A huge snake! What will Ed do now? He better do something, and he better do it fast!
THE MISTS OF PAPOOSE POND
Chapter Thirty Four
No wonder Louise has terror in her eyes. This snake is absolutely huge. The alternate universe this bad boy lives in is filled with big shit-swimming vermin, but this one is obviously the master of them all. He, or she, must be some sort of royalty.
Satan left a fucking serpent in charge. Why? How did the huge number of Zombies we encountered before get to that state? They are undead humans. This is a universe of snakes and not people.
Think, Ed, think! No philosophical logic. They’re here for a reason; this is their leader. Kill the leader, and it’s all over. Right?
The monster stares me down, intelligence in its eyes, and its brain is chugging away a mile a minute. There are no other evil entities present here: not even any other snakes.
The other snakes failed at their job. They let us through. Damn! They can reason as well as the bigger one. Something weird, very weird, is going on here.
I walk to within feet of the beast and twist my thoughts between the evil, slanted eyes, beyond the scaly head covering, and deep within its cerebral cortex. In seconds, I know all I need to know.
Raising my sword, I say, “Prepare to die. Do you wish to do it in this form, or in your true persona?”
“You can’t kill me, little man! I’m immortal.”
“Think again. You’ve been screwed by your Angelic kin. Once Satan put you here, supposedly to hand you a universe you could call your own, you lost your immortality.”
“You’re crazy! God made me to be immortal.”
“Yes, He did. On Earth; in another universe. The ball’s not in your home court anymore, lizard belly.”
He roars his rage and lunges forward, his tongue whipping out at me, becoming target practice for my sword. Even an Angelic snake can freak out, and the monster does exactly that as he stares at his forked tongue writhing around on top of the sewage before it sinks. His mind tells me he is preparing to change to his other form and leave this state of existence while he still has time, but before his wings even start appearing, I reach over farther and smartly slice his head off.
His tongue-less head plops into the water. This bastard is finished.
I rush to Louise and hug her. “Don’t mind my appearance and bad odor, sweetie, but this is not a very clean place.”
She smiles and pulls herself closer in to me. “I’ll take you any way I can get you, big guy. You’re my man.”
The angel snake head peers back at both of us, seemingly still dead, but something . . .something tells me otherwise.
“Are you sure that thing can’t still get us, Ed? It doesn’t look dead to me. Look at those eyes.”
No thoughts are running through that ugly head of his, but something isn’t quite right. “I’m wondering myself if you’re not on to something, Louise. I don’t think it would be wise for us to leave his head behind.”
“You’re not . . .?”
“Yes, I don’t have a choice, sweetie. I don’t want to bring this thing back to the war on earth-it will become immortal once more-but I believe if we make a deal with it things should go better, and we’ll get out of here easier.”
Louise can’t believe the words popping out of my mouth, and even though she’s overjoyed at being freed, my plan of making nice-nice with a demonic snake head doesn’t hit her as being too particularly clever.
“Ed, you’re fucking crazy!”
I laugh. “Just one of my charms, my dear.”
Looking at the bobbing head and back to Louise, I say, “Do you want me to carry you out of here?”
“Not on your life! I want to be on my own two feet in case you come up with some other weird ideas.”
“You’re killing me! Tsk, tsk. Okay, I’ll carry our friend here. He can clear the pathways for us to leave here, and in exchange, I’ll release him on Earth. My guess? He’ll be pretty angry at Satan for being duped, and he’ll fight on our side.”
“And if he doesn’t?”
“We’re fucked. But let’s think positive.”
“Yeah, like wallowing through miles of shit is a positive thing.”
“Hey, our little buddy will keep his kin folk away from us and the Zombies are already cleared away. Just a stroll in the park for us.”
I laugh once more, and we start our little trek out of this shit-hole. I suppose I could have sliced through another multiverse, but who knows what we would have found in that one, and it would have entailed doing battle in a place where my new recruit-okay, so I could be jumping the gun with that kind of thinking-would be powerless to help us and I would be merely carrying around dead weight.
Besides, I will know real soon if the Angel snake will be amiable to go along with my plan or not. His thought transferences aren’t strong enough for me to read anything at all. Maybe he is dead after all and won’t come back to life.
My remaining army and I encounter no resistance at all on the trek out. This is a good thing since we are exhausted and can use a little respite from the war. The smaller snakes are still present; I can feel them sliding around between us; but they make no effort to attack us. I sense their thoughts and know they realize I am carrying the head of their leader. Nothing in their thoughts tell me the big guy is still alive. Maybe they merely believe if I could kill their boss that they don’t stand a chance.
Louise was right: the closer we get to Earth, the more my snake head buddy comes back to some sort of life form. Exactly what he will be, and how it will all come about is a big mystery. Will he become a snake once more by regenerating his lost body, or is that possible?
Shit! On Earth, he will be immortal once more, and I certainly can’t see him striking from the posture of a mere head.
An Angel would make more sense to me. This would be his natural form and a means of either retribution against Satan or an easier way for him to attack me. I can’t be certain of either one yet, since his mind still hasn’t started any cognitive thinking.
