I, the indomitable corn snake, stalk my prey through loose rocks and gravel. Every inch of my body constricts and relaxes to propel myself along the barren plain. I flick my tongue into the still air, catching the taste of mouse in the air. I can feel it skittering about, its tiny paws reverberating over my underbelly. The taste and vibrations excite me, but I wait a little longer. More than many of my kin, I enjoy playing with my food. It’s not until I feel the rhythm of its heart thump against my underbelly that I truly feel alive. On the shadowed side of the rock, the mouse is hiding. In its panicked state, I know it won’t hide for long. Sure enough, it skitters away, around to what it thyinks could be salvation. But there is no salvation on this side, only me. With heart-stopping alacrity, I snap at the furry morsel. My body lashes around it in a crushing grip. Its screams reverberate against my bones; I’m almost sorry to crush its ribs and end the thrilling vibrato. Once I unhinge my jaw and swallow the crushed mouse, I am enthralled in the most painful ecstasy. My coiled muscles, once tight, now relax to let the delicious entity into my body, until the food slowly dissolves in my cavernous stomach. I bathe in the warmth of the light, knowing that I am queen of this land.
“Hey, General Cornwallis. You enjoy your snackipoos?” says the girl hovering over my tank. I was able to ignore her until now.
“Yes!” I hiss. “Yes, I did. Now leave me alone!”