A coarse hissing of whirling dark green dust shattered the silence of the night. A nesting flock of ravens, startled by its sudden appearance scattered almost immediately from the branches of a leafless skeleton of a tree which amoung others, lingered drearily in the midst of a vast expanse of water. The sheer eerie, otherworldliness of the dust cloud sent a collective shiver through the nocturnal Louisiana bayou it materialized in only moments ago. After some time, the dust began to take a vague human form before finally unveiling a hooded figure clothed in a robe of like colour as the dust.
The figure hovered aimlessly, no higher than about five feet above the surface of the still, turbid waters before making a soft landing. It’s feet remained firm on the surface, never immersing within the liquid body.
The individual then exhaled a long, sharp sigh.
“Where am I? What is this place?” The individual spoke with a coarse, raspy yet haggishly feminine voice. Her head lifted gradually, revealing a pair of fierce yellow, reptilian eyes beneath her hood. Her intense gaze swept the surroundings, no doubt in an attempt to ascertain her exact location but to no avail. There was no familiarity to be deduced from this miry deathtrap. Though for some strange reason, she felt right at home. After some minutes of lurking in relative stillness, the woman finally made a move forward. She glided fluidly over the waters at a speed that if nothing else, was preternatural. It would make sense of course, given the circumstances under which her presence graced the morbid and creepy bog. She accelerated just a little more, moving skillfully through the maze of trees and tree skeletons. Before long, she came to what appeared to be the end of the swamp. She had stopped by one of the trees which was several yards away from a river bank up ahead. She took a deep breath, contemplating whether or not to make another move.
Suddenly, a loud grating sound filled the night. The woman cast curious eyes about, making a mental inquiry as to the origin of that dreadful noise.
Her answer quickly came when she spied a white and blue striped speedboat passing not too far from where she was standing. At that moment, the slit pupils of her reptilian eyes dilated, bring the image of the boat much closer whilst simultaneously revealing its occupants. Two Caucasian men dressed in all black. One was short and skinny in stature with messy dark hair and judging from his sullen countenance, he appeared to be somewhere in his mid to late teens, whist the other was taller with long silky strawberry blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail. His bulkier physique coupled with a thick bushy beard definitely indicated that he was the older of the two.
Hmmm, what have we here? She thought to herself as she watched them speed away. She then turned coats and glided back up the river in pursuit of them all the while keeping herself at a safe distance.
She soon caught up to them as the engine sputtered to a halt. She then hid herself behind a nearby tree and observed them keenly. All the while, the two men were completely oblivious to her presence.
She saw the burly man, who was previously controlling the boat, turn and kneel down. Afterwards a slight rumbling echoed from the vehicle and judging from the pulling and tugging actions he was performing, she could tell he was tarrying with something heavy. She then saw him look up toward the younger man.
The two spoke in hushed jabbers so she couldn’t properly make out what they were saying. Although, she did faintly pick up the words “bitch” “deserved” and “got”. The younger man also knelt down and a few seconds later they both stood up, holding either end of a large white bundle.
She kept her eyes on them and watched as they lifted the bundle above their heads and hurled it over board with all their might. It made a huge splash as it connected with the water.
The two men lingered for a time, watching as the bundle completely submerged. The burly man then turned to his younger companion whose sullen countenance had now screwed into a tearful grimace. Grabbing him by the shoulders, he proceeded to shake the young man a few times before speaking to him.
Again, the woman could not make out completely what he was saying, even though the volume of his voice had increased. She could tell that the man was admonishing him in some way. A few minutes after, he released the young man and resumed his position at the steering wheel of the boat. After which, he revved the engines and made an about turn and sped away in the direction from whence they came.
The woman hesitated for a short while before gliding over to the spot where the bundle had been tossed. A few weak ripples followed by some bubbles lingered behind. She then stretched forth her right arm, inadvertently revealing the pallid, scaly flesh concealed beneath her sleeves with long black talons. She muttered something strange under her breath, after which, her arm began to glow an ominous green.
