Black Mamba

I was fast asleep when all of a sudden my eyes opened. I could hear my Dadi’s footsteps. She had just got up. It seemed darker than usual. I had overslept, I thought. It was almost evening. I woke up immediately when Dadi said there was a storm going on outside and I didn’t have a clue about it. I went straight to the front door, went out and started removing the mats which were put up for shade.  The wind was violently blowing against me. Somehow I got them tied up and came in shutting the door with all my strength. Then I decided to make tea. The lights were out. In the kitchen, I lit a candle and put up some water to boil on the stove. It was very quiet inside the house. All windows and doors were closed. I could only hear the wind whistling, through the small space of the exhaust,  making a very creepy sound like in horror movies. I was still making tea. Everything was quiet and dark. Simba was sitting in the center room, staring into the kitchen, waiting to get something to eat. His peaceful look gave me comfort every time I looked at him.It had started thundering really bad. And suddenly the candle went off.

The tea was ready, I poured it into two cups. I couldn’t see much. The whistling went on faintly in the background. It was like all these were special effects being created to scare a person. But I hadn’t lost it yet. I decided to go to my room and get my phone. Not able to see anything I stretched out my hands to feel my surroundings and started walking towards my room. It was to the left of the kitchen after the staircase and beside a narrow space. I had reached my room. I know that because as soon as I approached it I banged into the door because it was shut. I didn’t remember closing my room’s door. I pushed it open and tried to reach for my phone. Last I remember, I had left it on my bed after waking up. So I walked a little and leaned onto my bed and moved my hand around to feel it. I think my hand touched it. That very second I felt something really smooth pass over my feet. That was just a few milliseconds and a picture of a snake flashed in my head. Oh no! I said to myself. Should I run or should I stay still? Screaming was not a good idea. Simba would run in and the snake could bite him. And neither would my Dadi hear it. I had to take my phone, get out of the room and at the same time not allow it to get out of the room. All these things went through my head within a second. I decided to leave the phone, took two large steps and was out of the room with the door shut. That was faster than I thought. Now I had to think of how to get rid of it. Waiting for the light would take a long time. My mind started thinking I could do it. I could kill it. I always wanted to kill one. I had read Roald Dahl’s, Going Solo. In that, he had killed a black mamba with a fork single handedly. I had imagined killing a snake a few times if I ever encountered one. I kinda got all excited to kill it. As though I was a professional like the men on nat geo. So I took a long stick. Sharpened its head so it could pierce right through its head. Stuck a torch on my head with tape, wore jeans, the thickest one I had. Put on my shoes, wore a full sleeves shirt. I was covered all over except my hands and face. I was all set to take on  this mission. I slowly opened the door and slipped in and shut it. I switched on the torch and started looking for the snake. And there it was lying straight against the wall under my bed. Great snakes!! It was a mamba!! I knew it was that from the television. How did that travel all the way from Africa!  I started to freak out, that was one of the most poisonous snake known. I got into position, ready to strike its head with the stick. And something happened. It moved like the wind and was now facing me. It was the worst feeling. I put myself together. And as it charged on to me, so did I with all my strength. And then there was silence.I stepped back and looked down and the stick had pierced it ahead and it was wriggling with the life left in it. I took the stick and pierced its head again smashing. the snake was lifeless. And I had just done it!
All this while Simba and Dadi didn’t know what had been going on. I went to the front room where they were sitting. I narrated what had just happened to Dadi. She was furious that I never told her. It could have bitten me. But I ignored her because I knew what I did had to be done.
I put the snake in a bag, went out in the rain and threw it in an empty plot. And it remained a mystery, until next morning when I was reading the newspaper. The headline said- missing mamba, Rs 5000 cash reward for finding it. It had been brought from Africa. They were opening a snake park in Jaipur and it went missing while transporting it.

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