He was afraid of the lamia in the tree at first, but they were nothing but polite, only touching him to pull him into the tree “for his own safety in the jungle night.”
Plus as he sat in that tree he started to realize the lamia was… rather attractive, in the fact at least. He wanted a closer look, but–
As he turned to look at the lamia again he found them staring at him.
“Sorry,” the lamia said, “you’re just–you have very nice eyes.
“The lamia leaned closer. “Do you mind if I just look at your eyes for a little while?”
He smiled. Did the lamia think he was attractive, too? He nodded.
“Yeah, I don’t mind.”
“You certainly won’t mind now,” the lamia said, and his mind faded as swirling colors filled first the lamia’s eyes and then the entire world.
He didn’t mind at all for the rest of the night.
I’m not sure why I feel such an overwhelming desire to return. Not a day goes by I don’t think of her beautiful eyes, her trailing tail coiling and squeezing. I know I shouldn’t… but I think I’ll go back tonight.
It’s almost like I’m hooked.
I stare into their eyes, the hypnotic glow of my own flowing into their head. So sleepy, so happy, I wrap my tail over them…
“That’s it,” I whisper to them, “relax… sink… let my hypnotic spell sink in… further… let my hypnotic hooks embed deeper into your happy mind…”
A small breeze chilled the scales of Ssecar’s long tail. It had been far too long since she had someone in her majestic magenta coils. It was a shame, really, that no one had come by to admire her dazzling scales (and, of course, her dazzling eyes).
It was even more a shame because she needed food soon. Her last big meal was so long, the lack of it felt like its own loneliness.
Hope sprang up at a strange smell. Flowery, but much sweeter. Not like honey; warmer. No, not bees, a distinct hint of a different sort of drone…
A human smell.
So the fact she scented it meant she was surprised when someone tugged her tail below. She didn’t realize whoever they were had been so near.
“Jussst a moment!”
She looked down at robed figure next to a big, layered object with designs like her scales. Odd.
Ssecar lowered herself down behind the figure. “You rang, dear?”
The figure, their face concealed in a hood, spun around. Not in a jumpy manner, but rather like they expected her behind them.
With a flap of their robes the figure flourished their arms to the tall frosted object.
They seemed expectant, but Ssecar merely asked what what this was. The robed figure dropped their arms.
They lifted a pitch pipe, blew into it once, then tossed it behind them before erupting into song.
“Happy Birthday, here’s your cake,
“For you this is what we make!
“You are special, so we say,
“Thank you and…”
The cake burst open as a half-naked guy emerged and sang out, “Happy Birthd–” He then screamed. “Why are we in a jungle?”
The cake guy glared at the robed figure. “You did not tell me we were going into the jungle!”
Ssecar was both amused and intrigued. She grinned–a human brought right to her tail?
“And why is there a snake here?” the cake guy asked.
“Now, now, little one, don’t worry…”
The cake guy stepped back. “And the snake is talking?”
“Don’t worry your little head, dear,” Ssecar said, staring close into his eyes, radiating hypnotic pink and green rings like glistening candy into his head. “I won’t bite… a sssingle gulp is more my ssstyle.”
“A single… what…?” The cake guy’s eyelids drooped as the glowing colors reflected in his eyes, filling him with drowsy magic.
“Oh, never mind that,” Ssecar said. She chuckled and slipped her tail over his shoulders to pull him close. “Jussst relaxss, I’d like to thank you…”
Ssecar flicked her tongue over the cake guy’s lips to taste him and grinned. It had been too long since such a taste. She wrapped her tail over his body and under his arms to lift him into the tree.
Soon the cake guy was secure and too dizzy under the colors to do anything.
Ssecar broke the gaze to see if she could convince the robed figure to join them. She found the robed figure to be gone.
A card sat on the ground where they had stood. It read:
“Happy Birthday! Have fun!”
You shiver. Where’d that sudden breeze come from? You leave your office and check the living room and stumble back as your new lamia friend of a few days slithered up to you.
“Hi! I was thinking about you and thought I’d come visit!”
“But,” you say, “wait, I always lock–” You realize your window is open. “Did you break into my house?”
“Weeeell, I didn’t want to disturb you,” she said. “I just wanted to come in and ssssstare at you, maybe?”
“Okay.” You sigh. “Do you think maybe you’re getting a little obsessed?”
She leaned forward with narrowed eyes. “Hmph. Well how about…” She smiled and opened her eyes wide as they swirled with colors that tickle your brain with pulling warmth. “You become obsessed with me too!”
