Bev Vines-Haines

Back in '37, there was nothing like an August night in south Texas for pure misery.  I remember sitting on the front porch hoping the evening breeze would kick up and out blow our rusty White's Auto fan.  I was fifteen that year, belly swollen with child, just sitting and rocking.  I listened to the crickets and cicadas, and even the sound of my growling stomach as I waited on Virgil.  He never allowed me to eat before he got home.

I'd heard some cicadas only came round every seventeen years.  So I pondered where they stayed in between.  Echoing across that sultry night they mimicked a thousand snakes, a hissing sound I might have dozed to if I hadn't been so hungry.

Then I heard some giggling.  And shushing.  Sounded like that Wilson girl from down the road.  Her and Virgil?  Now?  While I was waiting dinner? 




I got my shotgun off the wall.  Rattlers grow big and sinewy in this heat.

I took care of business that night.  It's all you can do when you're alone in the Texas night.  And besides, a snake in the grass can be mighty dangerous to a growing child.

First published: August, 2007
comments to the writer: knob'swriter@iceflow.com