In the bridge beams the swallows tended to their nests full of chicks as he knelt down on the jut of a rock and dunked his head into the murk of the creek, half wondering if he’d see the rusted remains of his BB gun lying on the bottom, a relic of the day he reckoned with his darkness for the first time.

Having saved up enough paper route money, he bought himself a BB gun on the one year anniversary of a life-changing event, and right now I can’t tell you anything more about the nature of this event, other than to say that you will soon be following him into a forest, where he will spend the night beside a fire, and at that point, I will address the matter thoroughly. For the time being, however, we need to linger beneath the bridge, where he’s in the process of remembering the day he went hunting for snakes on a perfectly snakeless day, and it wasn’t long before he grumbled to himself in frustration while a bird zigzagged over the surface of the water gathering insects for its brood, and he watched this bird like he had watched countless others: with a sense of awe and wonder, and a secret longing to be so free, but the gun in his hand grew hot with power as an ancient darkness found an opening.


11 thoughts on “Snakelessness

  1. Right out of one of his songs, our old pal, M.K. Thanks. Duke P.S. I think the word snakelessness is something new for me. Never thought about it, never heard it and it is a good one. I wonder if anyone has ever used it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “You will be following him” – love that intimacy. A bit like Ron Serling in the Twilight Zone. Darkness is something we all share despite our urge to turn away. A well constructed piece indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a sin to kill a cardinal. In my youth I killed three. The state bird of Virginia – severe fines for such an act. The faded feathers decorated nothing important. Remorse? Even then I somehow knew the Universe was absurd. A trillion years will pass and the molecules of red that flashed like a flare between the leaves of dogwood will be strewn across the cosmos like spilled BBs upon a basement floor.

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