Slowly rising out of her unconsciousness, the little snake shuddered as she tried to shake off her immense dreariness, noticing at Once that the last time she had felt this Lightheaded was when she didn’t even have a Head. She was packed in tightly somewhere, buried deep among countless forms that matched hers. She realized something bad had happened to her; most of her memory seemed so distant she thought she may now be living a new life.
But she wasn’t, she realized, after a few unsteady moments. She had been taken from her best friend and fellow neurobiological counterpart, how long ago she hadn’t the slightest clue, but as the clearness of her memories sharpened slightly, Amrita could not mistake the stark sense of déjà vu that struck her. She had been here before, she realized ironically, in the face of not yet remembering how she even got there. It was long ago, she realized, and she had been caught up in the same messy mix with other snakes all slopped together in what seemed to be some sort of satchel.
Amrita started to slither her way free of all the others pressed about her, but as she tried to go any further upward she felt a softening of the response-time of her efforts, her motor skills having somehow become dramatically weakened. With difficulty, the snake started to slowly move as it attempted slithering past all that confined her within. The other snakes she was contained with seemed to be dead or at least unconscious like she had been; none of them moved.
As Amrita quietly poked her tiny dirtied head out at the surface of her soup bowl of serpents, she just as soon remembered she had originally been placed in a glass box, as she found herself dumbly looking directly at it across from her. But her thoughts about what exactly had happened to her quickly diminished as the background of where she was came painfully to the forefront of her gaze.
In the near distance were at least fifty short, hairy, and nude men who all looked quite similar, all clustered together in a cloud of slight snorts and sharp moans before the wizened guru who stood blindfolded, wrapped in his long, flowing grey robes against all his brothers and sons with the almighty Staff of Lachrylon raised Highly in One hand and his mysterious bottomless drinking gourd beared by the other. He was feeding and blessing these men with his eternal magic water, which fully provided them with all the right nutrients they would need to survive, Amrita Knew.
As curious as she was about what was happening before her, Amrita remembered that she had been taken captive and was now resenting the old man for it. This was her chance to make a break for it and slither away before anyone noticed her escaping. But before she did, her curiosity convinced her to spy out this spectacle a moment longer.
Al Rodnam, although short himself, stood tall over all the little mysteriously shrunken Gilded Grunts, who were slightly jostling about in mixed confusion beside him and muttering low phrases of gibberish that trailed off into other sporadic outbursts. There was a subtle glow about the Grunts as they Received the special Water, and slight sparkles of stardust slowly beamed off their inquiring Heads with a blinding arc at the sheen. And as Amrita was watching this, she made a disturbing connection.
These were the Gilded Grunts — some of the only men left on the planet since Mother Magdalena had followed the mystic’s orders and chopped off their…
These here were not snakes at all she was packed within.
In a flash of an instant — almost in the same moment she realized it — Amrita shot out of the bag of dicks and made a break for it, shaking off the pestilence that had fastened a quick grip on her.
But it was no use.
“Ahh, there you are!” she could hear the old man cry in the distance as she felt herself being raised into the air and brought toward him, her efforts at defying his clutch of magick futile. “I was wondering when you’d arise!”
Amrita panicked as she was being brought towards Al Rodnam, squirming with all her might in an attempt to escape his hold, but as she floated involuntarily up to his Head, the old mystic attempted to put her at ease.
“There, there,” he soothed part-mockingly with his Voice and one cocked eyebrow before casting aside all speech for telepathy. “I can also communicate with you like this,” he said matter-of-factly with bold emphasis.
“Let go of me!” Amrita shot back telepathically, hisses escaping her mouth with a forked-tongue fury. “I know. Fuck You, old man! I’m still furious with you for turning me into a snake! Release me at once!”
“Oh? I thought you would be delighted to return back to your true form and mingle with those of your shape and nature,” said Al Rodnam with a wink as he fastened her with a locking sound about the crown of his Head. “Besides… Lina, myself, and these Grunts here need you to Be this way. As do the Hawks and All of Bry Dellows and the planet Urth. I also Know that You Know this is So.” He pointed to all the little hairy, retarded old men as they dumbly looked back at Amrita who couldn’t at all move her Body as much as she tried. “Come with me,” stated the old man to the poor snake as if she had a choice to do so.
Al Rodnam brought Amrita down a dusty path that was bordered mindfully with glowing rune-marked stones at its edges that gave off a faint phosphorescence upon the approach of the old mystic.
Then Amrita heard the squeals.
Just ahead, the trapped serpent so hexed who now functioned as the mystic’s halo noticed very obviously where Al Rodnam had brought their transmuting unicorn friend from Agartha to be duplicated for Loombug food. As they passed, Amrita could see countless hairy hogs pigging around fastidiously in a wood-fashioned sty that was also littered with runes all over.
