While shuffling his feet through some grass near the firetower, George, a ten year old boy, had been cast into the summer of 1951. From somewhere resounded a loud, somewhat harsh and scratchy voice, and the boy was immediately frozen in his footsteps."Where's my baseball?"George thought to himself.
"George!" said the voice. And then whatever it was resounded more loudly each time. "George! George!!
Ge-or-ge!!! I'm right here, George."
"Where in the world are you?" asked George.
"I'm right here, George. I'm resting on the first platform of the firetower. I want you to come over here and see me. I want to become acquainted with you. I must. I'm not beautiful according to your standards, George, but I'll never be far from you for the remainder of your life. You're headed in the wrong direction, George. You cannot be allowed to continue in the manner you're going. You'll need help, and I'll be close behind you. I'll be in front of you if I need to be. I'll never leave you, George. Are you listening to me, George? You come right over here!"
Said the boy, "You have shiny, black hair and eyes to match, and you have two hands and two feet like a human. It looks as if you are just a strange kind of man with hair. I've seen a picture of a black- panther. You look like a cat without claws. What in the world are you?"
"You can call me Thomas Whacker, George. As for my appearance, I have four hands; two on the back and two on the front. George, I'm much brighter than any man, and I can perform several tasks at one time. I have four brain-sides built into one skullcap. That gives me super-dexterity. Don't you talk about my appearance. Any such judgement should lie within the eye of the beholder. I could send you ahead in time, George, and I can bring the past here to where we are standing. I can't send you back. The past is finished for us all. You can't change any of it. You won't understand what I tell you now for you are a child, but there are parallels, and I'm from there. Someday you'll begin to understand."
"I'm glad to meet you, Thomas," said George. "I don't care if you are here. I get lonesome in this place. My four sisters are not here today. They hardly ever are. They're visiting friends their age. There's only one person living here my age, and its a girl; a darned good one. I'll walk to Five Points Lake later and fish. Mother says that I can. Will you be following in behind me, Thomas?"
"You're durned tootin' I will, George. I just wanted to meet you. You'll catch a glimpse of me from over your shoulder, and then I'll disappear into the cells of something close to me. You'll see me for less than a second unless you need me or I need to talk with you. Anyone with you may see me also, and think they're imagining things. I'll help you George. You'll need it and a lot of it."
Then, pointing its finger at George and showing its teeth, Thomas exclaimed, "You come right over here, George! I wanna' show you something. Do you see that shiny rock there? I get in it and hide; but just for a jiffy. I'll see you
every step along your way.
I'm out of here, George, but I won't be far away!"
It was for certain that hiding somewhere within that nook of peace and solitude and not far away was the mysterious Thomas; ready to bounce upon trouble for George.
As George, the ten year old boy fished at the lake, he recalled the day before when he had gone to visit the beautiful girl who lived less than one-quarter mile from the firetower and his home. "We played five games of Old Maid, and I lost all but one game." George thought. "She's so pretty that I sat and looked at her, instead of paying attention to the games. It's a dumb cardgame anyway. I did win at fiddlesticks everytime, and I won all the Chinese checker games. The songs on her record player are really goofy. She made all kinds of comments to me, but I still love her. I don't really care. I stumbled over her bicycle when leaving to go home, and her mother laughed and made fun of me for falling."
Soon losing interest in fishing, George began filling his pockets with shiny stones which contained tiny, flakes of gold. It was not long until both pockets were heavy and bulging.
Too small to keep and string, the brim and bluegill George had caught had been returned to the lake water. They were always small that way.
From the recesses of somewhere, again there appeared before George; the mysterious and very weird Thomas.
"George!George!!George???" exclaimed Thomas. " I need to talk to you now about the way you're behaving."
Approaching the boy from a steep and rocky incline, with all four hands on the ground, the thing stood in front of George- huffing and puffing for breath; its pink tongue dangling slightly from its catlike mouth. The Thomas Whacker pointed a hairy,dark finger at tne boy.
"What do you want, Thomas?" asked George.
"George, I need to discuss with you that girl you are visiting.She doesn't like you or want your company. Both her mother and her both say they'd rather have a monkey to visit than you. I've listened to them talk about you. You must stay away from those two, George. They are planning to try and cripple you. The black people here in the area are friends of yours- Shorty, Miss Lizzie, and Charlie, the man who sold you the milkcow. You'll do better to visit with them. I've heard them all say good things about you. They like you for reason that you're friendly with them."
"Thomas!" exclaimed the boy. "I can't help what I think or how I feel about the girl. I love every single bit of her, and I always will. She's the most beautiful girl in the whole world."
