's 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Green Mojave "

Submitted by Irene Vallone

November 4

Rained for the first time in a while tonight.  Snake tried to get into the house.

A couple hours ago, at about 8, there was a knocking.  First I thought it was somebody who had got caught out in the rain, but then I realized it was coming from the back door.  It was slow and gentle… thump… thump… thump.

I looked out the window and the biggest damn rattlesnake I’d ever seen was bumping its head on the door.  Thing must have been six feet long, as big around the middle as my forearm.  It was guacamole green – I’d never seen a rattlesnake that color.  It glanced over and saw me in the window, fixing its angry little yellow eye on me like a madman.

I ran upstairs and grabbed my gun out of the nightstand.  I would have fought the damn thing off if I had to.  But when I got back, it was gone.  Crawled back off into the night somewhere.  Glad I didn’t have to watch it slither away.  Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

I never liked snakes much, but usually they stay out of my way.  Usually they like being left alone.  This one was different.  It didn’t just want to get out of the rain.  It wanted in my house.  It wanted me.

That can’t be right.  I’m letting myself get spooked.  Alone in the house on a dark and stormy night…

I’m going to bed.  Hopefully this storm stops by morning.


November 5

Didn’t want to get up this morning, but I dragged myself out of bed and drove into town.  Told the guys at work about the snake, and they all thought I was telling them a fish story.  Tommy said green rattlesnakes like that are supposed to be smarter and meaner than the regular kind, but that they’re just urban legends.  They all got a good laugh out of how scared I was during the storm.  They thought it was real funny.

After work, I noticed I had a big patch of dry skin on the back and side of my neck.  I called the doctor and made an appointment for tomorrow.

The snake didn’t come back.  I almost expected it to come knocking again.  It’s probably off in the desert by now.


November 6

Dreamed last night that the snake got into the house, only in the dream it was huge, as long as a bus.  I ran away from it all night, into this infinitely twisting and turning version of my house.  Finally woke up when it cornered me.

When I woke up, the dry patch on my neck was even bigger.  It wrapped around to my throat.  The guys at work seemed worried.  I told them it was probably just a reaction to the sudden rain, or something.

Went to the doctor after work.  She said it might be a fungal infection, and gave me some stuff to put on it.  Hopefully that makes it go away soon.  It’s starting to itch.


November 7

Last night I dreamed that my hair started falling out.  I could brush my fingers real gently across my head and send huge chunks of hair scattering to the ground.  Each hair turned into a little squirming green baby rattlesnake when it hit the floor.  I touched my hairless scalp and it was covered with little horns.

The dry patch is a lot bigger today.  It’s down to my shoulder blades and elbows, and up to my chin.  A lot itchier, too.  Not only that, I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting out of bed these last few days.  I’m usually a morning person.  Lately the bed feels so warm and safe, I never want to get out of it.  Still have to go to work, unfortunately.

The guys gave me funny looks at work today.  Guess the dry skin is grossing them out.


November 8

Had one of those teeth-falling-out anxiety dreams last night.  Once my teeth were gone, new ones grew in their place, but they didn’t grow back normal.  They were little hooks that dug their way out of my gums.  I was so worried when I woke up that I ran to the bathroom and checked my teeth.  They were normal, but the dry skin is over half my face now, and goes almost down to my belly button.  I spat in the sink and it was yellow-green.

I’m calling in sick to work. 


November 9

I don’t think the ointment is helping.  Almost my whole body is covered in dry skin now.  It feels loose, like it’s starting to peel off, but it’s still one solid piece on me.  It’s uncomfortable to move around like this.  Feels like I’m wearing a sandpaper bodysuit.  Not to mention, my hair really did start falling out.  I woke up today in a pile of hair – head and body.  Didn’t upset me as much as I think it should have.

I forgot to go to work today.  I stayed in bed till near 11.  Hopefully I can explain this one tomorrow.


November 10

Didn’t go to work today either.

Had a real vivid dream last night.  I was in the middle of the desert, lying on my stomach in the sand.  I wasn’t in danger, even though the sun was beating down on my back.  I remember feeling real contented.

It wasn’t just sight and sound, like most dreams, either.  I could feel the sand on my stomach and the sun’s heat and the wind over my back, and I smelled the spicy smells of the desert plants.  I could even taste something.  Can’t quite say what.  It was kind of… steamy, like food fresh out of the oven.

Not only that, I had senses that aren’t even real.  Everything gave off this glow, but not really something I could see, at least not with my eyes.  Everything glowed in my mind.  Hotter things were brighter.  It was a real soothing light, shining inside my brain, keeping it warm.

Strangest thing, though, was that this dream felt like real-time, almost.  Felt like I spent a full ten or eleven hours out there under the sun.  It was wonderful.  Almost makes me want to go back to sleep right now, see if I can recapture it.


November 11

I woke up today and my entire face was covered in dryness.  Even my eyelids were skinned over.  I couldn’t open them, so I fell back asleep.  All I did today was nap off and on, until I finally ripped my eyelid-skin off and got out of bed in the afternoon.  Moving around made the skin start ripping even more, around my neck and my joints.  Not painful, but weird.  Plus, the house looks like a snowstorm hit it, with all the little white flakes scattered around.

Walking downstairs to write this, I looked at myself in the mirror as I passed the bathroom.  It was pretty horrific when I wasn’t expecting it – the solid whiteness covering my whole body, like a bandaged-up mummy.

Dawned on me today that I haven’t eaten in days.  I don’t feel hungry at all.  Tried to make some cereal, but it just didn’t seem appetizing.  Thought about going out for a burger, but didn’t feel like it.  I guess I’ll eat when I want to eat.

Had that same dream again last night.  The desert dream.


November 12

Tommy from work came over today.  Guess the guys were worried about me not coming in.  He caught me at kind of a bad time.  I was in the middle of peeling in the bathroom.  Ran downstairs in my underwear to get the door.  Most of my old skin’s peeled off, so he caught a real eyeful of the new skin underneath.  Real hard and leathery, kind of a sallow green.  Not sure I like the change.  Definitely freaked him out.  He ran straight out the door and drove off.  Felt kind of bad, but not enough to worry about it.  He’ll come around or he won’t.

Looked in the mirror afterwards.  My eyes are changing.


November 13

The desert dream gets longer and more beautiful every night.  Almost like it’s calling me.


November 14

Last night in my dream, I met the snake who knocked on my door.  We laid next to each other in the sand, contentedly silent.  I knew she could talk, but she didn’t feel like she needed to.

Skin’s starting to shed again.  I wonder what’s going to be underneath this time.


November 15

Tommy came back again today.  Poor timing on his part.  I was hungry for the first time in a week.  Don’t know what came over me.

The thing is, I don’t even feel bad about it.  I wasn’t upset with myself for doing what I did.  I was able to forgive myself easily.  I’m going to miss Tommy, but I know that will pass.  I’ve shed my skin.  I’ve broken through.  I’ve seen the heat of the desert.  I’ve spoken to the queen of the green Mojave.  Everything will be fine.  I know it now.  Just gotta take it slow.

 Thinking about going out there sometime.  To the desert, that is.  See what all the fuss is about.  Need to eat first, though.  Even after that, might spend a while longer at home.  I’ve got all the time in the world.