J.T. looked at the wide-eyed kids sitting in front of him. "That's the truth and
I hope you'll pass the story on. I want to thank you for listening to me and
keeping me company while we waited." He looked up at the darkening sky.
"It'll be dark soon."
Daniel cleared his throat, "J.T., thanks for telling us the story. But, how do
you know so many of the details?"
J.T. stood up and stretched. He reached down and picked up the ax that
had been leaning against the stump behind his back. He turned back to the
group and smiled, lifting the ax to his shoulder. "There's a reason I know
the story so well. Every year at this time, I get to come back and kill them all
over again." Jason Turnbull then turned and started walking toward the
The next day Jason approached George Johnson. "Mr. Johnson, my
work's done. I'd appreciate my pay and I'll be on my way to Tennessee."
George Johnson handed him $20 and turned to walk away.
Jason looked at the bills in his hand and thought, "this can't be right. It
should be ten times this amount."
"Mr. Johnson, this ain't right. I've worked for you for more than six months. I
planted the crops and harvested them. I've repaired your house and barn. I
should be gettin' much more than this." He said.
George Johnson turned around and laughed. "In case you ain't heard,
there's a Great Depression goin' on. You've had a roof over your head and
three meals a day for six months. That's more than a lot folks have. You
should be happy with what I give you. You worked for your room and
board, nothing more. Now git off my property." He turned and walked away.
Jason picked up his knapsack and walked into the woods, feeling angry
J.T. looked at his rapt audience and grinned. "Jason sat in the woods all
day becoming angrier by the hour and plottin' his revenge. He waited until
dusk before he went back to the Johnson farm and let himself into the barn.
He picked up an ax and headed for the house. It was full dark by then. He
looked into the window and saw that Mrs. Johnson was cleaning the
kitchen. He walked around to the front door, opened it, and walked into the
living room. Mr. Johnson was sitting in a chair by the fire. He jumped up and
before he could say anything, Jason swung the ax and took George
Johnson's head clean off. The head rolled around on the floor and ended
up in front of the fireplace. Mrs. Johnson came running into the living room
and screamed at the sight of her headless husband. Jason swung the ax
and Mrs. Johnson's head ended up on the floor with her husband's. Martha
came running down the stairs and into the living room. She froze,
speechless, at the sight of her parents. Jason hesitated, seeing Martha
standing there. But, he swung the ax, ending her life as well. George, Jr. ran
down the stairs and met the same fate as rest of his family. Jason lined up
all the heads in front of the fireplace. He searched the house and took what
money he could find and high-tailed it for Tennessee. It took the law three
months to find Jason in a cabin high up in the Buffalo Mountains outside
Erwin. They brought him back to Asheville, North Carolina for trial. When
asked why he did it, Jason only replied that the Johnsons deserved what
they got and if given the chance, he'd do it all over again. He was convicted
and hanged on February 14th. Kinda fittin' because his heart was broken
by Martha Johnson."