Beauty is a woman. In heels she’s five-foot-seven, one-hundred-and-twenty-pounds, has long dark hair and occasionally likes to dress with winter in mind when it is, in fact, summer. She is so beautiful that at times those who stare at her are only able to marvel over her great ingenuity. She is the perfect human machine, the automaton of man’s desire and the temptation of every poor boy’s smile. She is, without a doubt, truly perfect, which is why on this night a man has stopped.
He pulls over to the side of the road in his yellow Lamborghini and admires her for what she is. She has no name—she never gives anyone a name, just one that might not even be real—so she is simply called Beauty, but God is she beautiful. Dark olive skin, almost the tone of sweet caramel; piercing green eyes, like the greatest emeralds upon the earth; shiny white teeth, cosmetic procedures and dental work—she is in his mind the conquest of the night. In his pocket he has the money to give out.
“Hey, doll,” she says, leaning against the Lamborghini’s yellow passenger seat door. “How are ya?”
“I’m ah-all ruh-right,” the man inside says. “You?”
While he waits for her to answer, he stops to consider just who he truly is. He is young—nineteen, fresh out of high school and in community college, living the dream life of party and booze and sex and champagne: all on his daddy’s money, no doubt. Were it not for the old man, he wouldn’t have a thing, which is why in looking at her he can’t help but wonder if his daddy will find out.
Daddy doesn’t know a thing, the man inside the yellow Lamborghini thinks. He doesn’t know a goddamn thing.
Beauty smiles, her faint dimples attractive even though she has likely had Botox injected her face to make them disappear. He doesn’t care about that though—perfection is every man’s interpretation, and tonight, he sees it in her eyes.
“I’m doing all right,” Beauty says. She cranes her head forward, in through the door, and admires his skinny frame, the glasses on his face and the smatter of acne he’s been unable to drive away from his chin. “You looking for some fun?”
“Yuh-Yes,” he managed.
She smiles once more and he feels his heart drop a foot in his chest.
Come on, you idiot. Do something already!
He pulls the money out of the pocket and flashes it before her eyes, a poor whore’s dime for new high-heeled shoes, and immediately her attention is drawn. It is as it always is with women like her, his daddy says—flash one-hundred and you can get her to do anything. Anything below that’s just not worth it. Twenty for the hand, fifty for the mouth, seventy-five for both, but damn if you can’t get pussy for one-hundred.
“Yuh-You wah-wanna?” the man in the Lamborghini asks.
“Sure,” she says. “Where to?”
It is no more than several minutes later that they are in a dark alley rocking to the tune of each other’s lust. Her on top, him on bottom; his shirt open, her in only her bra. He sucks at her nipples and moans as her sweet depths overwhelm him to the point where he feels as though he can go no more. He’s hard, though—very, very hard—and he’ll be damned if he shoots his load off in five seconds flat.
“Can we,” he gasps, “get in buh-back?”
“I don’t mind,” she replies.
A short moment later her legs are over his shoulders and his hips are driving forth, a piston in the mighty machine of man’s sex drive. She doesn’t seem to moan, a fact that makes him a bit self-conscious, but it isn’t how she’s supposed to feel. No. It’s how he’s feeling. He did, after all, pay one-hundred dollars to get laid. Screw the whore and what she wants. She obviously has better things to do.
Or better men to do, he thought.
He reaches the point of climax. Inside her silky depths, his cock throbs one long, hard time. He pulls it free in one swift move, pulls the rubber off and jacks three times—one, two, three, then comes.
“Wow,” she says, idly sliding her fingers over her breasts. “Big one, wasn’t it?”
“I guh-guess,” he replies, then falls to his knees on the dividing cushion between the two back seats.
Beauty lies there while he recuperates from his struggle. His chest falling up and down, his eyes swollen and heavy, he reaches up to wipe the sweat from his forehead and only briefly turns to look at the woman he’s just fucked before turning his eyes away.
Wow, he thinks. What a shitty way to spend a hundred.
He can’t help it though. He hasn’t been laid in weeks—months if he wants to be honest with himself. How long can a man go with just his hand?
Apparently not very long.
Chuckling, the man in the yellow Lamborghini pushes himself forward and begins to dress himself from the waist down. Beside him, Beauty begins to do the same.
