The Order of Things: Dispatching

by RJ Gibson

The snake should not have been there, in the seam of the wall and concrete slab: it disturbed the dogs. Matte: dark as raisin, with random creamy scales; the slender tip of its tail curled over itself. One of the older boys came, took shots at it with rocks and bricks. After the second, the third, the fifth solid hit, it raised itself and flashed its dove-white mouth. Swaying, it struck at the bricks, the wall and finally its own thicker middle, where some bit of its guts bulged from a tear in its side, soft and sexually pink. After watching it bleed out blood brighter than our own or any that we'd seen, we went inside, we watched TV, we waited for its twitching to stop.


RJ Gibson is not nearly as ophidiophobic as you might believe. He splits his time between West Virginia and Baltimore, where he hopes to have a random John Waters sighting. He blogs at On the Cusp.