- Turf Snakeby Y. M. Roger
This work has reached the exceptional level
A darker side of a light-hearted joke among football players
Turf Snake by Y. M. Roger
Horror Writing Contest contest entry

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.
Jonathan turned off the road before they even got to the main school entrance.
“What are we doing, Johnny?”
Driving the truck down the small dirt access road, he glanced over at Shelby in her low-cut, red prom gown. He gripped the steering wheel as he felt his body tighten – the space was already permeated by her scent, and those gorgeous green eyes of hers always did things to him none of the other girls could. And tonight? Tonight they were a siren song to the blood in his veins.
“I know how much you like the stars, Shell.” He spoke to her, but his visual focus was on the unlit road. “I need to show you something wonderful before the dance tonight.”
He pulled the pick-up near the stadium’s dressing room entrance, and the large motion-activated lights illuminated the immediate area with an almost blinding light.
“Jonathan Anders! We are not fooling around before we take pictures!”
He laughed out loud as he turned off the engine and killed the lights. Stepping out of the truck, Jonathan straightened his tuxedo as he walked around to open Shelby’s door.
“I figured you’d say ‘fooling around’ was off the table, Shelby Williamson,” he answered, perhaps a bit mockingly, offering her his hand, “with all the money you spent on that dress and those ridiculous shoes.”
Taking his hand and standing at the same time she let out an indignant huff, Shelby said, “They are not ridiculous, Johnny!” One of her high heels sank into the loose gravel, and she fell against Jonathan, grabbing hold of his jacket so she wouldn’t fall. “Owwww, my ankle!”
Jonathan just laughed and continued forward, her steel grip on him unrelenting as she tried to navigate through the dirt and pebbles.
“Oooh, Noooo.” His voice was dripping with sarcasm, but he smiled nonetheless. “Not ridiculous at all.”
Shelby stumbled a few more times before they reached the concrete that led to the entrance.
“You know, if you weren’t so big and tall, I wouldn’t need these heels to be able to dance and talk with you face-to-face instead of chatting with your chest!”
Jonathan just chuckled as he stopped with their first step onto the concrete so that Shelby could get her balance. He walked to the door and, taking out his team key, unlocked it.
Shelby watched his actions with unfeigned interest, biting her lip to keep from groaning once again at how perfectly that tuxedo fit his sexy quarterback body. The view almost had her wondering if just a little fooling around wouldn’t hurt. Because, yeah, he really looked like something out of a dream tonight.
Eyes angled toward Shelby’s cleavage her dress displayed so lusciously, Jonathan held the door open and motioned her forward. His voice startled her as she brushed past him, the resultant flinch tearing her mind from the gutter.
“I wouldn’t mind chattin’ with yours,” Jonathan quipped.
He raised an eyebrow and grinned, and she had the brief sensation that he might have been able to read her not-so-lady-like thoughts. That thought was quickly forgotten as she was bathed in total darkness with the latch of the locker room door behind them. At that same moment, she was overwhelmed by the strong smell of athletic shoes and pungent body odor.
“Oooooo, Johnny!” Her hand was immediately covering her nose and part of her mouth so that she sounded as though she were speaking from inside a barrel. “It really stinks in here!”
Instantly, Jonathan was at her back with one hand on her hip, pulling her back against his hard front. He took a deep breath beside her ear and spoke in a warm whisper, his tongue lightly caressing her neck. She tasted divine.
“Ever hear of turf snakes?” he asked in a rough whisper.
For a brief instant, Shelby felt herself lean into him – he always made her feel things that both thrilled and frightened her, and, lately, the ‘thrill’ was winning over the ‘frighten’. But then she remembered her dress. And the pictures.
“Everybody knows there’s no such thing as turf snakes, Johnny!” She stepped away from him, still speaking into her hand and laughing nervously.  “You guys just use that as your excuse when you mess up!  Now, turn on a light or something!”
Jonathan’s warm chortles washed over her as he stepped up behind her once again, pulling her against him a little more insistently this time. He even gave his hips a slight shove against her to emphasize his arousal as he licked again.
“Mmmmm. You sure about that, Shell?”
God, but Shelby’s hair smelled good tonight – no, scratch that. Shelby smelled good tonight. Very good. So much so that he wanted to sink his teeth and perhaps other things into her…
Shelby pulled away more forcefully this time and tripped into the nearest set of lockers.
Jonathan snorted a laugh as he steadied her on her feet and took her free hand, his laughter continuing the entire time. Willing his libido under control, he pulled her behind him through the dark locker room he knew like the back of his hand.
“Come on, you.” Shelby had no idea how he could see where he was leading her – she could see nothing but blackness. “The field is this way. I promised you stars, remember?”
The only sound was the clicking of her heels on the concrete floor and swishing of the material of her dress with her strides to keep up with Jonathan’s pace.
“You know, they make air deodorizers that could take care of this,” she said, her voice sounding hollow and magnified because of her hand’s covered-effects on it, “I think maybe even opening some windows would help.”
Jonathan’s only response was more hushed laughter. They made a few turns, and Shelby felt her anxiety start to rise as they passed close to one corner and then, perhaps, alongside some large equipment.
As she was about to plead for the lights again, the loud noise of a door unlatching echoed around her. The silhouette of Jonathan’s head and shoulders appeared in front of her as the moonlight streamed through the doorway he’d just opened. He held the door for her, but did not release her hand as she walked through.
He could not have let go had he tried – the raw anticipation of holding her mixed with her unique scent as she brushed past him was really riding him now.
The full moon cast a very faint yet beautiful glow over the football field before them. Shelby stopped and caught her breath. Jonathan watched intently as she took in the vision of the expansive football field bathed in silence and the eerie light from the moon.
His field was certainly not a sight of which he would ever tire.
He stepped up beside and somewhat behind her and raised the back of her hand to his lips. He inhaled against her skin once again and tongued a wet kiss on each finger as his other arm snaked around her opposite hip.
“Wow. It looks so different without all the bright lights,” she said as she tried to concentrate on the field and not on the sensations Jonathan’s mouth and his proximity were doing to her.
As they stood under the extended roof that sheltered the entranceway, Shelby’s attention was monopolized by the scene before them. The moon hung just above the tree line in the distance and the stadium was imbued with irregular shadows and pockets of blackness.
