There are so many crazy people around the world. They keep crocodiles and snakes as pets. Have you heard of the cases where these animals escape and enter neighbour’s houses through plumbing? That is through bathroom pipes.
In this story, my character suffers from Ophidiophobia i.e. he fears snakes. He fears it so much that even the thought of snakes freeze him.
It was as if google knew he feared snakes and if any news of snakes in apartments, flats, houses or cars happened in any part of the world, it would be present in his google news feed. And as you guessed, he froze every time this happened.
Here are some articles he had read over the time but remembered vividly.
- Toilet snake caught link
- Crocodile falls 12 floors in escape bid link
- Woman finds snake in apartment bathroom link
- Tenant Sleeps in Car After Spotting Snake in Apartment link
- Woman finds large snake in apartment link
Then there were news of snake catchers leaving snakes at politicians because they were being politicians i.e. were not heeding to their demands.
Well the story starts with the bathroom as you may have understood from the title.
The bathroom in the question was second bathroom in the apartment so was small. It was 6 ft by 4 ft which amounts to 24 sq. ft., considerably smaller than the 40 sq. ft. bathroom that were created in North America back in the 1980s. Well this wasn’t North America and it definitely wasn’t 1980. With more tree cut down and more space to live, somehow the space was shrinking.
Yeah, yeah, I am off topic again. I tend to ramble. If you don’t like the way I tell my stories, you can go somewhere else.
OK. OK. I am sorry, please don’t go anywhere, my website’s traffic is already negligible. I can’t afford you leaving too.
So back to the small bathroom. The door faced West, there was a window 1.5 ft by 2 ft, on the East wall. Bathroom door, 2.5 ft. in was the commode, white, simple, nothing fancy. 1.5 feet in was a divider, 4 inches high marble piece put in place to stop water from bath area to flow to rest of the bathroom. And lastly, 2 feet of bath area. A simple shower and a geyser.
The geyser worked pretty well, by the way. Not that it matters in this story. Just telling.
If you are wondering if where the wash basin was, it was outside the bathroom, next to the door. (Nice one catching that miss and just like the geyser it doesn’t play into the story)
Normal day, this guy wakes up, uses the toilet facilities. Goes back outside, brings his clean inner wears and a white towel with blue lining around the edges. Quite cheap but it did the job.
The yellow tiles of the bathroom made it really difficult to give this bathroom a clean look. “I should find a new house”, thought the character. There was no way he would find any other place to live in, he was too lazy to look for a place. He found this place because someone he knew was leaving.
So he takes all his clothes off, puts them aside. Turns the shower on. He closed the windows, didn’t want anyone peeping. Not that it was any use, no one in their right mind would want to peep at him and the window faced a solid wall, nowhere to peep from.
Getting there, be patient.
After a couple of minutes of fidgeting with the hot and cold knobs, the temperature was right. “The taps should remember the temperature setting”, thought he. Shampoo on head, soap on body. Water was wasting away, not that it mattered. Room was steaming up.
He turned around for no apparent reason. His worst fears were to come true. Something was crawling up the commode. It couldn’t be true, he squeezed his eyes. The thing was sliding off the commode and coiling on the floor of the bathroom. It was a snake.
It landed next to the commode, just 2 feet away from my (ahem) naked character covered in foam and shampoo. First it looked towards the door. Seeing no opening, it turned around, looked at the window then turned towards him.
He had frozen long ago or so he thought, in reality he was shaking furiously. These were enough to attract it and its cold eyes fixed onto him. His heart is throbbing, pumping really hard, as if it had to complete all its life’s remaining pumping action in the next 2 minutes. He would surely die of heart attack.
One second passed, neither moved, two seconds, three seconds, four seconds. His frozen brain was starting to reboot.
“What could I do?”
“Can I run out of the room? But I am naked. Don’t worry about that, there’s no one else here. But wouldn’t it bite me if I move towards it?”
“What snake is it? Is it poisonous?” – Yes, our character isn’t that smart, snakes are venomous not poisonous.
By the way, the snake was a 4 feet long beautiful creature with a triangular flat head and bright chain like patterns on its back in packs of threes. Smaller on sides and large ones in middle. It was brown, had a distinguished neck and a white underbelly. In other words, it was a Russell’s viper. It kills more people in several countries than its more famous cousin, the black cobra/king cobra. But somehow, it never became too famous. Don’t worry, the character would never know what snake it was. Neither would he know that it was supposed to be stored at a facility that milks its venom for diagnosis of lupus anticoagulant, a disease he suffered.
It was miraculous how it had escaped though. A rodent had unwittingly made a hole in the ground. The milker had stepped and cracked the tile above the hole. Another had forgotten to lock the cage properly because his wife was nagging him on the phone to get a new snake skin bag. The snake on its part was no smarter, it had by mistake slid out of its box, crawled towards the broken tile, ate the rodent and reached a broken sewage pipe. Crawl and crawl it did, reaching finally a break in the pipe which connected it to septic tank pipe. They were both broken when a over weight truck had driven over this road. What no one knew was the gas pipeline next to these pipes had also developed a small crack, thus giving a gassy smell to all bathrooms nearby.
Meanwhile, the snake found a vertical pipe, it slid up and up; reaching not the first, nor the second, nor the third but the fourth floor. Finally, seeing a bright light up a commode. The commode was difficult to manage, it was slippery but it managed.
“Open the window and jump, but I am naked and 4 floors up. Also, by the time I open the window and climb onto it, the snake would have bitten me”. – He was correct here though, Russell’s viper can bite from up to five feet away within seconds. Unlike most snakes that sometimes bite dry i.e. bite without releasing venom, Russell’s vipers on the other hand mostly bite with maximum doses.
“May be its a python and wouldn’t be venomous, but it would still take a bite, coil and strangle me.”
“Is it how they will find me? Naked, covered in sweat and soap, bitten by a snake, dead in the bathroom”
All his life flashed by him. His thoughts to do good for the poor, start a new company, become the next Steve Jobs. No not Steve Jobs, he wanted to become Steve Wozniak but with lots of money. As if these two things were different. Were all his dreams gonna come to a sudden end?
P.S.: I couldn’t find if a Russell’s viper can stay long under water, however most snakes can swim.