[Vfw-times] Story - Figment, Part 18

Hedonism hedonism at transfur.com
Fri Jan 25 16:56:52 CST 2002

This may well be my last Figment episode. Dunno yet. Enjoy anyway :)
Figment, Part 18 : Sleepyheads

By Hedonism

* * * * *

Background - It would be a good idea to read the chapters leading up to this
episode first. They can be found at
http://users.transfur.com/hedonism/stories.htm .

* * * * * * * * * *

Heaven for Ophidians was a charming (for them) combination of happy hunting
grounds and Valhalla, mostly mired in deepest swamp. It was a symbol that no
matter how advanced the yuan-ti civilisation got, the simple things like
lying in mud and fighting a lot remained the activity of choice for those
serpents that had reached the end of their lives. Anyone who wanted a
different sort of afterlife would have to take this up with their god,
Ssseth, who very much preferred the realm's current decor.

In a surprisingly small and unimportant looking hut, a serpent spirit looked
up at Que, wife of Ssseth.

"You want... me... to tutor Rebecca in the ways of the yuan-ti?" she asked
in surprise. "I'm unsure I'm worthy of this task!"

Worthy... Gurahl knew that the last angelic yuan-ti that tangled with
Rebecca had her mind corrupted and her body torn to shreds. And Gurahl was
less powerful than that ancient entity, who was still making a slow recovery
in the deeper swamps to the east. The were other reasons.

Que patted the spirit's head with a tentacle. It went right through and
rested somewhere inside her brain. She pulled it free and apologised with an
expressive twist of her head.

"Don't try and whup her ass and you'll be fine. Now go. She's not adjusting
to her new life and it's hurting her."

* * * * * * * * * *

Rebecca, frightened and confused at Figment's strange sulky behaviour and
her own odd transformations, found herself unable to refuse an invitation
from John to his lair. The lesser yuan-ti just didn't seem to accept that
she had no interest in him.

His dwelling turned out to be a few rooms in a very large hotel near the
Caoran Embassy. A complex system of security and clever excuses kept human
visitors from going any further than the lobby and into the areas where the
super- or sub-human hung out. Rebecca stayed very firmly in human form and
got a few nervous glances when she walked past the Changing Rooms without
actually changing.

Rebecca found she was really getting on well with John's sister, Sandra,
despite the girl being a twenty-foot long snake with tentacles. They went
shopping in the hotel's comprehensive mall, without John, returned and
disappeared into Sandra's bedroom for the sort of chat that would exclude
him again.

Sandra's tentacles trembled as she reached out slowly to take the fabric
from the human's fingers.

"Go on... wear it. You know you want to," said Rebecca, her eyes staring
into her victim's fearful slitted orbs. The lengthy yuan-ti head turned away

"I don't know," the serpent replied, continuing to meet her gaze. "I mean.
There's nothing actually... againsst it in the preachingsss... It's just
ssssomething a girl... doesssn't... do..."

"You said it yourself, you'd like to look different," badgered Rebecca with
honeyed tones.

The yuan-ti pressed the shirt against her upper scutes, putting its sleeves
over where her tentacles met her curved sides. It was a DuLac, one of the
best Were labels available. It didn't matter what it went over, it would
look absolutely fabulous even if you put it on upside down.

Sandra looked at the human a little more cynically, tilted her snouted head.

"This is revenge for that bussinesss with the Garden of Eden. We weren't
anything to do with that, you know."

"It ssuits you so well," continued Rebecca, smoothly coasting over the
comment. The poor snake was giving into temptation.

Rebecca took the gossamer shirt from the yuan-ti's unprotesting
tentacle-tips, unbuttoned it, took each of the reptile's tentacles and
pushed them through the sleeves. Sandra shivered with uncertainty as the
cloth settled over her scales. There was an almost lewd pleasure in being
covered up. What did she have to hide, people would wonder. No... Ssseth,
please protect me from this...

