Dusty Trail

Cripple Creek

The horse stopped.  Bill saw the rattlesnake ahead of him. It was coiled ready to spring. Bill and the snake stared at each other waiting to see who would make the first move. 

Bill had no fear of snakes.  Indeed some people thought he was one himself especially with the crafty way he dealt with people.

The snake began acting strange.  It uncurled itself.  Instead of leaving in the brush it twisted itself into a circle and put its tail in its mouth.

That was all Bill needed to see. He pulled out his revolver and fired.

“Stupid snake.”

Linked to Carrot Ranch’s October 1 Flash Fiction Challenge where Charli Mills offers the theme of dusty trail for these 99-word stories.

Near Cripple Creek

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

16 thoughts on “Dusty Trail”

    1. I think I am beginning to understand the story after waking up this morning.

      The snake eating its tail is an Egyptian-Greek-Gnostic symbol of eternal recurrence of life-death-rebirth. Snakes don’t actually do this (to my knowledge). Nor is it part of orthodox Jewish-Christian tradition.

      The rattlesnake is also a symbol of resistance and defiance as in the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. It is also a symbol associated with southwest American Indian deities.

      Bill sees the snake eat its tail and defies the symbolism by shooting it. He offers resistance to this cultural idea of eternal recurrence. He is saying that is not what life is about. Rather than personifying the snake as resistance, he himself through his action becomes the resistance, the defiance, itself seen by those around him who view him as a snake.

      Anyway that is how I see it about 6 am Monday morning. Thank you, Charli!


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