Monday, December 2, 2013

Prompt: Snake hunting

Thanks to Ekaterina Ermolaeva for permission to use her wonderful image, “Secretary”!

Korneht stalked through the spring grass, searching for prey. He’d eaten his fill of crunchy grasshoppers, and he wanted a fat snake before the sun set. His black crest feathers fanned up in anticipation. His long, slender feet stomped the rain-soaked earth, vibrations flowing out around him to set any prey in motion, and claws digging into the dirt, ready to attack.

There! A shiver of black in the grass. A snake sliding away from his approach. Korneht jumped up and spread his broad black aand white wings, certain death from above. His claws reached for the snake.

As he was about to grab it, squeezing and piercing with his claws, the snake coiled and sprang up toward him. Korneht hid his momentary startle with a reaching strike of his long neck and a clack of his beak, narrowly missing the snake’s head.

“Hold off, you idiot!” the snake exclaimed in irritated tones, smacking its tail against the ground in warning. “I have a message for you!”

Korneht pushed his wings down and backed away. He scoffed, “Who would send a snake with a message for me? Tell me quick, and then I’ll eat you!”

The snake hissed, his forked tongue waving from his mouth. “Fool! Who else would send me?” He asked with derision.

Korneht dropped to the ground and fluttered his wings in consternation. He half expected the snake to turn and run away. Half hoped. But it stayed coiled and upright, daring him, waiting for him to believe.

He cocked his head, considering, since the snake was waiting so patiently. Perhaps discretion was called for. The grasshoppers would tide him over. If the snake led him astray, he could always kill it later.

He stretched out his neck and bowed down to the feathers above his foreleg. He would not touch the ground for a snake, no matter who sent it. “Very well,” he tried not to sound petulant. “I respectfully request that you deliver your message.”

The snake opened his mouth wide and hissed loudly, thrashing his tail against the ground like a drumbeat. Korneht paled, the pink patches around his cheeks and eyes almost as light as his whitest feathers…

Dogs in house

Christmas mix on

Time writing
20 minutes

December word count


  1. Prompt: Snake hunting

    Niumba crept after her older brother, Boonal, holding tight to the huge basket he had given her. “Where—“

    “Shh!” he hissed. He knelt in the grass. “Get down!”

    She sat abruptly. “Is there—“

    “I said, shh!”

    She hugged the basket, her arms not quite reaching around. It was terribly large; she could probably fit inside. Boonal must be after a very large cobra. “But why are—“


    _we getting down_, she finished in her head. Surely a cobra would see their feet in the long grass, anyway.

    Time writing: ~10 minutes

    1. Catching up on these last two days I wrote but got interrupted and didn't have time to post...

    2. Hmm, nice short intro. Great names and movement in the grass.

      In the "she hugged the basket" graph you don't have to say it was terribly large - she couldn't reach her arms around and she could probably fit inside give us a great visual.

      Feet in the long grass? Wonder where you could be going with that...

  2. Hmm, I wonder if the hiss and/or drumbeat are part of the message? Getting a bit of an Egyptian feel, so thinking about gods...