I love your writing so much! Could you do one where Neil is on a run and gets bitten by a snake?
Disclaimer: I live in a state where snakes aren’t really a thing so this is probably grossly inaccurate. Also, I know New Mexico doesn’t have any major sports teams, but pretend they have a pro Exy team
The room is dark when Neil blinks his eyes open. A thin sliver of light pries through the heavy curtains pulled taut across the window, but the room is still full of dancing shadows. It takes Neil’s eyes a moment to adjust, but then he can make out Andrew’s sleeping form beside him. Over Andrew’s shoulder, Neil can see the glaring red numbers of the alarm clock reading 7:12. Their team check-out isn’t until 10:30, so Neil lets his eyes fall back shut, hoping to snag a few extra hours of sleep before the long bus ride back. His body isn’t keen on cooperating, though, and the itch to get up probes at the back of his mind.
Neil allows a few more minutes to tick past in hopes that his limbs will relax, but when it doesn’t happen, he carefully slides out of bed. Despite Neil’s best efforts not to jostle the mattress, Andrew is awake when Neil turns back around after changing into his running gear. Andrew doesn’t say anything, but his eyes track Neil as he moves across the dark room.
“Sorry,” Neil mutters into the quiet as shoves his feet into his trainers. “I couldn’t sleep.”
Andrew’s only response is to narrow his eyes into a glare before letting them fall shut again, so with a shrug, Neil grabs the key-card off the desk in the corner and slips out of the room. He does a few brief stretches in the hall before taking the stairs down to the lobby. Despite the early hour, the Santa Fe heat licks at his skin as soon as he steps outside, and the rising morning sun crawls along his back as he starts jogging down the road.
He keeps an easy pace at first, taking notes of landmarks and road signs so he can find his way back. It’s not long, though, before that itch is back, digging its claws into his muscles and making them cry out for more. Neil pushes himself into a full blown run, the New Mexican landscape whipping past him as he dashes down a country road.
After a few miles, Neil slows to a stop. He bends over so his hands rest on his knees and focuses on pulling back his heart-rate and breath. He’s tugging his shirt up to wipe the sweat off his face when a sharp pain above his ankle draws his attention. Neil hears the creature before he sees it, but now that he’s looking, there’s no mistaking the rattlesnake perched along the road, its tanned scales blending in with the sandy terrain.
Neil’s whole body jerks at the sight, and he stumbles back and away from the snake. Once he feels there’s a comfortable distance, he lets his attention fall back to his leg. There’s no missing the two marks just above his ankle bone, and his skin is already swelling around the bite mark. Neil still remembers the time he had spent in New Mexico before hitchhiking to Phoenix. He remembers the signs explaining what to do and what not to do after encountering a rattlesnake.
He rips his bandanna off his and ties it around his leg, right above the bite. Neil fumbles his phone out of his shorts pocket, but the excruciating pain tearing up his leg makes it hard to focus. He grits his teeth and dials 911, trying to breathe through the pain so he can tell the operator what happened and where he is. It doesn’t take long for the ambulance to arrive, but by then, the lower part of his leg has swelled significantly and the scalding pain is almost unbearable.
The paramedics give him a dose of anti-venom in the ambulance, and once Neil is set up in a hospital room, they hook him up to an IV and give him another dose.
“Is there anyone you want me to call for you, hon?” the nurse asks once Neil is situated.
“Yeah. The hotel on Main Street. Room 427.”
The nurse offers Neil a smile and a nod before she turns to leave, letting the door to his room fall shut behind her. Neil isn’t sure how much time has passed before the door swings back open, but he looks up at the sound. Andrew stands in the doorway for a moment, his expression bored and arms crossed over his chest, as he eyes Neil.
summary: A friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful, and mysterious detectives attempt to recruit 13-year-old Tamika Flynn for purposes that are Definitely Not Nefarious.
a/n: This takes place in a murky universe somewhere between Parade Day and Old Oak Doors, so minor spoilers ahead. Also, warnings for general silliness. And also, warnings for me always trying to give this pair inexplicable (and vaguely supernatural) pets.
A Song for Stranded Travelers
“I don’t think the GPS is working,” L says, for the eleventh time. Light watches the display on their navigator switch from a roadmap to the words LEAVE THIS PLACE in an appropriately threatening font. Their car skims the edge of a citrus grove behind barbwire, where fruit falls from the trees contiguously, like plump orange raindrops.
While I was working today, I received a text from one of the guys from the Cassowary Farm (we donate produce for their Cassowaries). He said this Eastern Diamond Back Rattlesnake was in the road near my store. There’s been a lot of construction and development around the store and everyday I see more road kill, mostly snakes and it makes me very sad. I’m very happy to report this EDB was moved to a safer location! He stopped traffic to move it. “Education, not Eradication!”