All entries for January 2009
January 28, 2009
This was based on an urban myth that I messed with slightly. It was an exercise for a fiction class. Guess this means I have no creativity left.
A girl has a snake. Python. Long and strong it coils inside its glass tank. She feeds it every day. It is her snake and she loves it. What would she be without her snake?
One day it won’t eat. These dead mice, she throws them into its glass tank. She dangles them by the tail, jerks them so they look alive, scared and mannequoid. It curls itself away and looks at her with its flickering tongue. She stands there holding the dead mouse by its tail moving it with her wrist but the snake won’t eat. So she drops the mouse into its glass tank and she walks away.
At the vet’s she is not yet distraught but worried. Days now have gone and it won’t eat. Days now it has coiled itself inside its glass tank in with heat and vegetation not eating the rotting dead mice. She can’t take them out because when she puts her hand inside the tank now its coils shift, liquid muscle, twisting circles that look ready to trap her in. They flow over the mice and she can’t get at them. But it won’t eat them. The vet doesn’t know quite what to do. She tells him what type of snake is her snake, make and model. He shakes his head and reassures her that he will find out what’s to be done if he has to travel to every corner of the earth.
Back she comes to her house and her snake still lies in its tank, python. She looks at it looking at her with its flickering tongue. (Won’t look away. So look. Look up, look out, everywhere we move we’re followed with the look. You look at you looking at me you look away. I look at you looking at me you look away.) She walks with a dead mouse to the glass tank and dangles it inside. It looks up with its tongue all interested and she thinks it’s going to take the mouse but it doesn’t move. The hope dies down in her and she drops the mouse in and goes away.
At night she sleeps in her bed, alone but not lonely. Blankets like skin over her she rests and her worries ferment. Dead snake in a mouse becomes its tail, eats its own tail, encircles the world that is a glass tank in which she sits and is jerked up and down to look alive. Mad to think that so she wakes up/she wakes up touched. Something is under her skin. Snake, python, is seeping into her bed and lying alongside her. It stretches itself out long and strong, liquid muscle unfurled uncoiled. It doesn’t move. She stares. In the night, under her skin, she can hardly see it. It seeps away into the night, out of her skin like sweat and back to its glass tank.
At the vet’s she is far more than worried now. She tells him her tale and he blinks and he asks her its make and model. She tells him again and he says, “Kill it.”
Won’t eat the dead mice because it digests slow and the emptier it is the bigger the prey it can eat.
Looks like a trap inside its glass tank because it hunts based on patience and stupid prey.
All interested when her hand comes inside its glass tank with the mice because her hand is so warm.
Stretches itself out next to her under her skin to see if its skin can fit her in, fit her all inside so it won’t split open when it dislocates its jaw and stretches out its mouth ready to swallow.
“Kill it before it kills you.”
And she goes home with the world circling around her head like a nauseating halo. Inside her house she walks and the glass windows have all steamed up. Vegetation has spread over every wall, cascading down. Hot and steamy it’s almost hard to breathe. She sweats. Into her bedroom she walks and she sees the glass tank shattered in shards on the ground. On her bed, stretched out is her snake, python, its mouth distended out wide fit to vomit out its eggs. Transparent and thin-fleshed they ooze out, forced by rings of liquid muscle. They fall from her bed, some split and the infant snakes drown. Some land and roll into corners and the gestating pythons bite their way out and slide into the vegetation. The snake spits out another egg and looks up at her.
“Look, bitch,” it says. “You knew I was a snake.”