Friday, April 6, 2012

MuseCalliope Week 98: Inconvenient Snakes

Muse Calliope

Picture 1

Picture 2

Muse Calliope's Choice: Picture 2


Inconvenient Snakes

As a matter of principle, Savannah hated snakes. It wasn’t anything personal; she just had a long standing animosity towards the slithery little bastards that the animals were only too keen to match in return. Godly unpleasant creatures, the lot of them, and it didn’t help that they tended to react to her in sudden and vicious ways. Take her current predicament for example. The not-even-remotely-small snake was buried in the sand and coiled tight. With its tan scales it pretty much blended in perfectly with the sun baked ground. Only reason Savannah had known it was there before stepping on it was because Isis, one of her cats, had noticed it just in time. Lucky her. Unfortunately, she now had the problem of a sleeping snake lying between her and her goal. Delightful.

Sighing, Savannah rubbed at the back of her neck and glanced around. Once upon a time, the ancestors of local mortals had dug deep into the mountain and built themselves a shrine in honour of some god or other long since made myth. The cavern she stood in was giant sphere and the unassuming entrance she’d come through was little more than a hole in the rock, neither of which effectively prepared her for the sight of massive Doric columns supporting the shrine’s opening across the cavern. Shallow stone steps lead up between the columns to a triad of arched doorways, the middle playing host to a crumbling statue of the long forgotten deity. Savannah’s plan had been simple; slip in, get inside the shrine, take what she needed, slip out. Easy as pie. So why did the stupid snake have to go and ruin things?

She had brought weapons along of course, but killing animals was never a good idea when dealing with the Fae. She herself was always keenly aware of where her cats were, what they were feeling, what they were thinking, hell, even what they were seeing if she put some effort into it. It put this whole situation dab smack between that stupid rock and hard place. She couldn’t risk this snake being Bound to a Noble and conveying back to its master what she was up to anymore than she could risk killing or ensorcelling it and having the backlash alert its master that someone was here.

To be fair, Savannah had to admit she probably wouldn’t be nearly so worried about the dang thing if snakes were her wicked stepmother’s animal. Or one of them anyway. She couldn’t even begin to describe how very much she didn’t want Aoife of all people to know what she was up to. Especially right now. Especially right here.

Savannah sighed. “Any ideas?” she asked aloud, glancing around at her prowling horde of cats. They, of course, recommended killing it, big surprise. Sighing again, she shook her head and considered her options. Were snakes one of the animals that could see through Fae glamour? Savannah knew cats and dogs and certain birds could, but she wasn’t sure about snakes, a rather irresponsible, not to mention inconvenient, oversight in her education. She supposed she could try sneaking around its coils along the wall but if it was a Bound animal it would be hypersensitive to encroachments on its territory and she wouldn’t get very far. Which left calling for reinforcements.

The idea didn’t thrill her, but she wasn’t seeing any other choice. She studied the snake for another minute, glanced around the unhelpfully empty cavern, and huffed in resignation. No, there really wasn’t another choice.

Closing her eyes, Savannah turned her power and consciousness inwards, reaching for that place inside that connected her to her any and all who had sworn her loyalty. It took her a moment to study the threads and find the one she wanted. Carefully, paying special attention not to disturb any other ties, she tug once, twice, three times. Now all she had to do was wait and hope that in the meantime the snake continued on oblivious to her presence.

Damn, but she really hated snakes.