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"Dang it! Not now! Come on don't die on me now!"
You scream at your slowing car. The gas gauge is pointed at 'E', and finally, after a lot of yelling, your car comes to a stop on a dirt road in the middle of a swamp. The car just had to die now huh? You wipe your wet and red eyes as you get out of the mud covered black jeep. You get your backpack from the passenger seat next to you and start walking. The air is muggy, the trees are a dark green color, a fog is setting in, and everything is just slimy. You shiver at the environment. It reminds you of an old horror movie you watched, and no one survived. You shake your head at the thought. No! I am not afraid! I will NOT go back to those houses! You continue to walk for two miles and start getting tired. It was a long painful day. The backpack that was light at the beginning now feels like a boulder on your back. Your feet are demanding to rest.
"What am I doing here? What's the point?" You screech at the nearest tree, raising your hands up in the air in anger.
Just when you are about to give up, you see a structure up ahead. You almost run through the branches pushing away the green slim (You don't even want to think about what it might be). You see a small clearing in the swamp, and off to the right stands an old run down cabin. You can't tell what color the walls are because the bricks are falling down, and the entire building is covered in green vines. The cabin is clearly abandoned probably no ones been there in years. You look to the left.
About half a mile to the left is a small lake. The water is muddy and greenish black, but it's a water source! You brought along a water filter so you should be okay.
You smile as you almost laugh, "This day just might turn out good after all."
You walk inside the cabin. You are shocked at the inside. It's better than you thought, and definitely better than the outside. There's an old kitchen to the left of the door. The cupboards are empty and the doors have all fallen off except for one that's barely hanging on. The kitchen table is still standing and all but one chair is unbroken; although, they are covered in cobwebs.
"I can fix that easy!"
The living room's sofa is torn up, but a reclining chair still functions. The fireplace looks good as new. You walk over to the one bedroom.
There's one king size bed that has torn sheets, but the mattress is perfect and soft.
"If only it had a working bathroom!" Of course it doesn't. You will have to take care of that outside.
You set your backpack down on the torn sofa, and head to the kitchen.
"Well, gosh dang it!"
The stove doesn't work, and you will have to make a fire in the fireplace to cook. You head outside and collect firewood, which is plentiful here. As you put the wood in the fireplace, you notice that there are fresh grey ashes as if a fire burned here not long ago
The thought about the ashes disappears from your mind as the fire blares up after you lite the wood with a match you took out from your backpack. When the fire gets good and hot, you start cooking your dinner, canned beans. You wait patiently until they are finished, and eat a bowl full (The bowl and spoon you brought with you) at the table. You sit there enjoying the quiet and peace of being alone. It's nice to be alone for once. You finish your dinner and head for the bedroom. You get to the door to the bedroom.
You scream as a long green snake with black spots slithers by you. You shiver. You aren't scared of snakes, but you don't particularly want them around either.
"I hope there aren't anymore snakes here."
You don't bother changing clothes. You're so tired you just fall on to the torn bed. The recap of the day goes through your mind and you laugh.
"Wow, I'm so lonely I've talked to myself the entire time. It would be nice to have someone to talk you
" That's the last thing you say as you fall into a deep sleep.
You are slightly woken by something touching your face. It feels cold and wet. You are still mostly asleep, so you shrug it off. You turn to go back to sleep.
"Whoosssss in my beddd." An angry male voice hisses at you.
"What! Who's there?!" You sit straight up in the huge bed, and look for the source of the voice. It's sunrise, and the sun is starting to shin through the windows. You look around the room, but can't find anyone there.
"Haha I must really be losing it."
"I sssssaid, 'whosss there?'"
You are startled as you hear the voice again, and you automatically bring the covers up over you as a protective gesture. (Even though that wouldn't actually do you any good). In the shadow of the right corner, a pair of bright emerald green eyes open. As you look at them closer you see that they are not human eyes. Terrified you answer the shadow.
"I'm ______(Name). Is this your house? I-I didn't know anyone lived here."
"Yesss I do, and I don't like bloody tressspassssers."
The shadow slithers into the sunlight, and you can't help but gasp. Standing in front of you is what looks like a half snake half man that clearly is irritated at finding a strange woman in his bed. The creature has short blond hair and bright green eyes. From his waist up he is bare chested. Below his waist instead of a human torso and feet, there is a long snake tail! The tail is dark green like the vines outside, and the scales glisten in the sunlight.
Frightened you jump out of the bed and put your knees up to your chest, hiding in a corner
"W-What are you?"
His irritated look shifts into a grin when he see's your fear.
"No worriesss, love. I won't eat you as long as you don't run off back to your nest of humansss."
"W-What do you mean?"
The man roles his snake like eyes. "Humans are so dense. Why do you think I live in an abandoned cabin in the middle of a swamp in Louisiana? I want to be isolated from humansss." He emphasizes the word 'humans' with anger. "I could eat you. I haven't eaten a human in years, but you don't need to worry. I've never hunted humans unless they hunted me first. Either way I can't let you leave. You'd go back to your human family to send a posy to kill me. You're just going to have to live here with me, dove."
You are taken back at the news that this creature had killed humans, but what choice do you have? Feeling a little reassured that he promised not too harm you, you relax a little.
"Go back to my family? Never! I'm never going back to that place again! Live here? Well, I was planning on doing that anyway. It will be nice to have
.someTHING to talk too at lest."
The man, shocked by your reaction of acceptance, laughs and smiles. The smile makes him look warm and kind.
"Thing? I'm a naga. Half man half snake. You should have figured it out by my ssscaly tail." He moves his tail in front of him wrapping it around his upper body. "My NAME'Sss Arthurrrrr Kirkkkland."