"Okay," said the yuan-ti, giving up in the face of style. "I will try the

"Srrrthhs, *click* zsssrhhhhthhsss," replied Rebecca with a rather long
smile. First the clothes. Then maybe the makeup. And finally, the concerts,
the boy bands and the teenage rebellion. That'll teach the Yuan-ti race to
try and assimilate _me_.

Sandra looked at Rebecca oddly. The human had just talked in her language
without apparently realising.

"Stestrahssthss? Uhhrrrsss *clickka* whrssssthsss?" asked the creature,
trying to sound level and normal.

Rebecca nodded, realising she was getting away with this. How fun! She did
as she was asked and pulled a mirror over. "Wsss rhstths ersszths *clickka*
ahhhhsthhhs." Her mouth danced over the alien syllables with barely a human

She realised she has hearing something odd. Rebecca looked around, puzzled.
Whenever she or the Yuan-ti spoke, it didn't sound... right.

While Sandra was trying different angles with the wide-brimmed bonnet and
trying not to grin, the human flicked at the air with her long forked tongue
and read the posters surrounding the room. They were.... in that
incomprehensible double-row Ophidian language. Yet she could read them. They
_were_ musical bands, though of a rather religious, Praise-Ssseth kind of

Figment awoke with a start and looked around urgently. Buried inside Rebecca
's chest as she was, she had to do this with sophisticated radar and by
gaining access to her host's senses.

Oh no! I was asleep again! Where are we? Have I let her change?

It was too late. Rebecca's eyes widened in alarm when she realised she hadn'
t shut them for nearly a minute. The fangs were back and had brought a
forked tongue with them. She finally worked out she was speaking to the
yuan-ti in a language she in theory couldn't understand.

"Uhhlrrsss! Aherrrthasss-ing hell!"

Sandra watched the human run out of her room and her family's apartment.
Rebecca brushed a seven-foot tall were preying mantis aside with barely a
shudder of horror and galloped back towards the lobby.

John appeared in the doorway.

"What did you say?" he asked in their language as Sandra hauled off the
shirt quickly. Being slitherers, yuan-ti were no match in speed to a running
human. They watched the girl disappear downstairs.

His much bigger sister ducked her head low in shame and confusion.

"I don't know. All she was doing was turning into one of us. What's the

* * * * * * * * * *

It was dark by the time John had slithered all the way to Rebecca's house,
in the shape of a normal snake, an albino viper. His despised human form was
no longer an option now he had been turned from a regular yuan-ti into a
much smaller Lesser Serpent. One of the perks of being this childlike
species was that he could have acted all helpless and gotten a yuan-ti to
give him a lift. But there was something about Rebecca that made him want to
act strong and independent. He wished Rebecca knew that.

Like himself, Rebecca still lived with her parents. Chances were that they
would not appreciate a snake asking to see her.

John concentrated for a moment. He put on bulk and length until he was about
seven foot long and nearly the weight of a human. Boneless tentacles slid
free of his midpoint and ended at about the length of a human's forearms,
much less than the length of tentacles of regular yuan-ti like the rest of
his family. The beautiful white sheen of his scales remained, impractically
bright in this darkness.

He squirmed up a wall and looked through Rebecca's window. She was laying on
her bed, fully clothed and above the covers. He sighed sadly as he failed to
detect any further serpentine changes. Her eyes could close again, and were
at the moment.

As John pondered what to do next, Rebecca got up and advanced to the window,
opening it. Her movement was sluggish, her eyes remained closed all the



"Come on in," said the human sleepily. As he did so, she slumped back on the

"Rebecca's asleep," said the figure. "Anything I can help      you with?"

A chill ran down John's lengthy spine. He closed the window and stayed a
considerable distance from her.

"Yarg... Errr..."

"We   went for a run. Rebecca       tried to get me   to tell her   why I'm
being so weird    nowadays. I     couldn't    tell her." The girl's voice
was tinged with regret, and she put great pauses between her words. There
was a sense of otherworldliness. She seemed to John like a ghost of someone
that had died in tragic circumstances.

"You're... Figment?"

She nodded.

"Can you tell me?"