Next minute, a low rumbling shook the swamp. The water beneath her feet began to bubble and foam violently. Then, without warning, a huge geyser erupted before her, though she wasn’t the least bit fazed by it.
After the water resettled itself some minutes later, the woman chuckled with satisfaction as her eyes beheld the discarded bundle now resting on the surface. She quickly bent down and began to unravel the heavy, water-logged white sheets.
A few seconds later, a slight gasp (it sounded more like an exhilarated hiss) escaped her as she laid eyes upon the pale, lifeless countenance of a beatiful red-haired young woman. Her face was frozen in a mingled expression of fear and shock. A closer examination revealed the cause of death: Her throat was slashed. Further unraveling of the sheets revealed the young lady’s naked body and her enlarged abdomen was a sure tell-tale sign that she was pregnant.
The hooded woman couldn’t help but feel a twinge of pity for the unfortunate damsel. As the long, dagger-like talon of her index finger stroked her cheeks, she wondered within herself how she came to meet such a grisly fate and the cold-hearted manner in which her corpse was discarded, as though it was no more than a piece of garbage. Not even a proper, dignified burial. For even a creature as based, vile and murderous as herself, this was quite shocking. But on the flip side she couldn’t help but feel impressed. She had a feeling that she would definitely have need of those two men later on.
She stood back up again, eyeing the corpse over. At this point, the details of this young woman’s unfortunate demise seemed inconsequential. All that mattered now was satiating a ravenous hunger that suddenly aroused itself within her.
Ten thousand years I have been without sustenance. She thought as she ceremoniously drew back her hood, revealing a ghastly, pale, wrinkled, scaly and sunken face. A face that would give a child nightmares for a lifetime. Her withered, crusty lips curled into a wicked smile, revealing rows of rustic looking, serrated fangs. Her body suddenly began to judder as it emitted the same ominous green glow from earlier. Amid a light show of crackling green electricity, she began a horrifying transformation. Her head enlarged and elongated forward into a serpentine snout. Her arms retracted into her body as it stretched dramatically and expanded abnormally. Her legs did likewise and morphed into a large swishing tail.
The process concluded soon after and the true form of what was once a haggish, emaciated woman now laid partially submerged in the water. A gargantuan, white boa, roughly 200 feet in length and possessing the girth of a small car.
The great serpent reared her head and much of her upper extremities high above the water and glowered down at the meal before her. Licking out her long, black forked tongue, she opened her elastic jaws wide, brandishing numerous rows of long, backward pointed fangs as slimy drool oozed from the sides of her mouth. In a swift move, she dove down and in one gulp, swallowed the corpse whole.
“Aaahh, it is still not enough” A partially incensed hiss echoed from her shortly after. She turned her head around, sweeping the swamp with her cold predatory eyes whilst flicking her tongue wildly about. She quickly spotted a thin iridescent mist trailing away from her, something that hadn’t occurred to her earlier.
Of course. She thought. It finally dawned on her that she was infact picking up a scent. No doubt belonging the two men from earlier.
“I must follow it” she hissed to herself. Diving headfirst back into the water, she slithered through its currentless depths with only the tip of her snout protruding from the surface to track the scent trail….
The ride felt as though it had been dragging on for hours. The speed boat had long cleared the dense aquatic forest some miles back and was now veering smoothly along the winding Atchafalaya river. Mangroves and shallow river banks flanked it on both sides.
The large, bearded navigator held an indifferent expression on his face as he stared out at the still watery track before him. His young companion sat silently in the background in a crouched position, hugging his knees. Though he had sobered up since his emotional waterworks display from earlier, his still tear soaked face held a look of utter sorrow and devastation. Eyes suddenly seething with rage and hate drilled into the back of his blonde haired companion.