After she’s done dressing, Beauty counts the money he’s laid out for her in five simple twenties. She does this with ease and grace, as if she’s done it a thousand times and more—which, quite frankly, is quite possible, considering her profession, but it’s not that that bothers him. It’s the way she turns to look up at him that strikes fear within her heart.
“Wah-What?” he manages.
“You’ve shorted me.”
“Fifty. It’s one-fifty, not one-hundred.”
“You stupid buh-bitch! Last I huh-heard, you were chuh-charging wah-one-huh-hundred.”
“I’ve raised my prices since then.”
“How was I suh-posed to nuh-know?”
“Look, Mr. Stutter-Mouth,” she says, leaning forward until their faces are but a brief inch apart. “I’m not going to tell you twice. Give me the extra fifty and we can be done with this sad little story.”
“Suh-Sad Story? Are you fucking mah-mad?”
“I’ve had better,” Beauty smiles. “And bigger.”
The urge to rant and rave and slap the shit out of her becomes great—so great, in fact, that it becomes a fireball in his chest, slowly contorting and manipulating into a deep and dark festering tumor that threatens to overwhelm the entirety of his being. No one has made fun of his stuttering—and he means no one—since school. It’s an issue he’s never been able to conquer even with speech therapy. Despite that nuisance, however, and the fact that he’s more than angry, he has never hit a woman—never will, either, especially not after he’d seen what his parents have gone through.
Careful to tame the beast of anger inside his chest, he lets out a slight sigh, then says, “I don’t have the extra fifty.”
Beauty’s eyes shift in the darkness. “Then I guess I’ll take it out on you,” she says.
Her mouth parts into a smile.
Her fang teeth lengthen.
The man in the yellow Lamborghini stares in horror.
Beauty’s eyes no longer have pupils. Instead, they have slits—cold, dark slits, just like her tongue is when it comes free from her mouth and dances before his eyes in one single, double-pronged tip.
The man in the yellow Lamborghini lashes out with his foot.
He strikes her in the chest.
She sails, backward, into the other side of the car just in time for the skin on her arms to raise into solid, green points—scales, he can see, the color of her eyes.
Oh no, he thinks. Oh fucking no.
This can’t be happening. Surely it can’t be—
But it is. He realizes that just as she throws herself forward once more.
He draws his arms up and over his face just in time for her fangs to come sliding down into his biceps.
He screams. She laughs.
The car vibrates as if they are still making love.
To the outside spectator, one might have expected that the occupants inside the car are doing something wrong—horribly, horribly wrong, something that would get them thrown in jail if they were caught. The real truth, however, is much more sinister, and as she continues to assault him he tries to cry out feebly for help. She’s killing me! he wants to scream. She’s fucking killing me! But so great is his terror that even his poor, stuttering self can’t get a word from his throat.
Inside the vehicle, he learns that if he does not fight he will surely die, and for that he lashes out. He grabs her neck in both hands and begins to choke her—violently, attempting to cut off her flow of air so at least she’ll pass out and maybe allow him to back out of the alley and throw her out so he can leave—but he’s forgotten how long it takes the human body to pass out from lack of oxygen. Is it one minute, two, three, maybe four? He knows six is brain damage, at least in humans, but if this thing, this beauty is what he thinks she is, then she isn’t human at all.
He slams her head into the window and she howls in pain, her guttural cry something like a wisp of wicked wind traveling around a mountain in the worst of thunderstorms. She does not, however, pass out, and when she jumps forward for round two, he flings the car door open and pushes her out with one mighty shove.
She lands, face-first, onto the concrete alley below.
The man in the yellow Lamborghini pulls the door shut.
He jumps to the front seat.
She lunges for the door.
His fingers slam on the locking mechanism in the front seat.
Now trapped outside and unable to reach him even if she tries her hardest, he takes note of his arms and how horribly damaged they are. Six incisions lie upon his right, two tears his left. Each are bleeding profusely, and he knows if he doesn’t get away from here he may very well end up dead.
Still without his shirt and shoes, he slides into the driver’s seat, throws the key in the ignition to life, then turns the lights on.
Beauty is standing at the end of the alley, watching him with two glowing green eyes.
“Yuh-You buh-bitch!” he screams.
