Lapsus Calumni #3 – The Serpent’s Hold

Late last evening Snikle appeared at the back door leading to my deck. He didn’t knock on the glass of the sliding glass door, merely stood there. When I realized he was there, standing quiet and unmoving, it gave me a rather start. I would not admit  it, but a girlish yelp may have slipped out.

“Ye’d not last long in the dungeons of Sylnae , lad,” he stated flatly as I unlocked the door and slid it open. “Not long at all.”

“Good evening to you too Snik,” I ushered him into the dinning room. I should note here that my wife is a lover of Halloween and has already taken the liberty of decorating our house for the holiday. When I say decorate, you probably do not understand my full meaning. My house could pass for a B movie set in Hollywood. That should paint the picture a little better.

Snikle stopped at the door, his eyes wide and a finger pointing at the large skull that dominated our large wooden table. “What nonsense is this? Have you begun worshipping Rraeth?” Barely noticeable and buried beneath his accent, his voice had shaken a bit.

I chuckled slightly until he threw me an unjoking glance. He was seriously questioning me. I cleared my throat and threw him a nervous grin. “Of course not Snik, it is Halloween, one of our holidays and my wife gets a little out of hand with the decorations, nothing more.”

He looked around the room, appearing to take in all the decorations: a rat there, some ‘blood’ spilled on the counter, a bat hanging in the corner, a shrunken head hanging from the fan above the table. His eyes danced around for a moment and then came to rest on the pile of vicious looking snakes about to strike from the corner. “It is like a festival of nightmares! How do you sleep with all this about?”

Again, I chuckled, which from his glance at me did not sit well with him. “They are nothing but plastic, stuffing and paint. Nothing to be afraid of my friend. Come sit, I will get you a drink.”

He sat down and gladly took a Smirnoff Twisted (he prefers the Green Apple). “Ah! Smirnoff!” he uttered excitedly as his accent pronounced the name slightly off. “And the Green Apple! The best of them I have yet tasted.” He took a sip and I could see him visibly relax as the liquid went down his throat. When his eyes opened, they traveled to the pile of snakes in the corner.

“Don’t like snakes Snik,” I inquired and motioned to the decoration. “I can move them if you wish…”

“No, no,” he took another drink, but did not look elsewhere. “They just remind me of a time with Lexx. We had found this artifact in a tomb of some Cardaraen prince or princess, time has made me forget now.”

I sat back with a smile. It was story time again, and when Snikle told a tale, it would be a long, and enjoyable, evening…

Click here to download issue three of Lapsus Calumni.

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