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The Place of Snakes and Rabbits

By Rose Michelle Young

I look down at my feet as I walk. With each step, the fine sand of the lane erupts into mushroom-like puffballs and settles onto the white straps of my sandals.

   It is late spring, and my eight-year-old toes are already as brown as the paper-shell pecans that litter the ground around our trailer. The fields surrounding the patch of orchard where we live are bare: the thick, soft and plowed rows, bleached a puritan white, wait, without expression, to be seeded with a summer crop of soybeans. Insects hum softly in the ditches that run along each side of the lane. I measure my steps carefully, and—as slowly—as I dare. Each reluctant footfall forces me closer to the bus stop that waits down the lane and past the bend. The scrub hides it from sight; tangles of blackberry barbed wire and weedy pines fence both sides of the road.

     Once beyond the garden, the first tender green ribbons of corn fluttering delicately on the last breaths of morning, I hesitate and look back. Our trailer, with its faded brown stripes and dulled aluminum, gazes solemnly back. I focus on the door, willing it to open, but the trailer remains blank-faced; the door firmly shut.

     My father is supposed to follow me to the bus stop this morning because I’m scared of what’s going to happen there today. I told him about it—what I’m afraid of–and he’s going to stop it.


About the Author

Rose Michelle Young is a web designer currently residing in the green and temperate folds of the southern Appalachians. A love affair with storied ethnography, as well as a fascination with American subcultures, encourages her writing. Goaded by an emerging feminist perspective, she is currently exploring her voice through short stories and memoir. On any given day she can be found procrastinating from both work and writing by experimenting with mermaid-colored dreads, concocting herbal tinctures, photographing honeybee swarms, and restoring the classic 1984 motorhome she calls Juno.