The creature that he once formally knew as the area’s high-class prostitute fades back into the darkness and all but disappears.
The man in the yellow Lamborghini pulls out of the alleyway and high tails it to the emergency room, emergency lights on all the way.
“Sir,” the nurse at the emergency room counter says, desperately attempting to console him as he stands, crying, at the front desk. “Sir. I need you to listen to me. You’re going into shock, but I need some information from you. What’s your name?”
“Ah-Aaron Puh-Puh-Patterson!” he cries. “Gah-God-damn-uh-it! I’m buh-bleeding to death and you—“
A pair of male nurses rush forward, help him onto a stretcher, then roll him away, the pace of which is so electrifying that his head begins to swim with vertigo.
Oh no, he thinks. Oh fucking no.
This night couldn’t get any worse.
The nurses roll him into what appears to be the emergency trauma section and a doctor comes over immediately. Her tag he cannot read due to his uneven diaphragm, but he could care less what her name was at the moment.
“Sir,” the doctor says. “Can you hear me?”
“Just nod if you can.”
Aaron nods and closed his eyes, only to have one opened by a pair of prying fingers so a penlight can shine in.
“What happened to you?” the nurse asks. “How were you injured?”
“Snuh-Snake!” he cries. “A snuh-snake!”
“A snake?” she frowns. “Sir, are you sure this is—“
“Of course I’m fucking sure!” he screams.
“He’s going into shock,” the doctor says, gesturing the two male nurses forward. “Start running fluids in him.”
“This is going to hurt,” the blonde male nurse says, preparing and then sliding an intravenous drip into his right hand.
Aaron can barely tell the difference from the pain on either of his arms, let alone the sting of an IV sliding into his hand.
At his side, the brown-haired male nurse comes forward and prepares a fluid drip. The doctor, whose name he can finally read as Julian, presses her hand to his neck to check his pulse.
“How long have you been bleeding?”
“Check his blood pressure,” she says.
The nurse does as asked. “It’s low,” he says.
“Shock,” the doctor repeats. “Sir—can you tell me what kind of animal it was that bit you?”
How the fuck am I going to explain this? he thinks, blinking, the room slowly coming into focus before suddenly spinning uncontrollably.
It would be easy, he thinks, to simply tell what has happened—he found a woman, paid her one-hundred dollars, fucked her in the front, then back seat of his car, then shorted her fifty dollars before she turned into some anthromorphic snake-woman who not only attacked, but attempted to kill him.
“I,” he said. “I duh-don’t—“
It was too fast. You couldn’t tell what she was.
“Sir,” the doctor says. “Sir. Stay with us. Tell us your name, where you live, how old you are—anything!”
“Aaron,” he says. “Puh-Patterson. Westbrook Street. Nine-tuh-teen.”
The world spins one final time before the lights go out.
In his dreams he sees her form, her beauty, her horror, her unimaginably-bright green eyes. He sees her teeth gleaming in the moonlight and her lower body a construct of hate. Beauty is a snake, and she wraps around his body as if she is ready to squeeze the life out of him and more. It is, as he knows, a horrible way to die, and in that moment he feels the rush of the real world coming back to him.
I can’t, he thinks. I won’t—
He is jarred to consciousness by the rapid beeping of his heart rate monitor.
“Prepare more liquids!” the doctor screams. “Prepare more—“
Aaron blinks. The doctor, in response, lowers the hand she has raised high above her head and watches him with a pair of eyes so intense Aaron sees for but a moment the snake-woman’s gaze in hers.
No, he thinks. No. Not again.
At his side, the heart rate monitor begins to slow, its beat progressively dying down until it hits only a slight amount higher than average.
Before him, the doctor, the several nurses and even what appear to be some of the surrounding patients stare in wonder.
“I,” he begins to say, then stops. “I—“
He can’t control the tears that follow.
“Sir,” Doctor Julian says, stepping forward so she can look directly in his eyes. “Sir. Mr. Patterson, sir. Listen to me. Everything’s going to be just fine. You’re safe now.”
“She’ll come back to me,” he moaned, grimacing as the pain once more began to blot along his arms. “She’ll come back for me!”
Several of the male nurses pale instantaneously.
Do they know? Aaron thinks. Do they know what it is she’s done to me? Do they really—
“Who is Beauty,” Doctor Julian says, “and what did she do to you?”