"I'm   sleepy. Really   sleepy... But I can't sleep!" She became more
animated. "Rebecca saved me, and I can't help her in return!"

"I don't underssstand-"

"Every time I doze, she turns into a snake! I have to use all my power to
keep her human, and I'm failing!"

Figment's voice quietened again to its tranced state. "Every day, I fail
more    and more. And not   just because I can't   stay awake. I'm afraid I'
ll go to sleep and she'll be like   you. For   ever."

John risked placing a tentative tentacle on the girl's hand. She didn't
respond. He knew it was because of him that she was changing. It was his
venom. And because she didn't worship Ssseth, she would become a Lesser like
him rather than the larger, more respected yuan-ti. In fact, she should have
completed the transformation days ago. John felt terrible guilt, and anger
at feeling guilty - the bite of an ophidian was a blessing. He shouldn't
feel sorry for what he did, it was the right thing to do!

"But why'sss that sso bad?" he asked carefully.

Figment gave a soft 'hmph' and smiled just a tiny amount.

"I don't mind - I'm a reptile myself."

The smile dissapeared.

"But I know Rebs as     well as I know me. She  didn't mind   changing so
she   could help people, she knows I can    turn her back. But   this is
changing her basic species. She won't be   a human any more. She'll   not
bear human   children. She   will not bear human children! She's worried
about   this now. How can I say what   she's worried about  is true?"

John twitched involuntarily. He tried to make his face unreadable. As bad as
it was sounding to Rebecca's psyche, he couldn't help thinking about how
this would improve his chances of her choosing him over that Critter Man

Rebecca's hand closed around his three proffered tentacle-fingers.

"To be honest, I    don't think I'm even keeping her   human. I think she
became a Lesser yuan-ti long ago, and    I'm just making her look like a
human. How can I tell her that? What   choice do I have?"

John sighed. He knew he had driven a wedge between this... parasite... and
her host, and it was hurting them both. There was only one thing he could
think of to remove it. Maybe it would be better if they both got a good
night's sleep.

"Maybe I could get you a good ssstrong coffee," he said.

Despite having her eyes closed, the Figment-controlled Rebecca managed to
communicate with a look that she would rather die of thirst. John and coffee
got her into this trouble.

Oh well, thought John. He looked into the apparently-human's face. There was
something he wanted to know.

"As her... besst friend. What does ssshe think of me?"

Figment noted his nervously twitching tail.

"I'm... not her  best friend.   I _am_ her. We   both feel the   same way
towards you."


The little reptile waited.

What. You both love me? You both think I'm a pain in the cloaca? What?

He sighed. Yeah, think I know what they feel.

John settled into a coil and started a soft prayer to Ssseth.

"What are you doing?" asked the girl.

"Saying a prayer to help you," he replied, before continuing.

Figment listened to it. "It's just    about raising crops and stuff."

John continued, undaunted. Sure enough, within a few minutes, the Rebecca
form fell backwards onto the bed and became fully inert and peaceful. The
Lesser saw a patina of scales break out over her body and he felt joy mixed
with guilt. He laboriously tugged the utterly asleep figure out of her
clothes and tucked her into bed, locked the door and slipped back out of the
window for a long journey home.

Oh yes, the Prayer of Sweet Harvest. Some utterings could summon lightning
or call angels. That one could get him a slap from his mother for falling
asleep during preachings. It worked every time. It was nice to see that in
times of need it worked on others as well.


Gurahl softly flew through who-knows-where towards Rebecca's sleeping mind.
What a first assignment!

She reached the firmament of the Lesser's dream and gazed upon her subject
as she looked around. When you're inside someone else's dream you can see
behind the scenes - objects being created the instant the sleeper imagines
herself gazing upon them, then dissapearing a few minutes after they were
needed. The angel was sitting amongst a misty fuzz which, from Rebecca's
point of view far away, would look like a distant group of trees. It didn't
need to be clear for the dreamer except from where she was standing. It was
very much like looking at a movie set created for only one roving camera, or
a 3D computer game while using a cheat mode to get away from the places the
player is supposed to be. The second simile came easier to the angel's mind.

