COBRA Alert, awake, unmoving; something there; could be an insect, maybe a rat, maybe a snake, or a man.

Up and down the list in fractions of seconds, need to know; too much noise for an insect, too little noise for a man, rats scurry, can only be a snake. Eyes open slowly, body frozen; M 16 muzzle slipped to right shoulder, the snake’s head rises left. Flare light, head comes up Cobra neck fanning nervously hunting; head up meticulously watching, Move the rifle slightly, head up suspiciously checking; hardly breathing sliding muzzle. Flares illuminate the fanning head; seconds are eons through a long night. Move the muzzle by millimeters, be patient, keep him patient; Cobra neck fanning waiting for a strike, freeze, hold breath, muzzle still. Caught in a venomous conflict through fates mistaken chance; the outcome to be decided by mere millimeters and milliseconds. Soon when the head rises the muzzle brought to bear at the pull of my trigger, one of us to live, one of us to die; ending our courtship with destiny.