“She… she… she tuh-turned into a snuh-snake.”
“Have the blood tests come back yet?” the doctor asked.
“Not yet, Doctor Julian.”
“Sir—I need you to tell me if you’ve been on any hallucinogens or taken any prescription drugs. Mr. Patterson… can you hear me?”
He can hear her all right, but it is not her words that he digests. No. It is her accusation, her belief that he was not attacked by a snake-woman, but by the curse of narcotics. Why, of course he’d done some drugs—had, in the past, smoked weed and even taken LSD—but not once since coming to college has he been high or stoned or anything else they’d like to call it. He’s a good student, a good kid who, though a bit bribed by money, is fairly even-headed.
Until tonight, he thinks. Until I met Beauty.
Doctor Julian watches him with chillingly-calm eyes, waiting for a response he cannot give in words, but actions. He shakes his head back-to-back, left-to-right, before craning his body forward and taking his face into his hands.
“Are you in any pain?” the blonde nurse asks.
“Nuh-No,” Aaron says. “I’m not.”
Had he been telling the truth, he would have said that his heart was beating a thousand times and more in his chest. But since he can’t tell the truth, he merely sits there, trying his hardest not to cry while around him he is scrutinized in the most painful of ways.
“I huh-haven’t taken any druh-drugs,” he said. “And that’s the truh-truth.”
“So you were attacked by someone then,” Doctor Julian says.
“Something,” Aaron corrects.
Doctor Julian frowns, then turns to the side when a small petite female nurse comes up bearing a runoff. “This is his bloodwork,” she says.
“What’s this?” Julian asks.
“Something found in his bloodstream.”
“Has anyone in toxicology been able to identify what it is?”
“They think it’s a poison.”
Doctor Julian’s eyes widened.
I told you, Aaron thought. I fucking told you!
“You were attacked by a snake,” the doctor says.
“Yuh-Yes,” Aaron says.
“But you said it was a snake woman.”
“Likely the effects of shock from blood loss,” the blonde male nurse says. He steps forward and presses an arm to Aaron’s right shoulder. “Lie down, sir. You need your rest.”
“They’ll be tended to shortly.”
The menagerie of nurses and one doctor come together in a small group and begin to whisper among themselves—first nonsense that Aaron isn’t able to determine, then in higher tones that he can understand.
“What kind of snake could have bitten him so far in the city?”
“I don’t know.”
“Maybe it was a water moccasin.”
“But we aren’t near any water.”
“Are their bites that bad?”
“They can cause necrosis. Better check his bites and administer the anti-venom as quickly as possible.”
“Sir,” one of the nurses says, though which one it was Aaron can’t determine, as his eyes have crossed and he is seeing doubles of everything. “Sir.”
“What?” he manages.
“Were you bitten by a snake that looked like this?”
The petite female nurse holds a picture up. Instantaneously, Aaron panics. From the dark green scales, to the olive-colored speckles upon its body, the portrait paints a picture of the very thing that the woman had turned into—a cruel, savage creature that, if provoked, would strike out without mercy.
“It?” Julian asks. Aaron nods. “One of you get on the phone and see if we can get that anti-venom in. Hurry—now!”
The nurses run off before the doctor can even begin to turn around.
By midnight that night, nearly two hours after he’d been admitted into the hospital, the anti-venom is administered and he is lying between the realms of consciousness. The police in the other room, the nurses nearby, they talk in tones hushed and secretive, likely so Aaron cannot hear just what it is they are saying.
I was the culprit of solicitation, he thinks. I might go to jail.
Then again, who was to say that he has to tell them about Beauty, their lascivious sex affair or just what they’d done? For all they knew, he’d been bitten by a snake, though from the looks of things the police seem to have a keen eye on just whatever it was that had happened to him.
You did say a name.
That he did, but he’d called her a snake woman. That could obviously mean one of many things.
While lying there in bed, trying his hardest not to concentrate on what is happening in the outside world and desperately hoping he will not dream of her again, he begins to feel around his body a tight constriction that is not caused by a medical cord or anything similar, but something inside his body. It begins slowly—a pause, a beat, a drum and then a series of twangs vibrating along his ribcage and into his sternum. From there, a symphony of terror begins to rise up his chest until it enters the back of his neck, where it hits his brainstem and sends him sailing forward in his seat.
