Saturday, September 07, 2013

Retro Reptile



Slender shoulders, blades jutting out like wings, Lydia walked through treacherous high school corridors after first period, head held high, looking neither to the left nor to the right, straight out the door to her ‘56 Ford.  She tossed the parking ticket in the glove compartment with the others, giving no thought to the future.  No one knew who she was or where she was going.

She drove past low, pink hills dotted with piƱon and adobe homes camouflaged in the scrub.  Lydia felt abandoned by the relentless blue sky filling the void above until she reached the vineyard. Well-tended and deserted as usual, she walked barefoot through rows of twisted vines, squeezing the crumbly black earth between her toes and listening to the shadowed creek down the hill. 

A little snake darted across her path and stopped.

Lydia froze.  She’d not thought about meeting snakes, only murderers or rapists.  They wouldn’t find her body for weeks, probably.  

The snake turned its head cartoon style to take her measure.  It was bright green under the blazing sky, and it was more frightened than Lydia.  It took off at a fast clip down the hill to the water. 

The day turned hopeful.




Appeared in Silhouette. 2009. WriteGirl publication