It moves across the floor towards me, rapid and agile in a way no creature without legs should be. I freeze, swallowing as I watch it with wide-eyes. In the dim light, its skin is silvery and with a sheen to it.
As it moves closer, the ridges of its scales become more obvious. It raises its head, mouth half-open as its tongue flicks out to taste the air. To taste me.
I notice something more at its back, strangely raised ridges and thicknesses to its body. I wonder if they are scars or some deformity, but the train of thought is lost as it slithers from the floor and onto my mattress.
It is mere inches from me, and I am frozen still. I cannot move in the smallest of ways. It rapidly bobs its head, giving a nasty hiss. I want to flinch, but my stillness remains unbroken.
As it moves closer, carefully climbing over my foot and up my leg, I inhale sharply. It stops momentarily, moving to coil on my knee and stare at my eyes. I stare back.
Its mouth opens once again, tongue flicking, and I could swear that it is smirking at me. The expression is predatory and victorious and the thought crosses my mind unbidden: I am going to die.
It gives another quiet hiss, beginning to move again. Its weight is suprising on my shoulder, and I feel a whimper in the back of my throat. It does not react, quickly coiling on my shoulder.
I have mere seconds left. It is going to strike, lunge at my neck or my face. I want to scream, but I have no wish to provoke it further. Those extra seconds of life make all the difference.
I feel it tense, and I close my eyes tightly, anticiating fangs at my throat.
They do not come. I hear a sound like a book being opened in the middle. It sounds again and I feel something flat at my neck.
Curiosity overtaking terror, I open my mouth. The snake launches itself forwards and off my shoulder, but it does not fall to the floor.
It glides, wings outstretched with a greenish sheen to them. It does a quick circuit of the room, and I swallow for the second time. It returns to me, settles on my knee once again. I must be imagining it. I must be.
And yet I hear it, voice low, sly and slightly accented, I see its mouth move as it says the words:
"You humans scare easy, huh?"