I am NOT saying that this is some otherwordly creature but I will go out on the proverbial limb and say that this looks to me very much like some sort of skeletal creature either in or fleeing from the flames.
Witnessing the destruction of so much cocaine and marijuana was a sad yet joyful experience. Glad because we are able to take so much of this poison out of our community and out of the hands, bodies and minds of our children, our neighbors and even our friends. And yet sad because there is so much available here in our little corner of the deep South. It took the better part of two hours to burn it all. And a few months down the road we'll do the same thing again. We stand in the breech only to see the walls crumbling around us. So many families split asunder. So many lives ruined.
Every year I have the honor to speak to several classes of students who are graduating from the D.A.R.E. program. I try to emphasize to these fifth graders that most of the people in our county jail are there because of some tie to drugs or alcohol. Either from stealing and burglarizing to feed a habit, or from beating and/or abusing an innocent (and sometimes not so innocent) bystander.
Recently I have taken an orange jail jumpsuit and a set of leg irons with me as a visual aid. I tell them that this lovely orange one-piece jumpsuit will be their duds and the leg irons will be their bling-bling. It always gets a laugh but I think it also makes the point. Sadly I know that in some cases I am preaching to the choir. Some of these children are already intimately familiar with what drug and alcohol abuse does to a family.
As for the figure in the flames, it may just be a photographic fluke. Most likely it's just an interesting conversation piece. But I know that the destructive demon that hides in the marijuana, the cocaine and all their kin is all too real, all too ready to burn all who dare to accept their seductive embrace.
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.