She tried to take a step forward, but Jonathan held her firmly to him. He turned her hand palm up and dragged his tongue up her arm along the tender part of her wrist. Reaching her ear, he covered it with his tongue as he eyed that calling cleavage, and Jonathan felt her resistance give way.
“Joooohnneeee…,” she breathed more than spoke.
Her surrender brought forth a satisfied male chuckle from him, and he stepped back just as she was beginning to relax into him. She let out one of her signature squeaks as she managed to maintain her balance thanks to their held hands.
Jonathan laughed out loud as he resumed their forward motion toward the football field.
“Ready for stars, Shell?”
He finished the question just as they stepped out from under the overhang. Shelby gasped and pulled up short.
“Oh. Jonathan. They’re...” Her voice was nothing short of worshipful, and Jonathan smiled as she lost her words to the vision above them.
Even with the moon’s residual light, the sky was magnificent. It appeared as though some god had come along and painted a swathe of stars across the universe's ceiling and left the excess to drip across the heavens until they disappeared at the horizon.
Shelby stood in awe of it all while Jonathan stood in awe of Shelby. He watched her chest rise and fall as she slowly turned in place to take it all in. She was always beautiful, but the moonlight made her even more so. He felt his body harden again with the thoughts coursing through him, and he fisted his hands as he attempted to control it. He was about to close his eyes and take deep, calming breath when her heel caught on the turf. 
She fell away from him, and he lunged to catch her. As she laughed in his arms, Jonathan felt a bit of irritation rise.
“Take off the damn shoes, Shelby.” He tried to keep the annoyance out of his voice. “You’re gonna break your ankle or something.”
“But Johnny, I can’t ju–”
She had barely begun to speak as he knelt, grasped one of her ankles, and lifted her foot off the ground.
“Johnny!” She squealed as she leaned over and fisted a handful of his thick, dark hair to keep from falling. “What are y–”
But he had already pulled the second shoe off and tossed both back against the locker room door before she finished the complaint. He stood and took her hand and began pulling her out onto the field.
“Jonathan Anders!” Shelby managed to gather her skirt in her free hand and follow along clumsily as a laughing Jonathan tugged her along. “What if I get something in my foot?”
“It’s artificial turf, Shell.” Jonathan spoke through his laughter and borderline frustration. “What the hell is there to get in your foot?”
Shelby shut up at that logical point and allowed Jonathan to lead her. She did keep trying to look at the beautiful sky as they made their way out to the fifty yard line, and her attempts made their going all the more awkward. She tried to talk to him, but he only responded in grunts – he was determined to reach mid-field without stopping again.
Initially, she was laughing at the playfulness of it all. Then, her giggles transitioned to a more nervous laughter. By the time they reached the emblem painted in the middle of the field, her joviality had faded almost completely.
Jonathan stopped and turned into her. Because she was fixated on the sky, it took a moment for Shelby to realize Jonathan was staring at her. She lowered her gaze a bit, although she still had to look up at him without her shoes.
As their gazes locked, Shelby whispered, “Johnny, what are we doing?”
Suddenly, she felt very vulnerable and even small in the expanse and the silence.
Jonathan smiled and didn’t say anything, only reached down and unbuttoned his tuxedo jacket and began removing it. Shelby wanted to think she saw his brown eyes smiling, but it was a bit difficult to make out any details in this light.
“Sssssit down, Sshell.”
There was a definite edge to his voice, but she didn’t feel truly threatened as he tossed his jacket off to the side. Shelby took a calming breath and smiled up at him.
“Johnny?” She reached up and touched his chest to feel his heartbeat. Somehow, it always settled her but not so much this time. “Johnny, wh–”
Something slid over her feet, but she simply pulled her foot back to extricate it. She felt another something roil past her ankle and over her toes, but she was too preoccupied with trying to get a better read on Jonathan to pay the sensation much mind.
“I sssssaid” – Jonathan reached up and quickly undid his bow tie and tossed it aside – “sssssit down, Sshelby.”
His voice was anything but gentle as he stepped closer – her breasts brushing against his abs and his arousal nudging against her. Shelby caught her breath at their contact, but Jonathan’s response was a pronounced hiss as he narrowed his eyes at her.
Shelby felt the panic rise inside of her. More of those sliding sensations moved up her calves, but she concentrated on the boyfriend she thought she knew. This was not like him…
“Johnny?” Her smile had faded and she knew her lips were quivering as she tried to keep it together. “Johnny, you’re scar–”
She tried to take a step back from him, but she quickly realized those sensations she had felt earlier were exerting much more pressure on her feet and lower legs. And their continuous sliding increased with that pressure, as if ropes were being tightened around her legs. She looked down, but she could see nothing in the milky darkness that covered the field.
But she couldn’t move her feet!
Her grip on his shirt tightened as her anxiety rose, and her face flew upward to seek his. But the eyes that met hers were no longer human – they had a frightening amber glow about them and the pupils were slits rather than circles.
“Johnny! Johnny please!” She choked on a sob as she clawed at him.
A predatory grin covered that once handsome face, and Shelby could feel the ropes on her lower legs and feet squeeze painfully.
Shelby broke their visual connection and proceeded to struggle with all the strength she had in her arms and upper body. Jonathan grabbed her chin and tightened his grip to hold her head still as he angled her face to meet his gaze. He leaned in close, dragging a now-forked tongue along her cheek to her ear.
“Ssssit dat pretty assssss down, Sshelbeee!”
He pushed her away from him and her bottom collided forcefully with the ground – those thick ropes that were the same color as the turf slowly coiling upward around her legs. She became frantic as the tears poured down her face. But, no matter how much she struggled to keep them away, more of the turf ropes began to coil up her arms and pull her upper body toward the ground.  
She began begging and pleading. “No! No, Johnny! Pleeease, Johnnny!”
She watched helplessly as Jonathan stood over her, unbuttoning and removing his shirt. The unveiling revealed skin now mottled with a diamond pattern everywhere. The apparent smooth texture there possessed a low, ethereal light of its own that shone slightly brighter than the moonlight around them.
Fighting the downward pull of the ropes with everything she had, Shelby shook her head and cried Jonathan’s name over and over again. And, as the thick strands weaved their way over her shoulders and through her hair, she realized that they were not ropes at all.
They were coils and coils of snakes!
Catching her breath in horror, she could hear the snakes whispering – unintelligibly, at first. Then, as their murmuring began to weave its way into her mind, all she could hear was a chorus of her own words echoed back to her.

