The Rope in My Wheel Well

One Hour Ago:

Driving up a tight curve on Murphy Blvd, which cuts across Joplin, I hear a thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk in my front right wheel well. Still driving, I glance out the widow and see something long catching the yellow light. Long like rope, and it’s stretching from front wheel to back window in its spin cycle. I wonder if I ran over some nail strip or something and start to pull over…

One Minute Ago:

I ask Kiddo to come outside and look. She’s been packing boxes all morning in her robe and protests coming outside.

“Only for a minute,” I say. I get her to walk down the steps and come to the driveway where my car is parked. I point to the car where blood has splattered in a large spiral pattern.

“No way!” she says and starts giggling and squealing. “There’s blood everywhere…” She emphasises the word “everywhere” again as if announcing the name of a pro wrestler.

Last night:

We’re headed to dinner at this older couple’s house and I open the door for Kiddo. I then come around the car and jump both feet up off the ground and backwards: there’s a five-foot black snake stretched out with its head just under my car, probably looking for some cooler shade. I hate snakes. I hate them. I don’t hate them enough to take a life unquestioning, but I freaked out and felt squirms all down my limbs. As I was planning on finding a shovel to move it, it started to rear its head and slither into my back right wheel well. “No no no,” I beg, but it’s not listening and has already curled under my gas tank. Images from Michael Bay films come to mind. Ones invoking massive explosions.

We bracket all five trips over the course of the evening with flashlight searches under the chassis to make sure it hasn’t crawled out.

It hasn’t.

I suddenly wish it had.

One hour ago:

With the rope twirling and catching that hot gold light, I pull over at Edward Jones. There’s a four-foot black snake writhing under my front right tire. I jump back in, pull away, and watch its flattened form squirm in my rear view mirror.

Which means two things:

  1. At some point last night that massive nether beast did relocate from back left wheel to front right.

  2. I owe Edward Jones a sincere apology for the very large, very dead black snake I left in their driveway in route to my 10:00 meeting.

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