I’ve been feeling a bit peaky the last few days so I haven’t left the house. It doesn’t feel like captain C is supposed to feel, and right now every time a baby cries somebody wrongly identifies a symptom in themselves. I’m staying at home though because if I got a cold then I got it despite all my precautions against crownyface. And if I’m just a bit run down then my immune system will be compromised so it’s probably best to take government advice and try not to be a vector. Thankfully I’ve got a pleasant home to be shut up in.

I never thought I’d say it but I’m glad I’ve got a friendly snake shut in here with me. Reptiles are not known as cuddly creatures. They’re more about expedience and basic needs. Still, Hex is a living being that moves independently and is capable of surprising me. We have tangled up with each other a fair amount in his quest for warmth and my quest for sentient life that isn’t on a screen. I’m fed up of faces. Screens full of faces. Face after face after face, saying all their person things to my face. Hex is mostly body, with a tiny little head that you can’t quite believe he is capable of dislocating so completely that he can fit a whole great big mouse up there. He doesn’t talk. He just moves slowly and deliberately, and has a cute habit of blowing in my ear as he assesses it for a potential burrow. He’s pretty crap at being a snake though, even if he has recovered from his eating disorder now. He’s good at the lying under a rock bit, which is definitely part of snaking. But I’ve seen his attempts at constricting a dead mouse. It’s vigorous, willing, but not in the slightest bit effective. More in the realm of “playing with your food,” or even “happy cuddle time”.

There are living mice in this flat as well, so I’m being careful with this crap snake as I don’t want him trying to eat one. I’d put my money on the London mouse in a straight up fight to the death, and even should Hex somehow prevail, they are likely made out of digested. poison by now and I’d have to take him to the vet.

London mice. Generations of breeding have made clever trap averse mice. They are completely ignoring my one ingenious humane trap, and I haven’t got any snaptraps, but they’re pretty good at avoiding and even unbaiting those as well. I’ve just got glue pads leftover from an old flatmate and I’m not going there because the things are absolutely vile and leave you having to drop a rock onto a panicking rodent that has already eviscerated itself over hours of futile struggle. Those fuckers work because they work so well that there aren’t any mice that have evolved strategies. If only they weren’t so cruel. They’re staying in the draw. The mice can keep me company for now. Unwelcome mice, a snake and the faces on the screens that tell me things.

On the plus side I haven’t set an alarm for a week.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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