The Binnacle’s Eleventh Annual Ultra-Short Competition – 2014
My grandfather once took me walking on his large, mountainous farm. When we rested, we sat under the shade of a mesquite tree, a respite from the hot, Mexican sun. After a few minutes, he slowly raised his single-shot rifle and pointed it at me.
I was frightened and confused until I noticed he was aiming at something behind me. “Don’t move,” he whispered. A loud bang sounded; the air whooshed by my left ear. Then, a dead rattler fell from the tree and landed by my side. My heart was pounding hard.
With that one shot, the old man had hit the serpent right between the eyes. After I regained my composure, my grandfather showed me how to filet the snake. The Desert Sidewinder became our evening dinner. You can slap me for saying this, but “It tasted like chicken.”
Michael Pacheco was born in the Chihuahuan desert of northern Mexico and raised in the Pacific Northwest, receiving his BA from Gonzaga University and his JD from Willamette University. Michael has published two novels and a short story collection as well as over twenty short stories in literary journals. He’s currently polishing his fourth novel for publication.