"Don't allow your chemical reactions to rule your mind and behavior, George." said the Thomas. "Those are your instincts- things that can take control of your mind and cause you to make poor judgements. You'll really be hurt badly if you continue trying to get into their social groups. You can't break though those obstacles they've placed. Their world is not even real. The girl, her
mother and other members of those restrictive groups would stop you from shitting if they could. They ruin everybody they touch, and I'm not letting them ruin you. I've got to stop you from visiting her house, Round Oak, and Gray, George. I've got to get you, your mother, and Father out of here. I will. Until then, George, I intend to place an icy wall between you and that girl. You will feel love no longer, and that will be better for you."
"Will you stop talking so loudly, Thomas?" said George."I'm not hard of hearing."
Entering into somewhat of a hideous and uncontrolable rage, Thomas three handsful
of dust and stones toward George. "Don't you ever talk back to me, George. I've come here to help you! You listen when you see me! You do as I say, and I'll save you and your family from the harm they'll do. They'll burn your house down with you in it. Those don't own this land here but don't want anyone on it."
Sure enough what the Thomas Whacker said to George became true. The following day of that summer, George peddled his bicycle down the the deeply-rutted, red-clay road toward the beautiful girl's house. What happened along the way was an amazing thing. No one would believe it unless they had witnessed it. Only a boy named George did; and a dustdevil, a hairy catlike creature, and things that hide and peek out of holes and crevasses.
Stopping abruptly at one-half the quarter mile of road leading to the girl's house, the boy George was shaken by a sudden and cold wind. Although the Earth was into July of that hot, Georgia summer, the boy shivered and wrapped his arms in an effort to gain warmth. Then a wind, seizing a baseball cap from George's head, began to whistle and roar briskly.
The air became hot again, and that wind assumed an onimous and visible form- a playful, mischievious, somewhat delerious dustdevil. Grabbing George's baseball cap, the dustdevil blew it over some trees and continued on until completely out of sight. That was the darndest thing for a third person to see.
It turned-out just as the Thomas Whacker had said. From that day on, George felt no love for the beautiful girl, and for a boy who lived there at Five Points and Firetower Road, his life was never the same. The love he had felt for the girl was no more.
What remained of July 1951 passed, and the whole summer of that year entered into what is now oblivion. There came an Autumn for that year. By some manner, the amazing Thomas had made a wall beyond which love could not be.
The wall that existed there was one of ice there in Georgia, a dry and humid land where the dirt was red, the woods were full of pine. It was a time when summer had parched the cornstalks. They stood wiltering and drying under a Georgia sun, and so would have a man. But there was an icy wall that never melted, and the feeling of love never showed its presence again.
The boy having turned his steps in another direction found that the girl would sometimes would try to follow. When she came near, George would run away; for her and not from her. The girl would call, and her voice would echo away into the deep woods. The echo never ended but hid within the cells of things there. repeating the name George until the sound became sufficiently faint to die. That voice may still be faintly heard during some nights.
Becoming friends with several black people living near, George would visit Miss Lizzie, Charlie, Early, Shorty and his daughter, Beatrice. Miss Lizzie was a woman who proclaimed proudly to have been born the day before the slaves were freed. Helping me to find gold was Charlie, and there was Shorty's daughter, Beatrice who introduced me to "the spirit of the deep woods."
As the Thomas had said to George:"I am a thing that can hide in the cells of anything I see. I'll always be near you when you need me. I will never leave you, George."
The Thomas Whacker kept the promise made to the Georgia boy named George. Concealed somewhere within the cells of something nearby, it was never very far away.
.......Epilogue.......Author: George Fulks (Dec 2007)
During the remainder of the summer of '51, the infamous George- a ten year old continued to fraternize and learn from members of the black settlement there near Five Points on Firetower road.
Those survived as among the best of people- courageously, wearing a sunmade face, and enduring the consequences of mortality.
So called Five Points for reason that in that vicinity of Jones County, Georgia were five junctions; each leading to a different destination.
During the heat and drought of the Georgia summers, lightning caused several forest fires on Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. Consequently,Millard Jackson was stationed atop a one-hundred-feet-tall watchtower there at Five Points and near the home of Rummage Ira Fulks and his family from 1946-1951."Ay, Lordie-Lordie-Lordie!"(Millard Jackson's response to heat and sweat covering his face)
Transferred to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Georgia during November of 1951, R.I. Fulks' son, George completed highschool at Charlton County High. Whatever happened to George after that, no-one knows. He may have deceased.