As you fall into her stare she hugs her arms around you and wraps her tail over you. “We can become obsessed with each other and just stare into each other’s eyes until there’s nothing we can think about but each otherrrrrr.”
She kisses your face as her spell soaks in. Obsession takes hold. She’s all you can think about. She’s all you want to think about, all you want to see…
kiss kiss kiss
You enter the dark lab, spacious but half-filled with series of huge terrariums. From what you’ve heard, you have expect the scientist there spent half the time in the terrariums.
From what you’ve heard this might not be the best idea.
Still, you need the extra cash, and you looked over the papers you signed pretty thoroughly. It didn’t look like you’d be testing anything dangerous.
“Dr. Simon?” you call out. There’s a clatter further in the dark lab; you can’t see too far.
“Ah, you’ve arrived!”
The tangle-haired scientist peered from around the corner. They stood tall but thin, gaunt even.
“You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting down here with a busted television.”
The doctor frowned and adjusted their glasses. “Er. You are the television repairer, right?”
“N-No, I’m the tester you hired,” you say.
Dr. Simon grinned. “Ah, even better! Though we may have to reschedule for the television tests.” He turned back to the table. “Still, great to have the new guinea–err, test subject from New Guinea! You’re from that island, right?”
“Ah, no matter, not sure why I thought that.”
“Excuse me.” You approach the scientist. “Did you say test subject?”
“Tester, tester, my apologies!” They motion for you to follow; you stop to look around after each step. “I’m so used to using science terms like that.”
Dr. Simon leads you to a chair and asks you to take a seat. After glancing around–there’s not much sciencey around, just a table with a box and papers, and the ever-present terrarium of course–you sit down.
“Put these on, please.” Dr. Simon hands you a pair of sunglasses.
You put them on.
“Do you feel any different?”
“Not really,” you say.
“It’s harder to see. I can barely see the terrarium now.”
“Perfect!” Dr. Simon pulls a lever and you shout as the lab lights up like an exploding street lamp. Now you can clearly see the terrarium.
“Thanks for the sunglasses, I guess.” You wonder if you’re really just testing them. You’re not sure what kind of scientist Dr. Simon is, now that you think about it.
An extra spotlight is shone in the terrarium, and you see movement inside.
You try to peer closer but find somewhere along the line you were restrained to the chair. “Hey! What gives?”
“Entirely for your own protection, I promise. Just watch the terrarium, please.”
You look back and flinch at a huge snake watching you from behind the glass.
That must be what the big terrarium is for. You stare each other down for a moment before something in the snake’s eyes change. It’s hard to see between the bright light and sunglasses, but the snake’s eyes are suddenly very pretty. You want to remove the glasses to see better.
“See the snake’s eyes changing?”
“Uh-huh,” you say. You can’t move to remove the glasses and suppose that’s why the restraints.
“Look away, please.”
For a moment it’s like moving your head through water but you break sight from the snake. You shake your head a bit. Weird.
Dr. Simon laughs like a maniac. “It worked! It worked, you smug pile of scales!”
You start to worry if Dr. Simon is completely all there.
“Er, how do you feel?”
“Funny. Like I was staring at the sun but gravity increased.”
“Now, if you don’t mind, look again.”
You look at Dr. Simon. “Are you sure?”
“I made a promise in the contract you would be in no danger. We must test this for science.”
You look back at the snake, but its eyes aren’t changing now.
“Use your special power or I won’t feed you later, you snake!” Dr. Simon says.
For a moment it looks like the snake shakes its head and–shrugs? It’s a very expressive snake, somehow. It looks back at you and its eyes begin to sparkle again, and you once again find it fascinating–but your only desire to remove the glasses is curiosity.
Then the lights dim.
You assume Dr. Simon is slowly dimming the lights. This makes it harder to see the terrarium and the snake. But the snake’s eyes are brighter now. You can see what’s happening, their eyes are swirling with yellow, green, and blue colors.
They’re beautiful. You want to stare.
The darker the lights get, the brighter the snake’s eyes. You want to stare, and you feel a thought tickling at you to remove the glasses and see the snake better.
You realize Dr. Simon said something. He sounds further away. He repeats it, telling you to look away.
You don’t want to look away. You give a half-hearted attempt to loll your head away, but your sight stays on the snake. That sends a worry through you–can you look away? You strain your head, your eyes seemingly magnetized to the snake, but with a push you break the gaze.