Johnny. Johnny. Pleessssssse, Johnny.
Two of the snakes slithered around her neck and down her dress, ripping the material and freeing those breasts that had been tempting Jonathan all evening. He hissed loudly at the revelation, and he dropped to his knees between Shelby’s legs. The rest of his humanity fell away as his dark hair morphed into a hood that framed his now cobra-like face.
Shelby began screaming with all the energy she had left. In answer, Jonathan somehow managed an evil smile and slowly shook his head from side to side, as if to chide her. He raised a hand and passed it, palm forward, slowly in front of his face. In response to his direction, two of the snakes coiled themselves over Shelby’s mouth, silencing her screams.

Pleeasssssse, Johnny. Pleeeessssse, Johnny. Pleeeeeessssssse.
Jonathan lowered one hand to caress one of her breasts as he leaned over her, placing his other hand just over her shoulder to brace himself. His tongue flicked out to caress her cheek and neck as he tasted her scent. Her chest heaved with the sobs that racked her exhausted body.
“Ssssstars, Shell.” Jonathan’s speech was severely slurred as his body settled on top of her. “I promissssssed you ssssstarsss.”
She whimpered – tears continuing to stream from her eyes – as the last of the fight left her.

Yesssssss, Johnny. Yesssssss.
Shelby tried, but she could not even find the sky through the tears as blackness consumed her.

Turf Snake – is a ‘joke’ or ‘made up’ term used among football players to explain a trip or a fall during a play on the field when there was no other obvious reason for the error. It is usually attributed to play on artificial turf as the cleats on the football shoes get ‘caught’ or ‘snag’ slightly, thus tripping the player. Not a problem on real turf (i.e., sod) as the cleats can rip up the dirt and provided the desired traction for the player to maneuver.  Something like, “How come you stumbled and missed that pass? Turf snake get ‘cha?” or “Turf snake tripped me, Coach!”


Author Notes
Special biology note: Snakes 'smell' with their tongues.

Yeah, I know, a bit dark for me...but it is a horror writing contest, yeah? ;) ;) Just don't go out on the football field at night in a deserted stadium and you'll be fine! ;) ;)

And, yes, locker rooms really stink! :) ;) LOL!

Thank you for reading me! :)

Image of '3D Art, Sanke, Camouflage, Abstract Art on Etsy' saved by Niek Schuil on Pinterest []


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