I was downtown last weekend and ran into Dale Brumfield, the man behind News from Doswell. He can be a little intimidating at first, because he's about 6 ft 10 inches tall, and he's got hands the size of tennis rackets. We chatted a little about our blogs and whatnot. But then he got this really concerned look on his face and he grasped my shoulder really hard.
He said, "Jocelyn, I'm afraid you're in danger!". I looked around, then back at him. "What the heck are you talking about?", I said. "Your sins!", his voice boomed, "I'm talking about your immortal soul!". I laughed. He said, "Come to Doswell and I'll convince you. When we're done you'll know exactly what I mean." As silly as it seemed, it was an intriguing offer.
So last night I drove up to Doswell after work. There isn't much going on out there that I could see. Just farms, woods, a couple of gas stations, and King's Dominion amusement park. As I turned the car onto a dusty side road I noticed a cock-eyed man sitting on the corner. He had a pile of soiled tube socks on his lap, and a sign that read "Thumbless Mittinz - $5 a pare".
A few miles later I was approaching the Brumfield compound, which was fitted with guard towers and a tall fence. I drove through the entrance gate and was greeted by several homely women and about sixty ragamuffin kids, all running around with dirty faces. They stopped and stared and there was an almost perfect silence. Then a small door creaked open, and out stepped our man Dale.
(click image to see the long view)
He led me beyond the crowd into the surrounding woods, and then into a clearing. He gestured towards an old tire filled with oily rainwater. I glanced down, and there, in that small pool of liquid were the secrets of Doswell. The lives, the hopes, and the secrets of a few hundred lost souls. Dale Brumfield is no reporter. He's a Shaman. And for this brief moment he was sharing his horrible vision.
Without warning, Dale yanked a fistful of hair out of my head and threw it in the water. The previous visions were replaced with visions of myself. I gazed deeper, drinking in the essense of my life, wincing at my many indiscretions. All was laid bare. "I believe! And I'm sorry!", I screamed, and for the first time in my life I fell to my knees and just cried and cried from the darkest depths of my soul. Dale whispered, "You shall be forgiven...".
That's when he kicked the back of my head and I fell face first into the disgusting magic tire water. I tried to lift myself out, but Dale was now forcing my head down into the abyss. My sins must have been worse than I'd thought because he held me in there until I'd completely blacked out. When I finally awoke it was midnight and I was lying on my front lawn. My body was wrapped in soaking wet newspapers, and a pair of socks had been placed over my hands.
Everything felt different. I guess you never know how many sins you carry until you've been absolved of them all at once. I began to realize why Dale would live in a place like Doswell. In a way, that town is full of people like me. Confused outsiders, all of us trying to make it through the day in whatever way makes sense to us. I truly believe that those who have been healed by Brumfield have been forgiven in the eyes of the almighty. One day we'll all be in heaven together, and the rest of you fuckers will be eating shit down in Hell!
Apparently the Doswell spin machine is in full effect over this one!