You pant for a moment. Why was that so hard? You look for Dr. Simon; they’re hardly visible between the dim lights and your sunglasses. You ask what this is.
“I’ll explain it in a bit,” they say. “I would like to do one more test with these glasses, if it’s okay.”
You don’t know what this is, but–you’re a bit scared. If you kept looking, what if you couldn’t look away?
“Please, I promise you will be safe,” Dr. Simon says. For the first time he sounds–reserved? As if he now became serious. “I would like to be thorough with the tests.”
“If it’s all the same, I refuse.”
“I’ll pay you an additional 20%.”
Dr. Simon made gagging noises. “I’m not made of money! I’m a scientist, for crying out loud!”
You turn away (making sure to shut your eyes so you don’ see the snake again).
Finally Dr. Simon sighs.
“Very well, an additional 30% of the agreed amount.”
“Can I get that in writing?”
“You’re going to hold up the story.”
“Nothing! I’ll write it up real quick right now!”
Once the additional pay is guaranteed you sigh to steel yourself. Would that extra amount matter? Would you be able to use it staring at a snake forever? Well, you agreed to it. It’s time to do it.
You look at the snake again.
Those swirling colors seem to tickle your brain.
The lights dim further. The snake’s eyes are all you can see. The lights dim faster as those pretty colors fill your sight. It’s almost like you’re not wearing sunglasses at all. It’s almost like those wonderful colors are within the sunglasses.
It’s like they’re in your eyes…
It feels so good to stare. Why didn’t you want to look again? It’s so nice to look. You just want to look at the snake’s eyes forever…
You hear a muffled sound as if someone spoke through glass. You find it very easy to ignore. You just stare at the colors. Hear the colors…
You blink. Where did the colors go? The lab’s lights are coming back. You blink the colors out of your head and realize a curtain is between you and the terrarium now.
You shake your head and see Dr. Simon shrugging. He’s saying something about–
“…could have gone better.”
“Oh, you’re awake! You might feel a bit groggy, though.”
That was an understatement. Did you fall asleep?
“Still, thank you! The results weren’t what I wanted, but they were very useful!”
“Just… what was that?” you ask. Your brain somehow feels… sticky.
“I’ll tell you after the other test.”
You glare at them and shout, “Other test?”
“The contract did say two items would be tested.”
Oh. Right. It did.
“Besides, I did keep you safe, right?”
You look at the curtain. That’s true. They did let you lift from that haze.
“Okay, what is it?”
Dr. Simon removes the sunglasses and places a pair of plastic glasses on you.
“Are these… 3D movie glasses?”
“Slightly modified, the red is replaced with green.”
A blue lens and a green lens.
Wait a minute…
“Do as before and stare intently!”
Dr. Simon removes the curtain. The snake perks up in surprise and takes a bow as if on stage.
“All right, don’t ham it up, just do it,” Dr. Simon says.
The snake once again looks at you.
You still feel the tingling, but it’s not as strong. In fact, every time a ring matching the color of your lens emerges your eye gets twitchy, and you start blinking incessantly.
“You’re blinking,” Dr. Simon says.
“I can’t help it.” You shut your eyes and shake your head.
The snake frowns. Dr. Simon grins.
“A result! I have to say I wasn’t expecting that to go so well. Future testing will be helpful, but this shows blocking every third color disrupts the flow!”
“Great, glad to hear you got a good result,” you say. You’d like to get up now.
Soon Dr. Simon brings down the curtain again and unlocks the seat restraints. You stretch.
“So what was that?”
“Tell me, have you ever been hypnotized?”
“This is a rare type of snake discovered with the ability of a vision-based hypnotic ability.”
You stare at them.
“I was hypnotized?” you ask. You suddenly feel more awake than when you’d come in. Was it shock? Anger? Something else?
“But what if that snake put some post-hypnotic suggestions in me or something?”
Dr. Simon waves a hand. “Couldn’t. No sound. Glass prevented it.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’ve been studying it,” Dr. Simon said. “This was just the first test of ways to block it. Just don’t look too intently at traffic lights for a few days.”
Dr. Simon pays you the money as per the contracts and thanks you for your assistance in testing.
As you leave you stop. “Dr. Simon?”
They look up. “Yes, anything else you need?”
“You said you’ll need to do future testing, right?”
“Oh, yes, there’s still much to be done.”
You spin around. They step back at the sudden movement.
“Can I keep being the test subject?” you plea.
Ssecar is RiZ’s character
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