Archive for November 4th, 2011

4th November
written by amber


The weight of the rattlesnakes on my shoulders bowed my legs.

“Bear up, sister!” Pastor Wilkins roared, “Don’t let the serpents drive you to the ground. Faith will give you strength.” And he added another agitated snake to the pile, all clicking away like dice in a cup.

I’d been prepared to handle snakes. I knew I’d have to handle snakes. I knew I’d have to wave my hands in the air and testify and speak in tongues. I knew I’d have to step forward and ask to be healed. I’d been chosen to do this because I’m the sickliest-looking person on the team, after the intestinal bug I picked up on the gig in Guatemala.

I’m still weak. I can’t carry 80 pounds of writhing reptiles.

“Jesus, give our sister strength! Give her health!” the minister bellowed over the cacophany of singing, shouting, moaning, tambourines, hand-clapping. “Give her faith to believe that one not of these creatures of the Devil will bestow a poison bite upon her.”

That was the least of my worries. We knew the snakes were de-venomed, we knew the act was bogus, we knew Wilkins was taking these poor people’s money. All I needed to find out was where he was putting it.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

Thank you for this first line to Kathy Sinclair and the others out at the Black Cat Ranch this weekend.