"What are you doing here?" asked a polite, child's voice from behind her.
Gurahl turned and saw Little Red Riding Hood.

"What are you?" asked Gurahl.

"Little Red Riding Hood."

"You're a Delver, aren't you."

"That too."

"Well go away. This is going to be a mystical vision."

Red Riding Hood smiled widely. Her jaws were now lined with thousands of

"Make me," and with that she ran away.

Gurahl growled under her breath. A Mixer of Dreams was here. Wonderful.
Though they were weak spirits, they were also nigh indestructible and
impossible to threaten. She was being challenged by the gods, she decided.
Not very fair considering she was supposed to be doing their errands.


Rebecca found herself in a place. It was presumably a swamp because the
ground kept trying to eat her knees, but it was also beautiful. She knew she
was dreaming, even though she felt too aware of her surroundings and awake
for it to be a dream.

This was where her ideas, her thoughts, her emotions came out to play-

A furry paw emerged from the mud, grabbed a tree branch and hauled out the
sticky monster who owned it. The powerful form's spotted, saffron pelt
became visible as the muck cleared gradually from it. Rebecca stepped back
from the apparition and felt her heart thump madly.

"You killed me," said the werehyena. "You murdered me."

"You killed lots of people," countered Rebecca, as she looked upon him.

"You killed me!" he persisted. "It doesn't matter, you killed me."

"It was an accident-"

"Do you really feel that?"

Rebecca knew this was her conscience speaking. She looked upon the sorry
creature and knew she should be feeling remorse. She felt bad, but it just
didn't seem to be enough. It made her very afraid. Surely any right-minded
human should be feeling remorse. Only murderers didn't.

"You murdered people, just like I did," he explained. "We're no different."

Rebecca shuddered and felt the truth fall upon her.

Oh, hold on a second.

The girl put her hands on her hips and looked straight into his eyes.

"My face will haunt you forev-"

"No it won't," she replied primly. "Is that the best you can do? I do feel a
bit guilty at killing you. And I feel guilty at not feeling really bad about
it. Yes, you are the first sentient thing I killed."

The beast moaned hollowly. "You are no better than me-"

"Hah! No. You're trying to make me lose either way. You want me to feel bad
about killing you, or feel bad about not feeling bad about killing you. Well
sod all that. Thanks for putting me in touch with my feelings."

"Did you not hear me? My bloody face will haunt you forever!" he persisted.
But Rebecca knew her mind now. She looked into the eyes of the one she
killed and found an animal that had to be put down.

"You know how you spent your time killing people without reason? Well I'm
gonna spend my time saving people's lives without reason. Or at least
without reward. So I'm gonna have worse things to worry about. Now go away."

And he did. His disappearance was as vague as 'And he did.' As vague as an
element of a dream.

"Right," said Rebecca to the world. "Now back to getting chased by socks or

A soft chuckle floated through the muddy glen.

In an Alice In Wonderland-style transition, Rebecca found the woods had
grown massive around her. She fell into the deep mud and had to stay afloat
by laying along it like a snake.

The world was massive now. She was the size of a snake.

The girl slithered and splashed through the mud like a snake towards an
enormous tree stump where she hoped she would find a hole to hide inside
like a snake until some prey WHY THE BLOODY HELL AM I THINKING OF SNAKES SO

Ahhh, of course, _that_ worry. Realising it didn't help any.

A beautiful streamer of light floated through the trees towards her. It was,
of course, a snake. Along its body, bright beams shone through the gaps of
invisible scales. Its face had an asexual yet perfect serpent visage that
conveyed emotion far better than any Disney animal, yet without having
humanlike features to do it with. To most ophidians, she was a blessed
sight, confirmation of their god's existence and his love. But most
ophidians hadn't been attacked by a crazed angelic yuan-ti before.

Rebecca called frantically inside herself for Figment. The hidden friend
wasn't always present in her dreams, and now was one of those times.

The angel winding its way towards her was far too real to be some conscience
or thought needing to be processed. She knew it was the genuine article.

