Thursday, May 6, 2010

Snakebite



Snakebite

“Quit yar snivellin',” says Hote, as we survey the body of Uncle Jack, lying there in the field in broad daylight. “Ain’t as if he ever been any good to ya’ll.”

Me an Hote met in the Ole Yaller Bar on Millers Road. They have this speciality, half beer, half cider. People drink it mostly ‘cos it’s a cheap way of getting drunk, but Hote says it’s like me, half bitter, half sweet.

“Don’t ya s’pose ya’d be cryin’ if he was your only relation?” I ask him.

He frowns. “Don’t know. I ain’t got no relation.”

“Really?” I watch as he checks Uncle Jack’s wrist for a pulse and puts his ear to Uncle Jack’s mouth to check for a breath. Finally he folds the old man’s hands across his chest.
“He’s dead alright,” Hote says, straightening up. “Prob’ly a snake got ‘im.”

“Do ya s’pose I can still live here?”

“Well that depends on old Jack’s circumstances. And how fond of ya he was, of course,” says Hote. We both know what that means.

“Hote,” I say.

“Yes’m.”

“I don’t s’pose ya’ll would like some relation?”

“Well now, I don’t rightly know,” he replies, but I can tell by the smile in his eyes he don’t mean it. He don’t know I seen him throw the snake, and I, for one, ain’t tellin’.

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Fiona Mc Cashin lives in Ireland, where there are no snakes since St. Patrick chased them off the island over 1000 years ago. She does, however, live near a zoo, which she often visits for inspiration for her short stories. She also collects Christmas decorations.

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