You don't know if it is his genuine smile that gives you the courage, but you stand up and walk straight up to him.
"Hi, I'm_____(Name) nice to meet you Arthur." You stick out your hand. He looks at you with a shocked and confused look.
"What do I do with that?"
"It's a human gesture of greeting. You shake it."
Arthur unwarps his long tail from his body, and puts the tip in your hand. You two shake hand and tail. His scales feel slimy and wet against your dry hand, but for some reason you don't mind it.
"I guess that will work. It can be our handshake."
Arthur sticks his snake tongue out and back in, fast just like a cobra.
He says, "You must be hungry. I'll fix you something to eat."
You stare at him as you follow him into the kitchen. His upper body slumps at a vertical angle, yet not on the ground. His tail moves back and forth on the ground. He moves gracefully, you think just as he stops. "Would you like some scones? I think I have some left." You nod yes. You sit down on the table chair and watch him cook you breakfast. You've never been waited on before. Let alone waited on by a naga. You enjoy watching him cook for you. When he's done, he puts the scones on a chipped plate (Where he found it you can't figure out).
"Why are you smiling?" His blond head is tilted to the right in confusion.
You blush as you respond, "I've never been waited on before. I like it. You're really a gentleman aren't you, Arthur?"
This time it's his turn to blush. The pink in his cheeks make his green eyes and tail even more beautiful.
"I just think men should look after women."
You giggle before you take a bite of the first scone.
"How is it?" He asks.
"Good." You lie as you struggle to eat it.
His face brightens up at the complement, and you don't have the heart to tell him they suck. You force yourself to eat them all.
-For the next month you get to know each other better. He teaches you about the swamp and the animals, and you tell him about humans. He often swims in the lake. After a week of begging, you finally agree to get in the mucky water. Swimming together becomes a daily event. The animals often scare you, but every time Arthur gets in front of you protectively, and reassures you that he is the king and ruler of this swamp. One day after about two weeks, he tells you a secret. He can talk to and control snakes! He will often call hundreds of snakes around and you dance together with them. The snakes never harm you, and they always seem to have fun. They all love Arthur. They climb on him all the time. He tells you what they say, and apparently they like you too. You begin to fall in love with snakes. Nothing can hurt you. You feel safe around Arthur. All the other animals respect, fear, and love him. No matter how many times you beg, he always cooks. He eats different things than you, but he loves to cook for you. You still can't bring yourself to tell him he's a horrible cook. So you suffer through it. You hardly even notice the time passing because you feel like you've been here alone with him forever.-
It's nighttime and Arthur and you are sitting around the fire in the fireplace. You are both sitting on the floor because it's hard for him to sit in chairs. About ten snakes are around you. A brown one is wrapped around Arthur making him look like camouflage. A yellow and red striped one is sitting on your lap. Suddenly he gets a real serious face.
"You know ______(Name) I technically am keeping you captive here, but you never seemed to even think about running away. Why didddd you come here to beginnn withhh?"
You play with the fire not looking into his eyes and sigh. "I guess you should know. My mother and father were in love at a young age, but their families had been in a feud for hundreds of years. They got married without their parents knowing, and then they had me. There's a lot of bad blood between the two sides. There were a lot of rumors. Soon they started fighting over them. I heard bits and pieces. Some were about stealing, adultery, and even murder. Their family's feud became their own, and they got divorced when I was nine. I switched between my dad and my mother's houses. Every time I stayed there all I would hear about is 'how evil your mom's/dad's family is.' They told me when I turned eighteen I would be told the truth about the feud. I know the truth is horrible, but I just couldn't know! I wanted no part of their fight! I don't want to know the reason behind my broken home. So when I turned eighteen, I took my jeep, and ran away here. Arthur, I feel more love here then I ever did at my parents' places. I feel like this is my home, and it's just been waiting here for me to come back."
At this point you are crying and blushing at the same time. You feel his cold hand touch your face and turn it so you have to look at him. He wipes away your salty tears.
"Before I meet you, I hatttted humans. When I wassss little I was told never to be seen by humanssss. I was young and foolish. One night I was out hunting, and I saw some human men camping in the swamp. I was so curiousssss I went into their camp. They attacked me, and cut me with their sharp tooth sssstick..oh you call it a knife. That's where I got this sssscar." He moves his tail in in front of him, and flips it over. On the backside there is a long cut in his flesh where no scales are. "I ran crying, wounded, and bleeding. I thought that was the end of it." Arthur grits his teeth. "But those humans hunted me, and found my family'sssss nest. They masssssacred them all. Only I escaped. I found this cabin, and have lived here ever ssssince. For a while I would hunt out humansss to provoke them, so I had an accuse for eating them. For killing them. Then I meet you. This last month has been the bessssst time in my life. I don't fffeel alone anymore."
His hand still is caressing your face and now he is crying along with you.
"It looks like we both were alone, and we just wanted a home."
He smiles and laughs at you. "______(Name) would you ssstay here with me? Live here with me, not me keeping you captive this time. You really wanting to be witttth me. Here in my swamp. We have the sssssnakes for friends, they really like you."
You smile wide, "Yes, Arthur! I want to stay here forever with you!"
Suddenly, Arthur grabs your neck pulling you close to him. He kisses you on the lips. At first it was soft, but then he kisses you with more force. You can hear his tail tapping the floor with excitement. He ends the kiss. Both of you are breathing a little hard.
"I love you _______(Name)."
"I love you too, Arthur."
Before he can speak again you put a finger up to stop him. "There is something we have to do first in our new life together. I am giving you cooking lessons."