Painted Toes (a story)

Painted Toes

King James Bible, Mark 16:18 says, “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.”


I should have made note of her name. Dorcas. The woman raised from the dead in the Bible. But I thought I was the one with the faith and power on my side. I was named after a deacon in the Bible. Timon. A name I wore with pride. She called me Tim.

I HATED that!

I was a well-known serpent handler. I couldn’t walk the streets of my town without people knowing who I was. Some were glad to see me, some were a bit wary to get close. In case I had a pet with me. I don’t carry my snakes downtown! lol

Dorcas hated my snakes and wanted me to get rid of them and get a money-making job, so I could take care of her, in the style she wanted. I wanted my community more than I wanted money. She didn’t get that.

Dorcas thought I was kind of weird. She wanted a “real man” she said, And I was always attending to her shoes, begging to adore and worship her feet. And when I even got close, she’d kick me in the ribs. She even broke 2 one time! It took a long time before I could bend over again. She was sweet to me then. For the first two weeks.

Dorcas was a whiny, badgering, domineering woman. And if it weren’t for her gorgeous feet, I’d have never been with her. But they were what I first noticed and lusted for about her. And what she most withheld from me.

The only times I got to touch them was when her pediatrist couldn’t scrape her corns. Or her trusted nail lady had to cancel. Esp if it was beach weather and she wanted to look nice in flipflops.

But that little bit would have been ok, IF she hadn’t killed my best show snake!

Zoe was a gorgeous reptile and followed my every lead. I could trust her with my life. in a way that none of my other snakes could deal with. And Dorcas said she was sick of me putting the snakes before her. She wanted to show me that I could live without Zoe.

That may be true… but I could trust Zoe. not Dorcas. Zoe was what brought me a good reputation and following. Not Dorcas.

I could feel the heat rising inside me, and I think at that second that Dorcas understood she had screwed up. Majorly.

So she bought me some baubles and said she would let me paint her toes, even though her nail lady was booked already.

I nodded, and gathered my Zoe and took her out to the shed where I kept the snakes and milked her venom one final time.

I re-entered the house and mixed the venom in with the final varnish that Dorcas liked applied after the colour. It didn’t change the colour or consistency, so I knew it would work.

And I buffed, polished, coloured and varnished Dorcas’ nails. Making sure that her cuticles were a bit raw. After all that, she wasn’t really surprised when her toes were a bit numb and looked a bit off colour. When her nails were dry, she put her slippers back on and went off to nap in front of the TV. Thinking everything was resolved. I wasn’t a “real man” after all.

I went to the church. And prayed and sang with the followers there. And we said our goodbyes to dear Zoe. She was a stellar snake after all.

And I went back to Dorcas’ house, thinking I’d find a dead body. That looked like she had a heart attack. Ready to call 911.

But Dorcas’ corpse was a wanderer. She was in the kitchen making herself a snack of nearly raw beef and horse radish.

I stood in the doorway. So stunned I couldn’t move!

Dorcas started to shuffle toward me with her maw full of partly chewed beef. So raw, red juices were running down her wobbly chins.

And my gags woke me out of my stupor and made me aware enough that I could run! Back to the church!

My followers and I barred the doors and spent the night praying for her body to lay down.

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