“Thank you for bringing me your friend,” the mystic motioned with one hand to the sty. “As I mentioned, I was able to duplicate him to the correct number as needed by the Loombugs for survival after I am gone and will no longer be able to bestow upon them my magickal sustenance.”
“Gone?” asked Amrita, surprised, still resentful. “You’re leaving?” she asked in an annoyed voice.
“Soon,” said the old man as he continued past the noisy pig pen to the edge of his camp. “But first, we must do something important.”
“I’m not doing anything for you!” exclaimed Amrita, affectionately offended. “You turned my friend into a pig!”
“I did not,” replied Al Rodnam carefully. “The surface world’s environment transformed him to something useful.”
“Something useful?” bellowed the serpent in indignation, “The same way I’m being useful to you?”
“Precisely!” the old man stated as he came to a halt.
He waited several moments more before again taking up the Staff of Lachrylon, softly muttering some indiscernible phrases as he waved it around before him. The Staff flared to life, hot orange streaks flooding out of the runes on it in waves, a fire ripping open an electrically charged circle around them. It lit up the environment in a burst, catching Amrita off-guard, as if she could guard herself, anyway. The mystic made another full fiery arch above his head with the Staff in One full swoop that left trails of blue electric shocks in its Wake. Then he tapped the Staff against the Stuck Amrita on his Head Four Times, and by the fourth tap, they had already transported to a different location.
Spread out wide and far were gentle rolling pastures of grassless Soil dotted sparsely with small huts, the materials of its design undeterminable by Amrita. Encasing everything all around the mute pastures was Diamond Glass held in place by titanium alloy, the glitter of zillions of Stars, Nebulae, and Aurorae spilling through the crystal-clear glass and illuminating the entirety of the outpost most brilliantly in a flush of celestial glister.
“I know you know this place,” Al Rodnam stated calmly.
The serpent on his head rolled around her eye sockets. “The Andromeda Biodome. But why?!”
“You Know Why, Amrita. To keep our boys ready to be reaping the Space-Grain that will One Day be sprouted here to keep the Blood-Pigs fed so the Loombugs can eat. We need many Loombugs alive, Rita.”
“Yes. And permanent sustenance for them. Once you’re gone,” Amrita remembered telepathically aloud. The man turned around and with him, Amrita, and the snake were surprised to see that all the Gilded Grunts of Bry Dellows had followed them through the portal to the Andromeda Biodome. “It’s True, I Know that the Loombugs must be fed and kept safe, multiplying to the utmost in order to eventually give birth to more Hankerhawks, which Lina needs to have her Revelation, I Know.” Her pupils were not only fully dilated but spinning around in continuum, one counterclockwise to the other.
“But there are very few men left in Bry Dellows and our jarred rations of sperm are running thin, old man. You said you must go from Bry Dellows. As of now, we have managed to Spawn only Four Hankerhawks… we need eight more until they can Combine with Lina. The prospects of our highly-populated Imagined future appear grim. Will You leave Us no sperm?”
“I have no more to give,” Al Rodnam stated simply with wide eyes and matter-of-factly, quickly changing the subject before Amrita could interject. “I brought our Grunts, who have all been Gilded by our Mother Magdalena, Here to this High Kusp of galactic hallways, inside a hidden pocket of time-space.”
“I Know about the Andromeda Biodome,” declared Amrita willfully. “Why do you bring me here, old man?”
“To return this to you,” he stated calmly, and after several gags he mindfully regurgitated out from his mouth something small and sparkly, drenched in mystikal Saliva. It was Magdalena’s Amulet which he had been saving inside himself until this moment here and now, She Knew. It had somehow transformed into an Emerald, and Amrita couldn’t understand.
“I don’t under—“
“Shhh,” the mystic whispered to the snake. “Sure you do.” And with that he held the shimmering Emerald against Amrita, who remained locked atop his head. It fixed into place with a *shluckk* sound and a huge splash of green lit Amrita up.
“Let’s go back to Bry Dellows,” said Al Rodnam. “We’ll leave the Grunts be for the moment.
Amrita, amid the feeling of intense euphoria, felt also climactically invulnerable as the old man passed through the space-time rip that had been left open and entered his camp at Bry Dellows Once again.
It was nighttime and the Moon was Full but not white, returned to a deep, familiar tone of thick burgundy that flooded the dusky depths of the Hollow with a pale, bloody flush.
“We’ll leave this artificial wormhole opened for the time being,” he said matter-of-factly. “I have engineered it to only work with the Grunts from now on.
“Now. Go and tell Magdalena what I have told you. By the time she hears what you have to say, I will be Gone.”
With another loud *schluck* sound, Amrita was removed from the mystic’s head and set free upon the ground, the green sheen diminishing abruptly with the cease of the sound.
Amrita slithered as fast as she could all the way to Mother Magdalena’s campsite.