Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Sword's First Blood!!!


My wounding and hurts from the gall-bladder surgery have lain me up for the last couple weeks and I am supposed to take it easy and not pick up things heavier than a gallon of milk. This has really irritated my 19 month old daughter Maddie, she gets mad! Serious Daddy's girl.

But in being laid up I have neglected the usual work around the house, the grass in the back yard is getting pretty long and the neighbors tree roots have sprung up and are already almost 18 inches tall or so. My wife has been meaning to mow the lawn for me and keeps getting distracted with this or that. Today she said she would just go do it.

She was gone maybe five minutes max-I was finishing edits-and she comes running into the office screaming. A snake.
What kind? I says's.
Don't know, I just saw scales and brown!
Where?
Next to the gate, it was big.

I changed out of my pajama's, I am a writer don't ya know, that's what writers wear at home. Tried to find my tall steel-toed Harley boots, they oughta impede a snakes fangs if I need them too. But the right-foot boot has disappeared, my middle child Baur as we nickname him (his full name is Baurak-Ale David West but this post is not about my penchant for odd names) really likes to wear Daddy's boots because they are so cool. Well he lost one so I had to find a second pair of biker boots. I am not a biker, I just like the boots.

Now I could have taken my pellet gun out of the closet-not gonna take out the real guns, I live in a nice neighborhood. But being the Barbarian at the Gates that I am took out my big battle ready sword-the Grosse Messer by Cold Steel. I have mentioned in an earlier post that this is the sword I use as a basis for a main character in 'Heroes of the Fallen'.

So I go out to the side-yard where my wife says the snake is. I can actually smell it. I approach cautiously, the grass is deep and the light breeze causes the everything in sight to ripple and writhe. My wife watches from the window, almost in tears-she is very afraid of snakes-but I come on, blade at the ready.

I see a brown and blue-striped tail in the grass beside the gate. Well its not a rattler, because if it was I would not have slain it-no sirree- they are a protected endangered species here in Utah, illegal to kill them. So it was not a rattler! Just so that is clear.

Knowing how worried my wife was -hyperventilating- I separated the last third of
the snake from itself with a graceful flick of my razor-sharp sword. It was about as thick as my thumb, to give you a dimension. It did nothing, no writhing, nothing at all like the innumerable chickens or fish that have met their fate at my dark and bloody hands.

I prodded the snake with the sword tip and picked it up. It had probably been dead for the last few days and we just never saw it in the grass. I actually suspect that I may have unknowingly killed it a few days ago when I went to get the mail and slammed the gate shut. The snakes body appeared to have been wedged and trapped, it may very likely have been stuck and died from the heatwave of the week.

In any case, my sword still cleaved it like a very big knife through a Gadianton's thumb, or probably even easier than that. Here is a pic of my sword again..
And if you like stories about snakes, I have another about a snake biting me in the Sacred Grove.

13 comments:

Melanie Goldmund said...

Oooh, ick, snakes. I probably would have been hyperventilating right along with your wife. Too bad the thing was already dead, I would have liked to hear about the battle between serpent and sword. Seriously, swords are too cool! But I wonder what your neighbours would have been thinking if they'd seen you go out with that thing in your hand? Would it be a toss up between "David, if you want to cut the grass, a scythe would be easier!" and "Honey, get in the car and lock the doors, that boy's gettin' medieval!" ?

And here I was thinking you nicknamed your son after Jack Bauer from 24 and just forgot the E. :-)

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

what a hilarious post! I can't believe you walked into your yard w/ a sword and chopped up a dead snake!

Karen Gowen said...

Pretty funny, David! You're one of those writers who can take an ordinary event and really make something out of it! You ought to consider a memoir one of these days!

Th. said...

.

Yes please to story two.

Karlene said...

Funny.

A snake bit you in the Sacred Grove? Hmmm, that could certainly give one pause.

I ditto Th.

Mary Gray said...

Awesome post, David! Wish I could've been there to witness it! I'd be with your wife. I hate snakes.

BTW, sorry I just got your message from Vox. Sorry--I don't know why it didn't show up in the message folder. I saw it in my Gmail account. One of these days I'll switch over from my yahoo... but right now Gmail gets pretty neglected.

Your book sounds awesome! I think it's great you're including tidbits to let the nonLDS love it as much as the rest of us will.

David J. West said...

Thanks everyone, glad you liked it.

Melanie
You would have to look in a pre-79 D+C for an explanation on my son's name. I was afraid people would think I named him after Barack Obama and I would not do that. I only heard of B.O. for the first time a few months after my sons birth.

Tamara-I like to be familiar with the tools of the trade I write about, I have lots of swords and other archaic weapons, that I have taken martial arts lessons with. But yea the neighbors probably would think I was a weirdo if they saw.

I will probably post the Sacred Grove snake story very soon then glad people are interested.

Nichole Giles said...

Oh my--you are such a writer! Who else would try killing a snake with a real-live sword? Actually, how many people do you know who own real-live swords (except artist/writer types?) and biker boots (which are very cool, by the way)?

So...I'm glad it wasn't a rattler, and all, but if it was, I'd still have expected someone to kill it. Those things are dangerous, I tell ya! I know they're endangered, but do they really have to live in our area?

Still, awesome story!

Nichole

David J. West said...

Thanks Nichole for dropping in.

Yeah the wife says snakes cannot be, they are the devil according to the bible- so she says.

Nichole Giles said...

I agree! So...I saw a snakeskin in my yard. Could I maybe borrow your sword for a day?

I'm afraid!

Thank goodness for my dogs--they shall save me from snakes, mice, and destruction. Or so they think.

David J. West said...

I'll bet they do their part.

Anonymous said...

Your wife sounds like my sister...and her sister. Loved it.
Dodi

David J. West said...

Thanks for commenting Dodi