— Book of Fantasy Creatures —
Although these creatures are rare, they are quite in fact as real as a mermaid. The Snake People are more than just a myth and a scary story. They have been known for their glowing green eyes and peeling of the human skin to reveal purple scales underneath. It is proven by the Fantasy Hunters that they can only shed their deceiving human skin three times before they are permanently in their true snake form, which consists of the lower half of the body a snake, purples scales on every part of the body, glowing green eyes, and sharp claws and teeth.
The Snake People are never alone and are usually in a nest of around twenty to thirty. Together they target prey and perform a ritual known as The Feast. It is a time when these creatures would gather up as much prey as they can to feed the entire nest and chain them to a post. The leader of the nest will inject each prey with venom — creating severe hallucinations that can drive the prey insane. And they are kept to the post in these unfortunate circumstances for seven days without food or water. This can be extremely painful and it has been known that prey can be driven to near death.
When the time for The Feast comes, the Snake People will gather around the prey and each will taste the prey by biting in any part of their body — the more prey the better. Then they will rip off limbs until the prey is dead and they will feast upon the limbs. It has been known that even after death some Snakes will mate with their partners and plant their eggs in the prey’s carcass. The eggs then hatch and feast on the remains of the prey before they go off to find their parents.
Humans can be turned into a Snake if one truly has intense feelings for the human and are convinced that human is their mate. The process is very painful for the human; the Snake will bite and inject their venom into the human’s neck and for the next three days, the human will be left alone as the venom slowly turns their blood into venom. This will be excruciating pain and some humans have died from it.
When the night of the last day arrives, the Snake will return and complete the process by mating with the human. There will be no pain during this, just extreme intense pleasure. The human may obtain the Snake’s offspring due to the immense pleasure and desire both have for each other. These creatures are truly magnificent but can be deadly. If you should ever encounter a Snake and they mark you, it cannot be reversed nor can you stop the process until the Snake completes it. You will either turn into a Snake or die a slow and painful death.
“Olivia. . . Olivia. . . Olivia. . .”
The girl groaned at someone calling for her. It felt like Olivia had been sleeping for weeks. Her muscles ached, her back throbbed and her neck prickled painfully. Any movement caused thrashes of pain and slowly, Olivia cracked one of her eyes open and saw a rocky wall. The girl let out a strained groan and fully opened her eyes. Sharp pain and dizziness wrecked through her skull — warning signals — as she sat upright.
She looked around, realizing she was in a cave and noticed a pile of burnt wood in front of her. Olivia gazed at her surroundings in confusion. “Where am I?”
Olivia turned and saw Meggan walking inside the cave. Olivia’s eyes went wide and she abruptly stood. Pain seared through her body, she cried hopelessly loud and staggered against the wall behind her. Throbs attacked her back, breaking any control the girl had to keep the pain hidden. Meggan’s eyes went wide and quickly came to Olivia’s side as she staggered off the wall. It felt like her head was splitting, like her whole body wanted to be ripped apart savagely. Meggan gazed at Olivia with concerned blue eyes and helped Olivia sit back down.
Olivia closed her eyes and took steady deep breaths. The cave was blurry and out of focus, she had to calm down and ease up on her battered body or else she might pass out. When the pounding ceased and the small black dots faded, Olivia looked at Meggan with bewilderment.
Meggan gazed softly at the girl with concern. “Is Olivia okay?”
Olivia’s eyes went wide with astonishment and her mouth went to speak but was left gaping open. Meggan cocked her head to the side and looked at Olivia with her bright blue eyes. Olivia couldn’t believe the Meggan she was seeing before her. The last time she saw Meggan she was petrified to the bone. The Meggan Greto Olivia knew had been broken beyond repair. She used to be one of the toughest girls at the orphanage. She always used to sneak out at night without anyone noticing until Quinstella caught her and told Lady Ola the next morning. Lady Ola did nothing at first, but when Meggan sneaked out the next night, she never returned until a few months ago. When Olivia saw Meggan walk through the door she almost dropped the plates she was washing.
She could never forget the day Meggan came back after months, her clothes stained with dirt and blood and the tremble Olivia couldn’t miss. But Meggan’s eyes — bloodshot and wide — the terror held within them, the horrors of the past months must’ve been replaying in her head. Meggan used to be tough and brave, full of life and rebellious adventure, but ever since she finally came back, she had been a shell of what she used to be. She hadn’t spoken a word to anyone, not even her best friend Dreya.
Olivia looked around again realizing about the other tough and rebellious girl. “Where’s Dreya?”
Meggan shrugged her shoulders. “With mate,”
Olivia blinked at her answer. “With mate? She’s with a. . . friend?”
Meggan smiled softly. “Olivia could say that,”
Olivia blinked at her again, confused, What did I miss?