"Lesser Rebecca," called out the divine serpent as she approached. "Do not
be afraid, for I-"

The girl kicked up wads of mud as she scrambled madly away.

Gurahl kept pace with her.

"I bring you acceptance and joy, Rebecca. Rebecca, I... Rebecca, your god
loves you and... Look, will you please stop?!"

The Lesser in human form looked around desperately for dry land. And as soon
as she thought of some, it appeared in the next direction she glanced at.
Rebecca reached it and was running without needing to pull herself free
first, such is the logic of dreams. Her mind concentrated on generating grim
terror and the need to run from her fate as a serpent.

As if to symbolise that, a human was ahead, quite a handsome looking man.
And a camera crew? Like the woods, he was enormous.

Rebecca laughed with glee as she looked at the serpent and dashed into the
hands of her human saviour.

He gripped her immediately by the shins and hoisted her painlessly but
awkwardly into the air. She wriggled furiously as his innocent face split
into a wide grin. He thrust her out in the direction of the camera crew, who
shrank back quickly.

"Cripes! Now here's a find!" he exclaimed in a thick Australian accent.
Rebecca swung upwards and tried to bite him and free herself.

"Yeah, she's good and aggro, and I'm not surprised. This here's a-" He swung
her up and grabbed her back, again quite gently. He ran his finger down her
head and, furious and scared, she struck out to bite it. He pulled his
finger away but kept it near, tauntingly.

"- a Lesser Serpent!"

"No I'm, not!" shrieked Rebecca as she panted, tears in her eyes. He handled
her in a weird way, professionally but with plenty of lunatic chances to let
her bite.

"Now come on, snakey," he said, grinning at the camera. "This one's more
frisky than the normal-" he yanked his finger away once more.

"-Lesser. She's.got some sorta ...whoops... identity crisis. Thinks she's a
human! Bonkers eh?"

It was a bizarre sensation. He grabbed her any old how, kept her dizzy and
confused, so she would bear the fangs she had just grown, mostly towards the
camera. Rebecca realised the fate of a snake had caught up after all.

"'Course, what I, gotta watch out for is those, fangs. Turn me into a Lesser
in no time. Yeah, I know it ain't life threatenin', but would you want to
spend yah life wrigglin' around an' swallowing mice?"

"Stop it! I don't do that!" wailed Rebecca, nearly hysterical. Gurahl
hovered nearby, lurking in the wilderness, ready to take Rebecca into her
care once this debacle was over.

"'Course, this particular one, Rebs, has some sorta parasite infectin' 'er.
Makes 'er think she's human when she oughta be settin' up with all the other
Lessers and their distant cousins, the Yuan-Ti, raisin' little snakies!"

"Don't be disgusting!"

This guy, who was he? Irwin... Thingy Irwin.

The angel lost her patience, slipped forwards and hissed shrilly. "I am
Ssseth's envoy. I am here to protect you." With that, she darted forwards
mouth wide open. Her fangs were nonexistent but for the wet shimmer of light
off their invisible surface. They could penetrate their length in reinforced

The Irwin bloke's eyes widened, as did his naive smile. as the misty serpent
struck at him.

"Good Grief! Well, that's a sight! It's a Angelic Yuan-Ti! Impressive girl,
ain't she!"

Somehow he managed to say all that before Gurahl got her first bite in. He
even had time to gently put Rebecca down before effortlessly leaping back
and to the side before grasping the angel's head and lower body and bringing
her to the ground. She looked around in confusion from where he had her
trapped between the ground and himself.

Angels were insubstantial, yet to him she was just another python. She tried
to wrap her tail around him but he skilfully grasped her coils and unwound
them, barely without concern. The camera crew continued filming as if this
was perfectly normal.

"Wiggly bugger, ain't she!" chuckled Irwin, grunting with effort as he
deflected every attack she made with embarrassing ease.

Rebecca stood up and watched, and a slow smirk broke out on her face. The
angel looked utterly humiliated, and shuddered in a fashion Rebecca realised
was the yuan-ti version of crying.

