The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
By Suzanne Cottrell
“John, it looks like a piece of wiper blade has torn loose,” Jennifer said as they cruised south on Interstate 85. “I hope an afternoon thunderstorm doesn’t pop up.”
“The blades aren’t that old. I just had them checked when I had the oil changed last week,” John said.
The black band slid up the windshield. Jennifer pressed her feet against the floorboard. She clutched the sides of her seat and scooted back as far as she could. “Oh, shit, it’s a snake!” she screamed. She pressed her fingers on the top of the window to make sure it was closed.
The mottled, black snake slithered up the windshield. Its muscles contracted. Peering in, it flicked its tongue. Jennifer lowered her chin, clenched her teeth, and clutched her seat tighter. Then she picked up her feet, grabbed her shins, and curled up into a ball.
“Calm down. The windows are closed. It’ll probably blow off anyway,” said John.
“I’m not so sure,” said Jennifer.
The snake stretched, extended its upper body, and adhered to the windshield as if it had the suction cups of an octopus’s tentacle. John remained calm and maintained control of their SUV.
“John, what kind of snake do you think it is?”
“It looks like a harmless, black rat snake. It’s a big one. It’s got to be at least six feet long.”
“I’ve got to take a picture of it. No one will ever believe us,” Jennifer said.
They’d already driven thirty-two miles from their house. The snake maintained its hold.
Jennifer eased her clutch, lowered her legs, and settled her feet on the floorboard. Blood flooded back into her fingers. She combed through her pocketbook for her cell phone while she glanced up at the snake. She steadied her hands and snapped a photograph of the snake’s cream underbelly. Then Jennifer switched to video mode as the snake’s upper body slid in a fluid motion across the windshield directly in front of her. She winced but held her cell phone firmly.
The snake began winding itself around her side mirror. Jennifer cringed. She scooted toward the middle console.
“Jennifer, watch it. You nearly bumped my arm,” John said.
“Sorry, sorry, but that snake has wrapped itself around my side mirror.” Resembling a ball of black rubber bands, the snake secured its position. “John, I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Whatever you do, don’t open my window. When we get to Durham, I’ll get out on your side,” Jennifer said.
“I’m going to take a slight detour. A park is close by,” said John. He turned into the parking lot and chose a spot near the wooded area. “Stay put.” He parked, climbed out, and walked around the front of their SUV. The snake’s entire body was wound tightly around the passenger side mirror. Sensing the lack of motion, the snake loosened its upper body and flicked its tongue.
“John, be careful. Don’t get too close.” From safe inside their SUV, Jennifer pointed at the snake’s head.
A foot of the snake extended outward, suspended in the air. When it realized it had nothing to climb onto, it retreated to the mirror. John searched for a large, fallen branch.
“Maybe I can coax it off,” he said. He nudged the snake. It wriggled, raised its head, and opened its mouth. John stepped back. Then he extended the branch near the snake’s head and held the branch steady. The snake inched forward. John knew he couldn’t support the snake’s entire body, so he carefully propped the free end against their SUV and set his end on the ground. He backed away.
Once the snake’s upper body reached the ground, Jennifer noticed the tail releasing its grip on the mirror. The snake flicked its tail as it progressed down the branch. John and Jennifer watched as the snake slithered into the grass and wood chips. Once John was back inside their SUV, Jennifer asked, “How did that snake get on our SUV, anyway? We never did figure out how that mouse got inside,” said Jennifer.
“It was chilly last night. The snake probably crawled up onto the engine block to get warm. Then this morning as we drove to Durham, the engine block became too hot. With the moving vehicle, it had nowhere to go except out and up onto the windshield,” John explained.
“I can’t believe it held on for thirty-five miles. It’s a good thing you were driving and not me; otherwise, we might have ended up in the ditch,” Jennifer said. Furrows formed on Jennifer’s forehead, and she pursed her lips. She imagined a sequel, “Skunk in the trunk.”
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.