Bryson City Seasons — Tanned Feets (Part 2)

This is from the seventeenth chapter from my best-selling book, Bryson City Seasons, which is the sequel to Bryson City TalesI hope that you’ll enjoy going back to Bryson City with me each week and that if you do, you’ll be sure to invite your friends and family to join us.


The real surprise of this appointment came near the end of the visit. As I handed Susannah a prescription, she gave me a funny look.

“What?” I asked, smiling.

“Oh, nothing,” she said, looking down.

But I sensed she had something to say. So I just sat back quietly. After nearly a minute of waiting, she looked up at me. “Some of the ladies in my community tell me it’s wrong to come over here to you.”


“Yep. They say I should just wait for their spell to work.”

“Spell?” I asked. I tried not to show the astonishment I was feeling.

She looked away for a moment and then explained. “A few years ago I was frustrated. My husband was havin’ an affair. I went to my pastor, but he told me to just submit and to pray for my husband. But I couldn’t. So I left him and moved out. My family and my church all shunned me. As far as they were concerned, I was at fault.”

She lowered her head, and tears started to flow down her cheeks. I handed her a box of tissue. She pulled one out, wiped her face, and then blew her nose.

“My girlfriend came over. She seemed to be the only one who understood my side. She invited me to meet some other women at her home for dinner. I went, and I liked this group. They understood me. They accepted me.”

She blew her nose again. “Before I knew it, Dr. Larimore, I had become a good witch. At first, the whole thing seemed so good. But then I began to see more and more bad things.” She paused.

“Like what?”

Her eyes widened. “Oh, I couldn’t tell you, Doctor. If I did . . .” She looked away, unable to finish her statement.

“Susannah,” I asked, “is this group a Wicca group?”

She nodded. “The girls were so nice to me. And I liked all the mystery surrounding it. Then the leader—she called herself a priestess—took me under her wings. She told me it was all white magic, and that’s all I was interested in. But after a few months, I began to get deeper and deeper into darkness and black magic.”

She was quiet for a moment. I thought about my discussion with Mitch. I remembered his words: “Walt, I want you to be willing to do anything, even unconventional things, to help a patient.”

Although I hadn’t been trained in any sort of spiritual counseling, and although combining medicine and spiritual interventions was considered by many to be out-of-bounds at best and unethical at worst, I knew I was being called at this moment to be, as Mitch said, “unconventional.”

“Susannah,” I began, “I don’t know a lot about this religion. But I do know that the Bible teaches it is wrong—even dangerous—to fool around on the dark side.”

She smiled. “I didn’t really expect to come to the doctor and get preached to.”

She did not appear to be angry, so I continued. “Oh, I don’t mean to sound like a preacher. But as a physician, I am interested in your health. And I wonder if this might not be dangerous for your health.”

She looked down at her lap as she told me a story. “About two weeks ago I was lyin’ awake in my bedroom. It was a warm evening, but my room became ice-cold. Then a freezing breeze blew in through my windows. Doc, I began to feel scared. I curled up in a ball, and then I seen ’im.”

“What?” I asked.

“A dark figure just circled over my bed. He was laughing at me. I started chanting some of the spells I had learned. But it only made things worse. The laughter grew, and I tried to scream, but nothing came out. I felt like my breath was being sucked out of me. And then I knew it.”

Susannah looked pale and began to tremble.

“What?” I asked again.

“I knew I was going to die. I knew it. And then, all of a sudden, I remembered back to a Vacation Bible School when I was a kid. I remembered what the teacher told me about Jesus—about how he loved me and wanted me to spend eternity with him in heaven. Doc, I hadn’t thought about that in decades. But at that instant, I called out to Jesus Christ to save me from this evil in my room.”

Then Susannah looked up at me. “Doc, I know this sounds crazy. I know it do. But the darkness was gone in a flash. And then my bedroom was warm again.”

“Susannah,” I asked, “are you still a member of that group?”

She silently nodded.

“It sounds like you know you need to get out, eh?”

She nodded again.

“I know a pastor in Robbinsville who is a good man. He and his wife know the Bible and how to apply it in everyday life. Susannah, their church is a church of truth and love—not judgment and legalism. So here’s what I’d like to do. Besides giving you a prescription for an antibiotic for your infection, I’d like to give you another prescription.”

As I wrote on the prescription pad, Susannah looked on curiously.

“Here it is!” I tore it off and handed it to her.

She read it and then smiled.

“I’ll fill it!” she declared as she stood to leave.


  1. The Murder (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  2. The Arrival (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. The Hemlock Inn (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. The Grand Tour (Part 1)(Part 2)
  5. The Interview (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  6. Settling In (Part 1)(Part 2)
  7. First-Day Jitters (Part 1)(Part 2)
  8. Emergency (Part 1)(Part 2)
  9. The Delivery (Part 1)(Part 2)
  10. The “Expert” (Part 1)(Part 2)
  11. The Trial (Part 1)(Part 2)
  12. Shiitake Sam (Part 1)(Part 2)
  13. Wet Behind the Ears (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  14. Lessons in Daily Practice (Part 1) — Anal Angina(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)
  15. White Lies
  16. The Epiphany (Part 1)(Part 2)
  17. Becoming Part of the Team (Part 1)(Part 2)
  18. Monuments (Part 1)(Part 2)
  19. My First Home Victory (Part 1)(Part 2)
  20. Fisher of Men (Part 1)(Part 2)
  21. Fly-Fishing (Part 1); (Part 2)
  22. Something Fishy (Part 1)(Part 2)
  23. A Good Day at the Office
  24. An Evening to Remember
  25. Another New Doc Comes to Town
  26. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Part 1)(Part 2)
  27. A Surprising Gift
  28. The New Year (Part 1)(Part 2)
  29. The Home Birth (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  30. The Showdown (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  31. The Initiation (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  32. Home at Last (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2017. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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