like the day before, and the day before that. Everything seems normal
– at least on the surface; like an idyllic, pastoral painting; the
sky dyed with pastels of blue and white, the ground carpeted with
dark green fescue and bluegrass, a clapboard farmhouse resting on top
of a hill, sugar maples, oaks and Eastern red cedars providing
welcome shade from the heat of a Tennessee summer sun. You can almost
see moving images of little children running barefoot through the
grass; an era before tweeting and texting and the triumph of
technology over all.
fresh enough to lull a casual observer into believing it the benign
keeper of hey for cattle and shelter for goats. A closer look reveals
the color to be not barn red, but blood red.
not right about it. Some say it is unnatural. Some say it’s obscene
and evil. But they don’t say such things out loud, for the owner of
the barn is Sheldon Sprigg, a well-respected man of the cloth, the
preacher at Hare’s Corner Church of God Incarnate. Sheldon is the
most upright man in these parts. He keeps the law religiously, and
makes sure his wife and teenaged daughter do too. After all, to obey
is better than sacrifice.
Philosophy at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
His undergraduate degree (in Biblical languages) is from David
Lipscomb University. He also holds the Master of Theology from
Harding University Graduate School of Religion, the Master of Arts
(in Religion) from Vanderbilt University, and the Ph.D. in philosophy
from The University of Georgia. Michael has twenty articles in
scholarly journals, nine book chapters, six encyclopedia articles,
six book reviews, and he co-edited the book, “Beyond Brain
Death: The Case Against Brain Based Criteria for Human Death,”
which was published in 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers. He also
has over fifty scholarly presentations, including one presented at
the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at The Vatican in 2005. Michael is
a 2007 graduate of The Writers Loft at Middle Tennessee State
University and a 2007 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop at St.
Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. His poetry has been
published in Journal of the American Medical Association, Iodine
Poetry Journal, Poems & Plays, and other literary journals. His
poetry chapbook, “From Field to Thicket,” won the 2006 Mary
Belle Campbell Poetry Book Award of the North Carolina Writers
Network. His creative nonfiction essay, “Haunted,” won the
Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Award, also sponsored by the North
Carolina Writers Network. Besides reading and writing, he enjoys
vegetable gardening, canning, and ghost investigations. He and his
wife, Karen, live with their three cats, Frodo, Rosie, and Pippin, in
Linden, North Carolina.
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