His IV cord snaps along his hand.
He cries out in surprise.
In the other room, Doctor Julian and the police officers raise their heads.
Aaron can only watch, stunned, as they come forward to investigate.
“Mr. Patterson?” Doctor Julian asks. “Is something wrong?”
“I…” Aaron pauses. His eyes wander from the doctor to the two police officers at either of her sides—one the standard, portly, handlebar-mustached type, the other the skinny cop with the crew-cut hair and glasses.
“Son,” the portly officer says, “we have a few questions we’d like to ask you.”
The portly officers frowns and turns to his lighter-bodied companion, who merely shrugs and crosses his arms over his chest. “We’re here to investigate the claim that you were attacked by a snake,” the skinny man says. “A water moccasin, to be exact.”
“There’s been talk of illegal practices going on with them,” the portly officer adds.
“Like using their poison to kill people.”
Aaron swallows a lump in his throat. “Sir…”
“We would like to know where you were attacked,” the skinny man says. “What time, if there were any people around, that sort of thing.”
Good God. They really expect me to cough this information up?
He is, of course, not going to lie about the bigger details—just the specifics, one of which would likely mark him as insane and therefore unstable.
With a deep breath and a long, drawn-out exhale, Aaron tells the cops just what they want to hear—that in this small little town of Worship, Mississippi, in which there are no rivers or bodies of water running through but alongside it, he had been walking back from the club when he’d dropped his phone on the ground and had bent to pick it up.
“And that was when you got bit,” the skinny man says, to which Aaron responds with a nod.
“How’d you get bit so many times though?” the portly officer asks.
“I duh-don’t nuh-know,” Aaron manages, though in the back of his head chastises himself for using such a bold-faced lie.
The rounder officer watches him with eyes similar to a wild dog set on attacking the hen and her freshly-born chicks. His gaze is intense—brutally so, with an eye for detail that seems to strip him of all defenses and bare him naked and glorious to the world. It isn’t a gaze he can take lightly, and as such Aaron shivers and draws the sheet around himself, only to grimace at the still-opened wounds on his forearms. The cops merely watch, stupefied at his intricate white lie.
“I think I pah-passed out,” Aaron says. “I only remember getting buh-bit once.”
“And after you woke up?” the skinny man asks.
“I druh-drove here.”
The cops trade glances with one another before allowing their arms to fall slack at their sides. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Patterson,” the portly one says. “I guess that will be all.”
They’re about to turn and leave before the skinny man leans forward and speaks with his larger partner. They engage in whispered dialogue for several long moments before they turned to watch him.
“Now that you mention it,” the portly officer says, “Doctor Julian here said you mentioned someone named Beauty. That ring a bell?”
“Probably just shock then.” The man nods and adjusts the hat atop his head. “Thank you for your time, sir. If you remember any other details, please feel free to contact the Worship PD.”
Aaron can only nod as the officers disappear out the double doors.
“Mr. Patterson,” Doctor Julian says. “Though you’re no longer in critical condition, I’m going to ask that you remain here for a while, at least until we know that necrosis isn’t going to set in.”
“All ruh-right,” he said.
Though Aaron has no idea what necrosis is, he knows he doesn’t want to know.
With a brief nod of his head, he leans back, allows his head to fall on the pillow, then closes his eyes.
He’s out almost instantly.
He learns after his wounds are stitched and he is passed with an almost-clean bill of health that necrosis is the act of muscles and skin tissue disintegrating—in essence, dying from lack of oxygen. The idea that he could have been so seriously injured after his near-fatal brush with death is almost enough to send him into a panic, but after repeated conversations with the doctors and nurses detailing that the anti-venom is still being administered, he soon begins to calm down.
Late the next evening, at a time in which he cannot sleep due to a lack of downers and pain medications, Aaron lays in bed and watches the shadows on the distant side of the room. In the corner there is a bathroom, shadowed over and completely invisible, while on the wall across from him there are several paintings, each depicting Salvador Dali in various forms of appreciation. The morbidity of them is enough to strike unease into his heart, as each and every time he looks at them he cannot help but remember Beauty as the snake, but he soon calms down when he realizes that he is probably in the safest place he could probably be.
