Living at the edge of Floridian soil, leading a hunter’s life with a lovely family of three, cashing in trophies and games for a living. I had been doing this for more than two decades, it was a family tradition. None of our ancestors died during a hunt despite having wild boars and grizzlies roaming around the forest’s ground, but they died of muscular dystrophy at my age.

Waking up everyday, fearing the unknown, I still had to carry out my daily life without a shed of uncertainty about when I was going to face death. Loaded my sniper, the sun peeking through the pre-winter skies, sombre to the gaze, somnolent to the soul. As I was walking out of the door, my family was still sound asleep, my guts twitched as a premonition, I got my sawed-off shotgun with me just in case.

Treading through the thick morning mist into the forest, I hiked my way carefully to one of my usual spots, waiting for my prey to fall into my hands. I set down, camouflaged, breathing the condensed, wet air, camping.

I pried into the scope of my sniper, ignoring the leaves rattling around me caused by the breeze, I aimed to the routine spots where the games were. Half an hour passed, the usual did not happen, nothing appeared at my estimated time, even after a moment. Since I got some catches for the week, I did not mind to pack up and get back, settling with empty hands. Plus, it was frigid, my body could not take much of the cold as age started to hit me, pretty hard.

As I retracted my sniper, the bushes around me began to massacre parades, leaves were falling from the skies. Fear rushed into my veins, I did not feel so good. The air became colder, worsening the situation at hand, I immediately switched my stance into a defensive position, something bad was about to happen.

Riiing… Riiing… It was akin to beads being tossed around in a box, catching my attention wholly. My body was quivering with fear of death, the air was filled with murder, a paroxysm of chill was sent down my spine, petrifying my mind and body entirely. The mist grew thicker, limiting my vision significantly.

Riiing… Rii… It’s best I stay still. I told myself. Breathing heavily. Rationalising the situation at hand, it could not be a bear nor a hog, there could not possibly be a… Slimy and scaly tubular vessel slithered across my body, I fired a shot, hitting blank, accelerating the grip.

The serpent got me.

I was lifted vertically into the air, the serpent’s eyes stared straight into me, hissing maliciously with the intent to kill. Before it tightened its grip, my hand made it in time to reach for my sawed-off shotgun slung to my back. Hesitated none, I had no time to be overwhelmed by the fear of being a prey. BANG! BANG! firing a few rounds into its slippery, scaly skin. It loosened its grip, I fell down unto the ground. Losing no time, I pushed myself up, reloading the shotgun as I sprinted for my life.

The snake looked irritated as its hisses got fiercer, “I think I might have pissed it.” Breathing the thought as I ran for my life. It did not miss another second, catching up with me within seconds, I could not outrun the serpent.

It wanted me, desperately.

Its tail was attempting to wrap me again, I fired my shotgun again, point blank to the snake. It was as if it had no effect to it. I was done for. It slithered across my body swiftly, twisting harder than before, squeezing me to my death.

As I was suffocating, my vision was fading, it came close to me, both of its sharp venomous fangs glittering across my head, this is how I die… At least… I did not even got to finish off my last thought, my body was straightened completely, jerking opened my mouth involuntarily. There was liquid produced at the tip of those fangs, they formed, my mind was blank, I was going to die.

A few drops of the acidic liquid dripped straight into my throat, burning away every living sense from me, tearing me apart from inside out.

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