Short Stories
All Titles

In Association with Amazon.com

Home > Authors Index > Browse all available works of Charles M. Skinner > Text of Swallowing Earthquake

A short story by Charles M. Skinner

The Swallowing Earthquake

Title:     The Swallowing Earthquake
Author: Charles M. Skinner [More Titles by Skinner]

The Indian village that in 1765 stood just below the site of Oxford, Alabama, was upset when the news was given out that two of the squaws had given simultaneous birth to a number of children that were spotted like leopards. Such an incident betokened the existence of some baneful spirit among them that had no doubt leagued itself with the women, who were at once tried on the charge of witchcraft, convicted, and sentenced to death at the stake, while a watch was to be set on the infants, so early orphaned, lest they, too, should show signs of malevolent possession. The whole tribe, seventeen hundred in number, assembled to see the execution, but hardly were the fires alight when a sound like thunder rolled beneath their feet, and with a hideous crack and groan the earth opened and nearly every soul was engulfed in a fathomless and smoking pit-all, indeed, save two, for a couple of young braves who were on the edge of the crowd flung themselves flat on the heaving ground and remained there until the earthquake wave had passed. The hollow afterward filled with water and was called Blue Pond. It is popularly supposed to be fathomless, but it was shown that a forest once spread across the bottom, when, but a few years ago, a great tree arose from the water, lifting first its branches, then turning so as to show its roots above the surface, and afterward disappeared.

[The end]
Charles M. Skinner's short story: Swallowing Earthquake