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I talk about a lot of s**t, here it is.
Savannah is a small town, one that you could never wholly explain. It teetered on the thin line between "rich with history" and "backwoods beyond salvation". It was hidden in a south western corner of Tennessee that the light seldom shone upon. Our story begins, ironically, on the night of what these people call a strawberry moon, a full moon that rose close to Earth. History had just been made on the television as Nik Wallenda walked a tightrope across a stretch of the Grand Canyon. My unchristian mother mocked every utterance about praising Jesus as he walked, but she breathed a sigh of relief when his feet hit the ground. She went out side to have herself a cigarette. After watching a few more minutes until the show went to a commercial, I took a deep breath, stood up, and trailed after her. I couldn't see her at first because she wasn't sitting in her usual spot in the rusty pink chair, she had walked out of reach of the light of the carport, and past both of the cars.

"Who's coming out the door?!" she asked exasperatedly, undoubtedly assuming that it was my three year old brother, Levi. She reappeared before I had the chance to answer. I stepped out and pulled the door shut behind me.

"What were you doing?" I asked her, and she settled herself into her chair.

"Was trying to see the moon, it's a harvest moon tonight but it hasn't rose up enough for us to see it. Wanna get in the car and see if we can track it down?" she asked.

"Yeah, sounds good to me," I said. The other kids began spilling out of the house (there are four of us) and one of Abby's friends. Abby is 8, the third child, with my brother Scott at 14 between us.

"What sounds good, mama?" Abby asked our mother, and Levi walked between them. She told them we were going to drive up the road and see if we can see the moon. Levi let out an excited yelp as my sister asked: "Are we gonna go to Liz Taylor?"

"No, that's not a safe place this time of night," my mom said, and I vehemently agreed. Liz Taylor is the name of the one lane road that wraps around a certain part of the mountain. It overlooks the western part of town, but it's not safe during the day, let alone at night with a bunch of children.

"What's Liz Taylor? Can I go?" Miakelby asked, she's the friend of my sister. My mom began to explain the peak to her, and I went inside to try and sneak my binder on. My mom is loosely accepting of my trans-ness, but sometimes I find it easier to do things quietly. Anyway, after a brief search for my flip flops and my mom giving my step dad the itinerary, we all got in the car except Miakelby who had gone home, a few houses down.

We could see the moon as soon as we got down the road, but we drove out to the highway to get a clearer view anyway. After a ways down, she made a U-turn, all the time talking about how beautiful the moon looked. My mother then asked if she had taken us down Mount Herman, and we all said no. I asked what it was. "You'll see. Man, Abby, they're gonna get a great few of that cute little abandoned house, huh?"

"Yeah, remember that one time..." She chattered on about a night time stroll that was vulgarly interrupted by a guard dog scaring them. My mind was stuck like a scratched record on the word abandoned. That was like catnip to me. A slice of something entertaining and potentially scary in this town? Ambrosia compared to the dull ways I'd been spending my afternoons in front of the computer.

Mount Herman is a road that sat kind of at a Y with Rich, the street where my mom lives. It was the odd left turn that you wouldn't take unless you knew the way. She turned at first onto Rich right off the highway (small town, remember?), and then onto Mount Herman as we passed the Mount Hermon Baptist church, my thoughts exactly. The attached cemetery looked awesome as the reddish light of the moon bounced off the polished headstones. All I could think about was how much I wish I had a camera. I have an intense passion for Urbex, and otherwise eerie photography. After we passed the cemetery and few well lit houses, we got on part of the road I hadn't seen before. It was darker, with fewer homes and more hills.

Branden Morgan
Community Member
Branden Morgan
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