They’d added the new aisle to the grocery store I don’t know when. Standing in line at the entrance, everyone was happily nervous. We knew it would turn out okay, probably.
We slipped into the dark water, our bodies disappearing immediately, and began our descent. On either side of the passage were little bins of leaves and sprouts, bright green under fluorescent lighting. We had a bit of difficulty with our carts, but soon managed to deal with the buoyancy.
It was as I picked through some leaves of romaine that I first noticed it – the tip of a snake’s tail, encrusted in scales and metal studs, sliding across the edge of my cart. It seemed horribly wrong, that this thing existed, that this idea existed, but I didn’t panic. Instead, I took my leaves of romaine and the other vegetation I’d collected, put them in my cart, and headed for the exit.
The store was crowded that day. When I found some extra leaves of romaine on the ground on my way to checkout, I had no way of knowing whose they were, so I went back to the new aisle to throw them in the water. But when I got there, it had been drained and someone had the anaconda coiled in the bottom of his cart, the spot usually reserved for mass quantities of toilet paper.
They said they were going to kill it. They said we could all have some. I didn’t think it was fair to the snake. It looked frightened.
The next day was Sunday, my only morning to sleep in. But I woke up at 6:20 and the world felt strange, not a place to be enjoyed. I got up and got to work.