Kiss of 'Death'

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
What happens when you feel the kiss of a rattlesnake?

Submitted: August 03, 2010

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Submitted: August 03, 2010

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“The kiss of death,” Mr. Gorsche began. The students widened their eyes, listening intently. Some even dropped their poor pencil stubs, with which they had been intent on snapping into further bits and pieces. Gorsche had this uncanny ability to get even the most rebellious of his students to cock an ear toward him. Even Matt found himself listening to the creep.
“The kiss of death is exclusive to rattlesnakes. But these aren’t just any kind of rattlesnakes,” he let his words hang there, reeling the class into a stupor. His thin lips curled into a knowing smile. “These legendary rattlesnakes are born from the remains of fire; the ashes clump together instead of scattering, as one would usually expect. Eventually, the ashes will harden and cool into the shape of an egg…”  Matt struggled to cover a yawn.
What a joke.
This was just some made up snake legend used to scare children, Matt scoffed to himself. With Gorsche droning on and on about it, he was just about ready to fall asleep. “Always keep the egg in a relatively cool place.”
And fall asleep he did.
“When the air is cold, the rattlesnake inside the egg is trapped. However, if exposed to warm air, such as that coming from a fire, it is able to break free of the now weak eggshell.  Now, how will you know if you find the egg? Look at the row of eggs I have set up on the outside edge of the window sill, if you all will. Its shell will have a reddish hue, it’s easy to distinguish from other eggs. Supposedly, when freed…”
When Matt got home from school, he was shivering in his boots. For one thing, he was in Canada. Two, he was a pretty skinny kid. Definitely not suited for the chill of winter. Or football, so the coach had told him after try outs.
Barefoot, he walked into the living room and sat down in front of the fireplace, plopping his backpack carelessly onto the floor right next to him. His mom had left a few logs burning for him before she had left for her Friday night shift. He was all alone then.
Great…
So the next morning when he half-opened his eyes to find a relatively large rattlesnake looming over him, he was fairly certain that stinking Mr. Gorsche had told him off to his mom. Hoping he would get the message to never take a nap during class again, she had dressed up in a ridiculous snake outfit just to scare the bajeebers out of him.
 But the more his eyes grew accustomed to the light streaming into his bedroom through the window, the more terrified he got. That was no snake costume. And that certainly wasn’t his mom. He didn’t think so anyway. Nope, it was too skinny…
“Hellossss.”
Matt’s jaw dropped. A taunting rattle of its tail (much like the wag of a happy dog’s tail) and a twinkle in its beady black eyes revealed its apparent glee. And the rattlesnake went for the plunge, its mouth gaping wide open as it neared Matt’s frozen face.
He couldn’t help it. He screamed like a girl, trying to untangle himself from the mess of blankets and get away from the snake at the same time.
“Ssshhhh. Sssshhh, I say!” It paused in its dive, wincing. “You’re going to hurt yourssself, you know.”
A strangled squeak emitted from Matt’s throat. Oh my god, boy was he was a goner. I’m so sorry I ever fell asleep in your class, Mr. Gorsche, he repeated over and over again like a prayer.
“I won’t hurt you. Be not afraidsss.” Frozen in terror, Matt could do little more than shut his mouth. The rattle began again, the snake lumbering from side to side as it wiggled its way up Matt’s arm. Goosebumps appeared where the reddish scales brushed against his skin. The hair on the back of his neck prickled uncomfortably. Oddly enough, he was feeling less petrified with each second that ticked by. The snake raised its head, now eye level with Matt.
“Sssee?” It grinned, showing no fangs whatsoever. Matt felt his mouth twitch. Smiles were contagious, no matter where they came from. But before he could fully recover from the shock, the snake inched its face toward Matt’s mouth, and kissed him.
“Supposedly, when freed, the rattlesnake will forever be bonded with the human who freed it. How will it bond? Well, I’m sure that will be a wonderful assignment for… Is Matt sleeping again? He’ll have the honor of finding out for the class then.”


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