Every vile thing he could imagine to do to the man coursed through his mind. Of course he knew his puny stature would do him no justice against that giant. For the time being, he allowed his mind to wander. Perhaps even to rummage around deeper into his innermost thoughts. He sought desperately for the last happy memory he had of the young woman before her untimely demise at the hand of this very brute he was cursed to call his father.
She didn’t have to die. He thought remorsefully as he tried to remember her smiling face and her bubbly and cheerful spirit. Those savoury memories were nonetheless eclipsed by the gory and bloody vision of her final struggle for life.
I’m so sorry. He apologized mentally, sniffling. Even if it kills me, I will make this right. I will go to the police and make this bastard pay.
“You crying again boy?” The older man’s booming southern drawl bore down on him.
“No sir” the young man croaked fearfully in response.
“Sure sounds like it to me” the older man responded harshly….
The young man opened his mouth to respond, but before he could……..
A sudden bump sent shockwaves throughout the boat. The young man was thrown forward on to his belly whilst the older man was knocked off balance and nearly fell over board. Luckily he caught himself in time.
“What the fuck was that?” He cursed at the top of his lungs as he held on to the rails. He barely noticed that the boat had come to a halt and that the propellers had gone silent. The younger man slowly climbed to his feet. Like his father, his eyes were wide with confusion and fear. His heart was suddenly racing like a high octane engine as trembling took him over.
They both cast wary glances around, surveying the waters intensely. It was no good, it was too dark and the abundant constellations above provided little illumination. As they struggled to make sense of the situation, another bump upended the boat, plunging both men into the water. The capsized boat immediately went under just as the men hastily resurfaced one after the other. They splashed about frantically in an attempt to keep from submerging.
The numbing frigidity of the water was only making things worse.
Goddamn it. I might die of hypothermia if I don’t drown first. The blonde man thought.
“Evan!!” He cried out to his son who was a good ways away from where he was “Are you alright?”
The young man, Evan, struggled to keep his head above the water.
“WHOA!!!!” He shrieked in panic. Something large and scaly had just brushed past his legs.
“DAAD!!!!!!!, THERE’S SOMETHING IN HERE!”
“Just stay where you are I’m coming” the blonde man called back as he began to swim toward his son. Before he had even gotten half way, he disappeared completely below the surface.
“DAAAAAAAAAADDDDD!!!!!” Evan cried at the top of his lungs, glancing about in dismay.
A few minutes passed and suddenly something massive burst forth from beneath. Evan watched in horror as a colossal white serpent raised it’s ugly head high above the waters. Fastened between its jaws and fangs was the unconscious body of his father.
Evan wanted to scream but his throat went dry. The snake bit down hard upon the man’s body. As the sound of squelching and broken bones echoed through the night, Evan could only watch in utter petrification as the snake opened its jaws and ingested the mangled corpse in one gulp.
This is it. Evan thought, as the serpent’s lethal gaze rested upon him. I’m gonna die here.
His thoughts rang true the very next minute as his lithe frame was swiftly intercepted between the creature’s jaws.
As the last vestiges of life slipped away under the weight of the monster’s enormous fangs, He couldn’t help but wonder. What now?
He exhaled his last breath as his bones shattered into a million pieces. Then his own corpse went to join that of his wretched father’s deep in the belly of the beast.
Tendrils of green electricity engulfed the monster, triggering a second transformation. Fairly quickly, it reverted to human form. Instead of the frightful and grim looking hag from earlier, a lithe, youthful and stunningly gorgeous dark haired woman stood atop the water. Her complexion was like sifted white flour and her scary reptilian eyes had softened into more human-ish amber irises.
Feeling the chilly night air against her naked from, she waved her hands gracefully, conjuring a cloud of black dust around her, instantly clothing herself in a flowing, long sleeved gown.
Hmmm, I forgot just how good humans tasted. She mused to herself as she ran her forked tongue across her rosy peach coloured lips.