She looked toward the cave entrance and blinked at a whole tree with its roots intact sitting on its side by the entrance. She went to say something, but not a sound came out of her mouth. She was beyond confused and thinking about what happened while she was unconscious only made her head pound harshly. She closed her eyes and a soft sigh left her lips, she would ask Dreya what had happened once she came back from being with her ‘friend’.
Olivia gently leaned her head back, rubbing her temples soothingly in a circular motion. A wince made her visibly tense from the pain settling in her neck; she remembered what Lythil had done to her. Who knew that one day was all it took for her life to turn upside down. Everything she believed was a lie. Everything she didn’t believe was real. How wicked fate could be to the foolish.
Olivia paid no attention to her scrambled thoughts and glanced at Meggan; no doubt she was different. For one thing, her blue eyes were calm and settled, not haunted and widened with absolute terror. Her posture also wasn’t as tense as before, the fragile girl even had a soft smile tugging the edges of her pink lips.
Olivia wondered what made the fragile girl speak. Though she wouldn’t ask right away, she didn’t want to damage the rare sight of a happy Meggan. Instead, Olivia focused on what she should do next. Her body wanted to sleep but her mind wanted to start questioning what happened while she was unconscious. Neither of which she could do.
Hisses and purple scales invaded her mind and a sudden chill ran up her spine. Glowing green eyes burned into her brain, wickedly sharp fangs and forked tongues snapped and snarled at her mind. Olivia flinched, rubbing her arm to be rid of an icy presence lurking around. She remembered when she was tackled to the ground by Lythil, how his sharp teeth pierced into her neck, how the immense pain attacked every nerve in her body. She remembered the pain, the white-hot pain that tore through her weak body; life itself wanting to be ripped out of her.
Lythil wanted to do things to her that no man should without her consent. But Lythil didn’t seem to care, he was obsessed with Olivia, she could see that after she noticed him wanting to see her every day two years after she arrived at the orphanage. It was creepy at first, but then Olivia had gotten used to it. But never did she think that he was apart of a species from a mythical book. She couldn’t properly wrap her head around the thought of it, much less the memories of encountering, living with an entire nest.
Olivia shook her head to silence her thoughts. She decided to rest a little while longer, hoping it would subdue her aching self. She didn’t think they were in danger since there was fog floating around the entrance, keeping the cave hidden; they must’ve been extremely high up to see fog and another mountain ahead at a shorter height. It was another question to ask Dreya once she had come back.
But for the moment, the only thing Olivia was concerned about was resting. Sitting on the rocky cave floor was uncomfortable, laying on her swelling back would be a different level of discomfort. Carefully, Olivia pulled herself to her feet, using the wall behind her. She was mindful of her back, though every moment she made to stand sent waves to pain through her. She winced loudly, her body was screaming at her to stop moving. Every muscle ached and throbbed in agony and tears began to prickle at the corners of her eyes. How could she deal with all the pain slamming into her like a gust of the wind?
Meggan was suddenly beside her. The fragile girl slung Olivia’s uninjured arm around her shoulders and slipped her arm around Olivia’s back. Meggan questioned Olivia with concerned eyes. “What is Olivia trying to do?”
Olivia fought against the tears slipping onto the brim of her eyes and gave the fragile girl a weak smile. “Trying to be comfortable,”
Meggan tilted her head to the side in confusion. “Meggan doesn’t understand,”
Olivia’s smile grew slightly wider. “I can’t use anything as a makeshift bed so I’m trying to get comfortable somewhere else.”
Meggan smiled at her and nodded her head understandingly. Carefully, Meggan helped Olivia walk around the cave to find the flattest spot which was near the back of the cave. Meggan slowly set Olivia down on the ground before she went back over to the tree and broke off a good amount of twigs and small branches.
Olivia, as comfortable as she could, laid down on her side and watched as Meggan dropped the bundle of branches at her feet in front of Olivia. Cocking a brow, Olivia looked at the pile of wood curiously, then at Meggan. “Are you going to light that?”
Meggan shook her head. “Preparing for tonight,”
Olivia gave her a puzzled look. “What’s happening tonight?”
Meggan glanced at Olivia for a second before she shook her head and didn’t answer. Olivia waited a bit longer but Meggan just walked away to the entrance and sat down. Frowning, Olivia watched her for a bit, feeling a little creeped out and glanced at the pile of branches in front of her.
Her frown deepened, What’s happening tonight?′
Olivia decided not to ask, her head was pounding enough as it was. Though her mind drifted to Limrock village. There was hardly anyone who was actually human and those who were might be dead already. Olivia and others barely made it out. It was so horrible to think they had almost died by something she didn’t believe in. Her world felt like it had been broken down and put back together piece by piece in a scrambled mess. How in denial and torn she felt.
If the Snake People were real, so was every other fantasy creature she had heard tales of, sirens, elves, pegasus, even witches. A memory suddenly flashed through her mind and Olivia’s eyes widened, remembering her second encounter with a mythical being, the dragon shifter.