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Archive for the ‘Jack Tales’ Category

This is an example of a Jack Tale, although it is not one that has been passed down traditionally, but one I have fabricated. All contents are fiction and only meant to add to several oral traditions.

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Jack was down. Real down. Deep down. Jack had the blues.

You see, Jack’s wife had died recently, he had lost his job just days ago, when his sadness had started to affect his work. Jack was homeless(again), he had only enough spare change for a beer at the pub, and only enough sense to finally do it.

Things had gone too far this time. This was as low as it could get. Jack knew he had to end it. He could no longer stand the depression that sat on him every day. He went to the railroad tracks, a few miles walk from the pub. There was an odd crossing there, and he knew his wait wouldn’t be long.

Jack stood on that odd cross roads, and cursed life. He cursed himself. He cursed his wife for leaving him. And finally, as he saw the train light in the distance, he cursed God.

Jack closed his eyes as the train bore down on him, and cried. He could hear the trains engines getting closer. And then. Nothing.

He heard in the new silence of the night, a match strike. Jack opened his eyes to see a tall, slender man lighting a cigarette from the match he had heard so clearly. The man wore a dark coat, and possibly a tie, with a short brimmed fedora on his head. Jack knew from the fire in his eyes and words that he was The Devil.

The Devil let out a large exhale of smoke, and said, “Jack, I hear it’s bad down at the factory. Let 20 more go today. Your wife’s recent passing is unfortunate indeed.”

Jack tried to speak, but could not. He had stopped crying. Now his teeth were grinding.

“I can make things better, Jack. It’s what I do. I know what you’d do above all things. If anything could ever have made you happy, it would have been to sing. To sing with soul. To sing like the legends. To sing the blues.”

“The drink has taken my wits..” Jack finally managed to murmur.

“Jack, I can save your life. I can give you the life you always wanted. I can make you a legend. And you can do it for all eternity. You haven’t lived a good life, Jack. If you take my offer, I get your soul. If that train hits you, I still get your soul.”

No one knows if Jack took the offer. But everyone knows he died that night.

-Jack.
I Listen.
I Travel.

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Here’s a Jack Tale. It’s less than famous, even for Jack Tales.

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Jack was a mean old blacksmith in this small town, in the Smokie Mountains. This was a different time, mind you, when people still rode horses mostly, and blacksmiths were really important.

Jack was the meanest man anyone had every met. He hated the men, women, and children of the town. And they were scared of him. The only time anyone ever talked to Jack, it was to buy horse shoes, or plows, or the like.

Jack was so mean, if children ran into his shop, he’d throw hot coals at them. Yeah, he was that mean.

So one day Jack was hammering away at a horse shoe, or a plow, he really wasn’t that sure, and he up and died.

So mean-old Jack floating up, towards Heaven. And there he saw the pearly gates of Heaven, and Saint Peter holding a book.

“Hmmmm…. Jack! Oh, my no!” says Saint Peter. “You were much too mean. Just wait here.”

So Saint Peter calls his old buddy Lucifer, and tells him he’s got the meanest, baddest man that ever lived just waiting right here at the Gates.

(more…)

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