I certainly hope his thoughts become strong enough for me to read soon. I’m taking a big chance here, but I gambled with the Zombie ghosts, the chained to the wall demons, and others, and so far everything has panned out for the best.
Will my luck hold out, or will my deck of cards produce nothing but jokers?
The pouring river of sewage and Zombies have forged their way through the slashed openings between the multiverses created by my sword. The garbage is on its way to Earth to join the fray. Water seeking its own level, I suppose. But in this particular instance, the water is tainted: by both the effluent and the evil.
Thought transferences start coming from my passenger. They are filled with hate and anger. The bad news for me is that animosity is shared for both me and Satan. My serpentine Angel does not see much of a difference between the two of us. Not much gratitude for me getting him out of the cesspool Satan stuck him in.
Okay, I suppose I did slice his head off and remove his slithering tongue, but a man has to defend himself, doesn’t he? Besides, soon his powers will be restored to him.
My motley band continues forward, the sounds of dissent and confusion filling my mind. Even my own warriors doubt my wisdom in handling things the way I am. I might have to go to Plan B later on, whatever that might be. Unleashing one giant snake on mankind and untold numbers of other ones bent on destruction would totally confound the field of battle.
“Okay, my man,” Louise says, “what’s going on in that mind of yours and the minds of our traveling companions? The cogs are turning in your brain. Good news or bad?”
“I’m not sure, sweetie. This could go either way. Yes, I suppose I’m taking a huge chance here, but the times call for drastic measures.”
“I agree with that, but I don’t feel right about all of this. Something bad is going to happen.”
Shaking my head, I say, “Something bad is going to happen no matter what the scenario might be. Satan has a full bag of tricks. As close as I come to taking him out of the picture before, He still managed to escape. Remember too that he is immortal, at least until such time as God destroys Him.”
“Can God destroy Him? Maybe even He doesn’t have the power. He did make the Angels to be immortal. Would not a part of his strength be diminished with him destroying a part of Himself?”
“I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Just when I think I have a handle on things, something new pops up. We humans sure were a sheltered lot for a lot of years. Those who claimed to know things were laughed at and shoved to the side. It appears that scorn and derision was undeserved.”
A sound like that of a waterfall echoes in the distance. The closer we get to it, the more agitation I sense from the serpentine head. He knows we’re close to the time when he will obtain power once more, and the demon is gearing up to use it.
The stench of shit hitting the molten lava and becoming airborne assuages my nostrils. Steam rises everywhere as the purification of God’s super heated river takes charge of the filth pouring out from Satan’s vile portion of Hell. Careful . . .we must be careful not to be swept off the edge of the cliff and into the churning turbulence below.
“Hang on!” I shout out. “You fall; you’re part of the burning shit hole!”
My webbed buddies, the demons chained to the walls of Hell, and the multitude of snakes all grab for hand-holes to keep from being swept to their deaths. I sense a few not able to dodge the bullet, but our losses are low.
The snakes slither around on the ground, waiting for word from their Master as to what to do. The decision from the great Angel snake-head will take a little time.
With a super display of determination forged deep within his soul from his hatred of both Satan and me, the giant head morphs slowly and painfully into what it was before I removed his tongue and head deep within the bowels of the alterverse where Satan had placed him to rule. Inch by inch, and foot by foot, he grows, his dark eyes spewing vengeance as he stares me down.
Fuck! There is no doubt now as to his intentions: revenge, and plenty of it.
He reaches his full length once more and towers over the rest of the combatants. None of us can match his size, and on Earth, his immortality will reign supreme.
Once more he roars his rage, ready for action; ready to get even.
“Finish him off now! Don’t hesitate! This human is more clever than the rest and refuses to quit. The possibility of death does not deter him. Now! Do it now!”
The serpent turns his eyes from me to Satan. A cold chill runs through the air as he mentally calculates his next move. Before anyone can react, he jumps at Satan, attacking Him viciously, biting enormous chunks of flesh from Him. The smaller snakes attack as well, and soon, the Dark angel is covered in biting snakes.
Satan fights back powerfully, recruiting some of his Angels to assist Him. I jump in and attack the incoming flying beasts, not wanting to have my sword do damage to the big snake or his kin.
Damn, how I would love to attack the Devil as well, but this time I am forced to stand aside and fight lesser foe.
Satan is pissed that His former comrade would turn against him, but He knows why and doesn’t try to talk the great beast out of it. The battle is tough, and though I’m able to hold the Angels at bay, Satan manages to rise up into the air and shakes the snakes off him before he flies off, hell bent on removing Himself from the war.
The giant serpent, visibly upset that Satan has escaped his grasp, turns and faces me, a look of hatred showing deep within his soul and exiting via the enormity of those huge, black eyes.
He hovers over me and roars once more before swooping down to meet me head on.
I ready my sword, knowing I can’t kill him, but needing to defend myself and my troops.
The stagnant odor of his breath approaches rapidly; the blackness of the giant’s eyes is reflected from the surface of my shining sword.
His mouth opens wide . . .