She can’t reach me, he thinks.
Despite that, the notion does not quell the fear that she will return. She is agony in a glass bottle, an epiphany inside a golden room, a giant whose feet touch the ground and stain all with blood—she is everything horrible and wonderful in this world, and that alone makes him feel as though wrong: dirtied, sullen and marked by the fact that they had once been one, two bodies connected by sex and passion and greed and money.
What will Daddy think?
Daddy is far away in Birmingham, in a place where he will not be reached unless it is absolutely necessary. Mr. Patterson Senior was not called because he was never listed or given as an emergency contact. Aaron’s never been to the emergency room before. Hell—he hasn’t even set foot in a doctor’s office since he was fifteen.
Rather than think about the consequences of an emergency room visit and what all that would entail—both financially, personally and emotionally between he and his father—Aaron spreads back down along the mattress and tries his best to dispel the pain that is humming along his arms, a cruel thing’s whisper of vengeance and turmoil.
In the back of his mind, he knows something is wrong.
He knows she will come back.
No, he thinks. She won’t.
Beauty is as beauty does. In her high heels or on her scale-lined underside, she will come for him like a break in dawn, an eclipse of the moon and sun, an interplanetary alignment in which everything falls in a row and the world begins to end. It is this notion that compels him to remain awake—that, regardless of how far away he’s run, she has marked him. Her venom is word enough.
At his side, where there lies an end table with three drawers, he reaches down and pulls from its depths a Bible. He has not practiced for many years—has, essentially, abandoned all form of scripture after leaving his horribly-Baptist parents—but if he is to believe that this creature is what he thinks she is, then he needs all the help he can get.
You fell from Grace, he thought, when you took from the Garden of Eden.
It was that snake who had lived in that tree, who had guarded the Golden Apples, who tempted Eve to pull from its heights the things of which she nor Adam were supposed to touch. It was of its wrongdoing and its lascivious intentions that they were cast out, and it is for that Aaron knows that Beauty is one thing and one thing only.
He was not a Satyr pale-skinned and fine hooved, a Red Man who upon His head bore horns and on His back a tail, nor was He even man at all. Such a thing had not come to reveal itself as the arbiter of his personal suffering and sin in the form of a man. No. It had, instead, come in the form of a woman—a beautiful, beautiful woman: one whom, though so captivatingly-beautiful, held within her grasp his very hand and more.
God, he thinks, holding the Bible before him steady as from the darkened, pitch-black hallway someone begins to fiddle with the doorknob. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the fine Saints Michael, Catherine, whoever you are—please, hear my plea.
“Pruh-tect muh-muh-me fruh-from this thuh-thuh-thing.”
The doorknob continues to jitter, an erratic staccato that vibrates around the room and through the walls and along the bed springs and base and board. His tears come soft and without sound, his trembling shakes pained and without regret, and his quivering lip spills from its surface words that he cannot, nor ever will speak.
Is he being judged because he has not Believed—because he has Sinned, because he has taken into his arms and being and place and sex a woman of lewd intent? Though he knows not, he imagines he will soon.
“Guh-God,” he whispers. “Puh-lease…”
The doorknob ceases to tremble.
Aaron breathes and lowers the Bible.
Thank you, he thinks. Thank you for—
Across the room, the doorknob turns.
The door cracks open.
Outside, the world darkens as behind the clouds the moon is hidden.
He can see but one thing in the darkened room—two high heels, upon their surfaces stones of many colors.
Trembling, now, and crying harder than he had been previously, Aaron raises the Bible and turns his eyes away.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” he says, as she draws nearer and nearer, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Her glowing eyes pierce through the darkness.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
The sound of her heels echoes throughout the room and begin to bounce off the walls.
“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Her laugh cuts daggers within the air and pierces at each and every follicle upon his neck.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”
She hisses. Her hands wrap around the footrest.
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.”
She pushes her upper body forward. Then, slowly, her shoes fall to the floor, and she is on the bed with him.
“They will receive,” he continues, now unable to still his shaking body, “blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.”
Beauty bears her fangs.
Aaron closes his eyes.
He drops the Bible. It falls to the floor.
“Forgive me,” he says.
The snake woman screams and sinks her fangs into his throat.