Advisory Committee Chair
Advisory Committee Members
Date of Award
Degree Name by School
Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences
he Viper Pit was born out of a writing prompt from Jim Braziel’s fiction writing class. We had to write a short story based on a photo from The American Photobooth. On page 174 of that book, a photo on the far right corner sparked my interest last year. It was the type of picture you see and automatically do a double-take. The man in the photo held the snake so close to his face like a newborn baby. The connection between the man and the snake ignited something in my imagination. On that day, I gave that man a name, Chester Davis. Chester has always been a mysterious character living in my mind. Every time I would attempt to write a new short story, he would find a way to make an appearance. I couldn’t escape him. I kept putting him in situations to see how he would react. How could someone share an intense passion for snakes? How would he handle someone harming a snake? What could go wrong in a house with two rooms dedicated to reptiles? A lot of stuff. Part one showcases the origins of these characters (the ones that survive) and how one night can change not only everyone involved but an entire community. One wouldn’t think such horrible things could happen in a town called Delight, but they do. Delight is very much a contradiction. Within The Viper Pit, readers get to witness a small town setting and how the people within it react to a man collecting snakes. Snakes are iv everywhere when you look close enough. Whenever you find one, make sure to call the local snake guy, Chester. He will take care of it.
Hurst, Brett, "The Viper Pit" (2020). All ETDs from UAB. 654.