"No, this isn't happening!" she screamed. She had betrayed the angels. She
was crying and helpless in front of a mortal.

Rebecca looked up at the desolate spirit, who was still too proud to call
for help. The Lesser's confidence grew but her smile shrank as she realised
the poor creature was in trouble. Poor creature. Heh.

There was a certain nack in controlling dreams. Maybe she could make Irwin
grow a crocodile tail, he'd be sure to chase it. No, best not feed this
whole transformation weirdness. She instead concentrated on the giant
camera, which swayed on it's tripod and fell like a collapsing building.

"Damn! said the cameraman, picking up the thing. He shook it and muttered.
One by one the crew collected around it. Eventually, Irwin himself got up
the floor and gently threw the Angel away. She got up and hissed viciously,
but he just retained his confident smile.

"Hang around lass, we'll get this fixed in a jiffy." His voice was jolly as
it made its ghastly promise.

Rebecca smiled smugly at the angel's suddenly nervous face.

"I can't believe how badly I've screwed this up," the divine being muttered

"Screwed what up?" asked Rebecca.

"I was supposed to fill you with wonder at my presence, and stuff. Instead
you run away or..." She looked at the croc hunter with great embarrassment.

"How the hell do you fill someone with wonder when they can kick your ass?"

"Snakes don't have asses," observed Rebecca.

"You and Figment'd probably grow one on me, then kick it."

"Well, why are you here to fill me with wonder?" asked Rebecca.

"Que sent me to teach you about our kind."

"Your kind, maybe," Rebecca corrected her in a voice she hoped was sincere.
"Who's Que?"

The angel became Rebecca's size and coiled up loosely on the floor, then
started to tell Rebecca about the Bride of Ssseth, Queen of Lessers.
Although it went on for some time, the dream persisted unchangingly, in a
most undreamlike fashion.

And then Figment was there, the little lizard looking around quickly,
looking like a child version of her and Rebecca's combined form.

"Oh bugger. Dreaming again... Rebecca!"

A vast brick wall slipped up like a flicknife between her host and the

"Whoah," was all Rebecca could think of saying. Gurahl moved backwards
quickly, seeing instantly the amount of power Figment had over this realm.

A giant Irwin hand closed around Figment and the giant chuckled as he lifted
her to his eyelevel.

"Don't worry, little beauty. I got Rebs nice and safe already!"


That Irwin Bloke looked around at a suddenly intact camera. "Now this is a
dopey little creature, viewers. A parasite with a cute name of Figment by
her host and Hedonism by her family, who I wanna say are pretty worried she
ain't been getting any sleep lately!"

Figment laughed out loud and hung upside down by her tail from his fingers.

"Rebecca... I haven't introduced you to my sister, Marilyn."

With an elaborate flash, the human Lesser and Rebecca were next to each
other, and Marilyn Manson stood next to them.

"I was thinking more of Monroe," said Figment coyly. Manson became Monroe,
then Margaret Thatcher.

Gurahl slipped over the barrier and looked at the three. Rebecca looked at
her and shrugged her shoulders. Figment looked at the angel sharply, but her
host quickly grasped the spirit's hand and just smiled softly.

"You're Figment's... sister?" asked Rebecca to the British ex-prime

Margaret said, "Yep. You've been acting weird recently, Heddy, so we just
took turns to look in on you. But because you weren't asleep, we never knew
what you were getting upto."

"But you're a Delver!" said Gurahl. At Rebecca's confused look, she added,
"They're weird spirits. They go from one person's dream to another's, taking
things with them. They're why you sometimes get really weird ideas. You
know, the stuff you'd think someone else dreamed up for you."

"And I'm an imaginary friend," said Figment. "Or a bogeyman. Same creature,
different job description. We live in other's imaginations. We eat the
energy caused by the emotions we find. Or create."

"Well, nearly," said Margaret. "We live only in spirit. Hedonism's something
special. She actually has a physical form that lays inside you, Rebecca."

Figment sighed.

