As dangerous as the jungle might be, you’re not afraid one bit. You can handle anything that might come your way. No problem. You recline against the rough bark and try to work out a way to stay in the jungle. Maybe you could prove to Bagheera you can make it on your own. If you save his life, he would owe you a favor, right? How would you save his life, though? Maybe it’d be easier to just run off.
At a scraping sound you glance up. Someone else is in the tree. As the leaves rustle you tense up to prepare for whatever is up here. You won’t let anybody catch you off guard.
“Who’s this? All alone in a tree?” A human face comes down from the leaves, her features smooth and smiling to you. Her long hair flows past her, and she pulls it aside to look at you with gleaming eyes. You start to relax at the sight of another human, though you cautiously wonder where she came from, but you tense up again at the sight past her slim human figure where, rather than hips leading to legs, a thick scaly tail snakes into the leaves above. She lowers herself to your branch and rests her upper tail on it, nearly as thick as the branch itself.
You peer at her. “You’re a lamia, aren’t you?” You’ve heard tales of lamias, although the stories varied wildly and you were never sure how much was myth.
The lamia nods and rubs her chin. “You’re a sharp one.” Her face drops. “But you’re just a human, aren’t you? What are you doing out here? It’s dangerous in the jungle alone.”
You cross your arms and look away. “I can take care of myself.”
The lamia moves closer. “But a tiger could climb up and attack you.”
“I’m not afraid of some striped orange furball.”
“Monkeys could come and pluck you away.”
“I can handle those jokers.”
The lamia leans forward. “A barbershop quartet of vultures could make you sing with them.”
You look at her. “Wait, does that sort of thing happen?”
She smiles. “Oh, yes. You never know what you might see deep in the jungle.”
You didn’t notice before, but this lamia is awfully beautiful. Her hair sparkles like moonlight, her eyes shine like sunlight, and her long tail glistens like dew. A relaxing tingle spreads from your head when you look at her and you gaze closer.
“You have to keep your guard up to avoid the jungle’s dangers.” She creeps to you, leaning forward, and you lean into her face. Something about her is fascinating. You’ve never met anyone like her. Which makes sense, as you’ve never met a lamia, but there’s something more. When you see her you feel like you could breathe out all your worries and drift away.
“Why, if you’re not careful . . .” She holds your arms and looks at you. You realize her eyes are flashing pretty colors into your own. “Someone could just come right up to you . . .” You stare at her with eyes wide; your mouth drops open from the sight of her lovely eyes. The dark jungle grows darker and blurry as only the lamia comes into focus. “And before you realize it . . .” The lamia puts her hands on your shoulders, her own bare shoulders arched high. She sways her head and you follow as if on an invisible leash, your eyes locked onto hers. “She’s hypnotizing you.”
You really don’t fully realize it, even as the colors in her eyes ripple out and obscure the world around you. Something seems wrong about what’s happening, but all your senses are telling you that everything is right; it’s hard to hold onto the thought that something is wrong. You feel relaxed, soothed, a little mushy and heavy and above all good. You like the lamia, she’s nice and friendly and melodious. She’s beautiful, her swirling eyes an utter splendor. Why wouldn’t you stare at her? It just feels so right.
“Yes,” the lamia says with a grin, “she could slide right up and hypnotize you, and you wouldn’t even know it.” She pulls away slightly and you float forward so your back is no longer against the tree. “She could even tell you that she’s hypnotizing you, and there’s nothing you could do.”
You’re not sure what she’s saying. Hypnotizing? You feel you should look away, but more and more feelings are growing that you should never pull your gaze from her. Silken scales scrape over your thighs, and muscles soft and cool like a soapy stream squeeze around your waist.
“And while you’re unrealizingly being hypnotized,” the lamia says, “she could begin to wrap you up with her tail, starting low and coiling her way up.” She drags your head and body so her tail can smoothly wind around you.
You wonder what she’s talking about but your mind wanders. The soft squeezing rubs your back as it climbs to your chest, pinning your arms close. The scales have grown thick around your waist, coils as thick as your waist, and thicker still. They heavily pull you down into a further daze, and yet they prop you up, freeing you from supporting your own body and letting you relax.
“She could tell you she’s hypnotizing you,” says the lamia with a low chuckle, “tell you of her soft tail coiling higher towards your neck, softly holding you in place as she sways your sleepy head and sways your mind into her spell, but even if you could realize what was happening it would be too late.” Your eyelids waver as your mouth twitches into a smile. The world fills with beautiful colors; there is only the lamia, and nothing else matters.
“She could tell you every detail, explain every single thing she’s doing, but you would be unable to do anything . . .” The caressing coils reach your neck and softly squeeze tight. As her scaly muscles squish over you your eyes pop open and a beaming smile stretches across your face. “Unable to do anything . . .” She leans closer and brushes your lips with hers. “But love it.”
The lamia locks your lips together in a kiss as your eyes are locked to hers in hypnosis, melting away any remaining thoughts that weren’t bliss and love. Every word she spoke was a melody harmonizing with the hypnosis; it didn’t matter what she said, it only served to pull you deeper.
If you wanted a way to stay in the jungle, this was it. With your body wrapped in her tail and your mind wrapped in her hypnosis, the lamia lifts you off the branch and carries you to another tree. Bagheera never notices. Oh well.
The timeline gets fuzzy after that. It’s about as understandable as that lamia’s explanation was to your hypnotized mind. Who knows where you ended up.
Well, you could end up in another timeline. You have that power! I’m giving it to you! Head back to where this started and you can check out the other branches.
That is, if you don’t want to stay in this one for a little while.