by Brianna G. Harte
PREVIOUSLY, ON “THE KNIGHT OF XEO”
At first, I wasn’t sure what to do. Inside, I knew I could never hurt it. It just seemed. . . wrong. I also knew that there was nowhere to go. I simply let it come to my side as I bit my lips. The reptile wrapped around itself until finally letting its head come up.
“What do you want from me?” While speaking, a hiccup jumped through my chest.
I didn’t expect it to respond. In a way, it didn’t. However, I understood what it was thinking.
It was as though its feelings entered my head, and along with them came something else. They weren’t exactly words. And yet, I was able to discern them as such.
The snake curled up beside me seemed pensive and curious; a sense circulated gradually, hesitating, and then continuing on an almost random path. I can’t be sure, but it seemed as though it thought, There is no need for fear. None for us, and none for you. I do not understand your withdrawal. Do you not understand as we do?
I wanted to respond, to explain. This was my intention at first. Then, it seemed far too silly to talk to a reptile, so instead, I let my head fall on my knees.
Why will you not interact with us, little girl?
A slightly fainter path of thought seemed long and slow, stopping shortly after it emerged. She probably doesn’t understand us like most humans. Her question probably wasn’t meant to be a question for us. At least, not really.
“I can understand you,” I mumbled. Or at least I think I can.
A building, shaky cloud resonated with them all. The striped snake within a hand’s reach away lifted its head up, and began to shift its body around to come closer to me.
I scooched myself away immediately. “That doesn’t mean I want you closer!”
How can you understand us? We’ve never heard of anyone that can really hear us.
“How am I supposed to know? I didn’t even know I could understand animals . . . and I’m losing my mind. I’m talking to a bunch of snakes!” I exclaimed to myself. My fingers reached my temples, massaging them in hopes that whatever imagination it was would dissipate.
You’re not crazy.
Well, you can’t really tell. I’ve heard about humans that start seeing and hearing things after they ingest weird things.
I bit back the thought of pointing out that they ate eggs and mice whole, but decided against it.
If you understand us, can you tell us why you are in this underground room?
I didn’t answer. And this time, it wasn’t because I didn’t want to. I searched for memories. What happened before I was put in the room. All I could tell was whoever led me to my situation didn’t want me to die. Vines grew down into the room, offering various fruits that had not yet made me suffer. The bedding as well was probably provided to me or the room was already mildly furnished. It was a kind enough gesture.
And then I thought of my dream that still made me shiver. Maybe the spine-chilling voice was right. My parents abandoned me. Why else would they leave me in a hole, where no one else had visited?
I took a deep breath, and exhaled. “I don’t know.”
Copyright © 2017 Brianna G. Harte. All rights reserved.
I’m continuing with this story, which I’m calling “The Knight of Xeo”. The plan is to add on to this every other day. So far, so good.