"I'm glad you're here, Alice-" the Delver changed into some presumably
famous Alice that Rebecca didn't recognise. "- because I gotta wake up
again. Don't let the angel do what... err, she was going to do-"

"Why do you need to stay awake?" asked Rebecca hastily.

"I need to go and flush John down the toilet."

"And?" persisted Rebecca, choosing not to go into that.

Figment looked ill. And tired. Very tired.

"I don't want to fail you, Rebs. Right now, your real body's turning into a
Lesser serpent. I mustn't let it."

Rebecca couldn't avoid wincing, and her beloved parasite's lizard expression
became even more drained.

"No, Fig," said Rebecca, putting both hands on the creature's scaly
shoulders. "This isn't your fault. I'll take the whole... snake thing if it
means you'll be okay. Rest with me."

Figment looked jittery. She tried to think of something to say. Rebecca just
responded by petting the creature on the head. The lizard closed her eyes
and grumbled softly with pleasure, until she remembered that this dream wasn
't a private one.

"I owe you, Rebs," she said softly.

"You are me," replied her host, tears soaking her cheeks.


While Figment chatted with her Delver sister, Gurahl lay with Rebecca.

"I don't understand why Que sent me on this mission knowing I'd fail," she
muttered. "Angels go around impressing ophidians, and they listen to what we
say. I've hardly impressed you, have I."

Rebecca nodded, unsure what else to do. Then she asked, "What constitutes

"You were supposed to listen to the teachings of Ssseth and learn about our

"Well, you said that Angels go around filling the snakes with all this
godliness and soforth. That's fine for them. But do you think I'd listen to
an angel like that?"

"Well... not really."

Rebecca smiled. "So the clever cow found one who'd talk to me like a human


"Right... Wanna start teaching?"


They chatted.

"Want a pizza?" asked Rebecca.

"I can't eat them. Apart from me being a ghost, Ophidians can't get any
taste out of anything but the meat."

"See how you like the taste of the dream version."

One of the camera crew promptly came over with a normal sized pizza. But
dreams are dreams, and the emotions from earlier still tainted it.

"That's pretty disgusting," said the angel.

"Then pick the anchovies off. "

"Or wait for the little snakes to eat them first."

"Anyway, you said you were once human. Have you lost your interest in human
males?" asked Rebecca.

"A lot of it. I sort-of go more for the curves nowadays than the muscle.
Why'd you ask?"

"Well, I don't know about you but getting grabbed by the Crocodile Hunter
wasn't all that bad."

The dream ended with their piercing laughter and those with corporeal bodies
returned to awakeness. As the phantom objects faded away, the Delver
collected what she could, waved goodbye to the angel and departed in the
direction of another dreaming mind, which was soon going to become a very
weird place indeed.

Gurahl slipped back to heaven with a smile on her face and a slice of pizza
in her tentacle. She knew she was in trouble. She also knew she was going to
ask for time off and the chance to meet Rebecca with a mortal form. Maybe do
some shopping. Maybe try on some clothes...

Rebecca opened her eyes. Or rather, found them already open. She snaked her
head under the covers and looked upon the body of a Lesser. Figment was edgy
until she mentally pictured stroking the creature's head once more.

:: Now come on, I don't want to get _used_ to being treated like that, ::
the lizard retorted mentally. She felt that Rebecca was pretty calm in her
new shape and sighed softly with relief. Fully rested, she concentrated on
Rebecca for a moment and made one of her tentacles into a human arm.

:: You're not stuck like this forever, I can change you into a human again!
For a while, at least... ::

:: Well... it is a working day today. ::

Giving this due consideration, Figment made Rebecca's voice free of
sibilation just long enough to her to call into the library and mumble
something about having the flu before wriggling back under the covers.
Figment immediately fell into deep, precious sleep while the little serpent
that now contained her just lay there and practised coiling and uncoiling.

So it had happened. The funny thing was, now she was a snake, she wasn't
thinking about it all the time. It felt less important.

Rebecca lay back and sensed Figment's slumbering. And felt happy.

By Hedonism

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