatin’ bushes. I like that. I do. These days you get fellers talkin’ all kinds of trash, tryin’ to confuse people. They say a bunch of words without sayin’ a whole lot. Do you mind if I smoke?”

Me: “This is a no-smoking blog. If you … well, you’re already lighting up the cigarette. Okay. Well, could you answer my question?”

Father Stark: “You cain’t blame a man for givin’ into a vice every once in a while. No, sir. We all got vices. I’m a little surprised you ain’t brought that boy, that Dylan Caid, into this yet. I hear an awful lot of talk about him, especially since that brother of his got hisself killed. Awful nasty business that. Awful nasty.”

Me: “Are you brainwashing people? After you visit their homes, entire families are leaving their houses to gather at your church.”

Father Stark: “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with bein’ popular. Ain’t nothin’ wrong at all. You might consider hearin’ a little of the good word ya’self. There’s more to this ole world than what we can see. That Dylan Caid knows that. You wouldn’t happen to know where he is, would ya? I been itchin’ to talk to him.”

Me: “I don’t know where he is. This isn’t about him.”

Father Stark: “No, it’s all about him. He knows.

Me: “What does he know?”

Father Stark: “Now, I thought this wasn’t about that Dylan Caid.” <Laughs and smokes for a while> “There is spirits out among us. There is magic. And there is me. Really, I think you outta come visit. My church … it’s real easy to find. Just look for the sign that says mir’cles. You won’t believe the things that you’ll see. The things that ‘ve been a-waitin’. Hungry things. Real hungry things.”

Me: “Maybe we should …”

Father Stark: “Now, I know you grew up in a church. How long has it been since you done been some place holy and sung of glory and praises? Somethin’ like that sinks into the deep of your soul. Real deep. I bet your momma and daddy ain’t too pleased with that. Everybody needs a little churchin’. Some more than others.”

Me: “This isn’t about me.”

Father Stark: “First it wasn’t about Dylan Caid. Now it ain’t about you. How about you start gettin’ to what this is about?”

Me: “Is magic real?”

<He smiles.>

Me: “This is about you and–”

Father Stark: “I think we’re finished here. You should be true to your raisin’ and come pay us a visit at the First Church of Lott’s Mountain. It’s the first and only. Don’t need more than one.”

Me: “Father Stark–”

Father Stark: “We’re done here. But you come and see me. The door’ll be open and the light’s always on. And I’m always waitin’.”


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