“Well, your table manners certainly haven’t improved? Lamia!” Came an extremely dark and sinister voice that sounded all too familiar to her.
“It can’t be!!!” She hissed. Quickly wheeling around, she immediately came face to face with a tall, raven-haired young man whose visage was as ghostly pale as hers. His piercing dark blue eyes coupled with a diabolical smirk that plastered his face sent a pulsating shiver throughout her already cold-blooded veins. And that navy blue and gold armour of his. There was no mistaking it, “Semjazah!”
A long moment of silence passed between them as they eyed each other intently.
“Long time no see my dear.” he remarked finally, in a somewhat condescending tone “You’re looking well”
Lamia’s startled gaze immediately softened before morphing into a wary scowl. “Don’t patronize me Semjazah!” She responded bluntly.
“Relax, I’m not here to fight” Semjazah said jokingly, ” although, I did expect you would’ve been a bit less hostile, given you’ve just had your fill”
“Oh please!!” Lamia dismissed him
“I understand. Being imprisoned for ten thousand years with out food or water would surely make someone with a voracious appetite as you, as they say in this era, cranky…”
“I’m beyond cranky” Lamia bit back a little mordantly “I have centuries of mayhem and destruction to catch up on. Those infernal Nidotopian scoundrels ruined everything!!!! Imprisoning us in the bowels of the earth and destroying our mother.” Her voice took on a slightly sorrowful tone. “Wait a minute!” She leered at him quizzically “how long have you been roaming about?”
“I can assure you my dear, I am no stranger to your misery.” Semjazah said nonchalantly “I myself recently broke free from a rather watery prison a few nights ago, right after the passage of the comet.”
I see…that accursed comet. That gave the Nidotopians the power to vanquish us. Lamia pondered wrathfully within herself.
“Since then I have been scouring the world in search of you and Aggrius.” Semjazah continued
“How very thoughtful of you,” Lamia sneered, “Aggrius has always been a tricky one to find. So where do you propose we start looking?”
“I have a few leads. Mind you, the world as we remembered it has changed. And another thing, our mother isn’t dead, she’s been merely disembodied and her essence is imprisoned within the spiritual plane”
“Are you serious?” Lamia gasped in shock.
“Yes. Also, her darkness has been slowly seeping into the physical world. From what I gathered, it started about 2000 years ago and it’s only been intensifying roughly for about 500 years now.”
“Come to think of it, since I regained my physical form I have been sensing a rather ominous presence around me. However, I merely thought it was my own sinister aura….” Lamia said pensively. “I guess that means our brethren will soon be following. I mean, since we are here”
“Oh they’re already way ahead of us” Semjazah’s tone went gleefully darker. “though regrettably, one of them was vanquished a few nights ago by a young boy wielding the same powers as that incorrigible oaf Ophir and his followers.”
“So that means” Lamia injected a little worriedly
“Yes, the Nidotopian Nation is rising once again” Semjazah finished her sentence. “all over the world, ordinary men and women alike, even children, these so called negroes are exhibiting extraordinary supernatural abilities. Imagine that, the name Nidotopia has been been out of remembrance for generations and now this happens.”
Lamia shuddered at the thought. After all, she of all people understood just how devastating the power of a fully realized Nidotopian can be.
“Then we must get a move on, time is of the essence, we must find Aggrius and our mother” She insisted urgently “and put a stop to this once and for all”
“Yes of course” Semjazah nodded in agreement “These newborns are largely clueless and afraid, completely ignorant of their history and origins. We must by all means stop them from ever coming to the full knowledge of themselves”
Lamia beamed wickedly at him. Her sudden excitement inadvertently shifted her eyes back to their terrifying reptilian form.
“And I know just what to do. So, shall we?” He extended his left hand to her.
Lamia simply glided past him.
“you just can’t help yourself can you” he sighed, shaking his head
“no” she remarked placidly as she levitated off the waters and began to fly off into the distance.
Women. He thought, quickly following suit.