I was on a walk with my husband and our youngest daughter. It was a glorious day. It was the kind of day that begs to be spent outdoors as long as possible. The grass was tall. It was up to my shoulders and I could see a sea of golden grass waving in every direction. The sun was shining, but it wasn't in my eyes and I didn't need my sunglasses. There was a path that we followed without really knowing where we were going. We were near my parents' house so I didn't worry about getting lost. I knew I'd always be able to find my way home.
We came to a creek. I grew up playing in this creek and was happy to splash a little cool water on my face. As I got closer to the water, I saw some toys belonging to my children. I figured that they must have washed downstream while their backs were turned. I started to gather the toys one by one into a backpack that suddenly appeared on my back. A Hello Kitty piggy bank, a plastic red apple, a fire truck with a broken ladder, and what appeared to be a giraffe head were all half buried in the silt at the bottom of the creek.
I picked up Hello Kitty, the apple, the fire truck and placed them into my pack. I went to grab the giraffe when I saw something move. I had disturbed the silt while removing the toys. Now that it was settling again, I saw the snake. It looked like a rope. A lot of rope. If I hadn't seen it move and recognized a head, I would have told myself that it was a rope and moved on. But it wasn't a rope. It was a snake. A lot of snake. As the silt settled further, I saw more rope. Realized that there were more snakes. Then I saw another giraffe head further on. Then another and another. There were 5 that I could see clearly, maybe more further on. The creek had changed into a small lake and I was standing on a beach made equally of river rock and dark, wet sand. The giraffe heads were connected to giraffe bodies. There were entire giraffes, dead, at the bottom of this lake! How is that possible? These snakes were long, but they were thin, they couldn't have done this.
At that moment, the sick realization hit me. These were the babies, and they were waking up hungry. The first snake that I had seen started to move out of the water toward me. Once it was out of the water, it's skin looked like velvet. It was a light lavender color and looked wonderfully soft. I was frozen with terror. Despite my fear, I was horribly curious to know what it's skin felt like. I managed to force my legs to move a few steps to the left, away from the beautiful, soft snake. I saw ripples on the water and realized that the adult snakes were coming to tend to their young. They were all hungry.
To my complete and utter horror, my sweet, fearless daughter bent down to pet the velvet snake. I was so terrified that I couldn't even scream for her to run. I was paralyzed and I was sure that I was about to witness the death of my baby. My legs had stopped moving, but the snake hadn't.
Miraculously, the snake completely ignored my little girl. It was like she was invisible.
More snakes had started to come out of the water. All in beautiful shades of lavender, violet, and purple. She continued to pet each one as they came out of the water and slithered past her. I was farther away from them, but I hadn't moved.
Like a voice from heaven, I heard my husband behind me. "Kristi, you need to step very carefully toward me." Fear still gripped my heart like a vice and I couldn't even answer him to tell him that it was impossible. He repeated himself. "Kristi, you need to step very carefully toward me. Now." My foot moved. Then the other. In five steps I was clinging to his back and he told me that I needed to hang on tight. I closed my eyes and prepared myself for him to run. He only made it a few steps. I heard a strange, high pitched scream a second before I felt the razor sharp fangs sink into my back. I felt the teeth puncture my heart and went limp. The last thought in my head was, "I wonder if they'll let me touch their velvety skin before I die."
The I woke up shaking and sweating and never wanting to fall asleep ever again. Ugh. Dreams are dumb.