Storyboarding my next novel, I remember a story I heard once, years ago, back in Kansas:
"So it was the 70s and this guy is thinking he'll buy up this gorgeous farm. Great little white farmhouse, good price. The people couldn't wait to get out of there.
It turned out that the trees were full of rat snakes."
"I'd never seen anything like it," the storyteller said- an antiques dealer; his small eyes wide behind thick, milk-bottle glasses. He spread his hands wide in the air, with an old man's relish at having been asked, of having listeners- he leaned back in his chair, its wheels creaking on the old wooden floor.
"We pulled up and you could hear them crawling over each other in the trees. Writhing over each other. We're in the kitchen talking, and the whole time you can hear them rubbing against the walls of the house: this slithering, their scales shining in the sun- man, after about two minutes, we ran the hell out of there, we're driving away, next thing we know they're coming out of the fields at us-"
Ah, but I can't remember the rest of his story.
Plagues of snakes. Fields of golden wheat, inky black snakes sliding out onto the hot asphalt- oh, blue skies and silos, cows are freaky when they look at you; hell yeah, Lawrence Fucking Kansas. <3
Pauline West's first novel, EVENING’S LAND, is winner of the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Award and recipient of the Carol Marie Smith Memorial Scholarship for the NOEPE Center of Literary Arts.
Pauline West's books on Goodreads
Candlemoth: A Holy City Romance
ratings: 27 (avg rating 4.04)
ratings: 24 (avg rating 3.46)
Candlemoth Volume 2: How To Spend It
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.40)
Candlemoth Book 3: A Twist of Fate
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.17)
Stalker: A Gothic Thriller
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.25)