Friday, December 12, 2014

KUDZU DEVIL

 KUDZU DEVIL
"There  was a skull beside it on the table. Except for a few clinging tatters of dried flesh and greenish fur-the other was bleached white by the sun-this skull was identical to Gradie's Japanese souvenir: a high-domed skull the size of a large, clenched fist, with a jutting, sharp-toothed muzzle. A baboon of some sort, Mercer judged, picking it up."

"'No,' Mercer said dully, glancing at the freshly typed label he had scooped from the table. 'He's boiling off the flesh so he can exhibit the skull.' For the carefully prepared label in his hand read: 'Kudzu Devil Skull. Shot by Red Gradie in Yard, Knoxville, Tenn. June 1977'"

"'They're little green devils,' Gradie raved weakly. 'And they ain't no animals-they're clever as you or me. They live in the kudzu.'"

"'Hiding down there beneath the damn vines, living off the roots and whatever they can scavenge. They nurture the goddamn stuff, he said, help it spread around, care for it just like a man looks after his garden. Winter comes, they burrow down underneath the soil and hibernate.'"
Karl Edward Wagner, Where the Summer Ends




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