Wednesday, April 2, 2014


By Jose A. Carmona

The renovations were going perfectly. All the floors were now embraced by Italian tile. The old kitchen cabinets had already been removed, and the new ones were taking their place. The walls had been repainted in a different color; a vibrant touch of cantaloupe peach had taken the dark plum away. It was a relief to have lighter colors upstairs. The dark colors always made her feel depressed.
It hadn’t been easy living from the basement. It was still wearing dark colors on the walls and the light was very poor. She had an inflatable bed in one of the rooms there sitting on top of a bed frame. Having it on the floor would have been too much; any roach could crawl up on the bed in the middle of the night.
It was one of those cold springs in New Jersey, so it was hard to get workers to come in on a Saturday morning. It was upsetting since she wanted everything done as soon as possible so that she could return to her own bedroom. She had decided the night before she would sleep in tucked in her many pillows and blankets.
It was sometime between 9:00 and 9:30 in the morning that she began to feel uncomfortable. She felt cold under her many blankets which made her think, in her sleep, she might have uncovered her left side without realizing it.
She felt as if only certain areas of her body were cold and others kept warm. That’s when she slowly removed the blankets.
Quickly, she turned on the lamp she used for reading at night, and she could not believe her eyes.
There were what seemed hundreds of baby snakes crawling all over her panicked motionless body. Momma was facing her eyes, ready to strike.

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Jose A. Carmona teaches English at various colleges and universities. His poetry has appeared in journals and magazines across the U.S. However, his short stories are emerging now after hiding for years.


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