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Nemesis was coiled and resting in his cage, dreaming about the little mice that would soon be dinner.  He loved mice.  They always dangled in front of him right when he felt famished.  His owner must have worked hard to catch them.  She would dangle it over his head.   With one rapid shot he enjoyed that first bite to hold it in his coils.  Once they were coiled and that skull brain stuff was sufficiently crushed (the owner never thought to do those things, he’d have to point that out sometime.) he would start to swallow them a bit at a time until they found themselves inside of him.  Just thinking about it made him hungry now.  They were his favorite thing in the world.  He wondered when he’d get his next one.

It didn’t matter.  The mouse would come sooner or later.  Until then, he could just lay here all day with not a care.  And why should he?  Life was good and he knew it.

“Alright Nemmie!  Come on out of there.”

Oh no.  Anything but that.  He was so comfortable in here.

“Come on lazy get up!”

He didn’t want to.  Didn’t she realize she was interrupting quality nap time?  Still, she was the owner.  And he supposed that he could allow such a thing.  His hiss was only half hearted as the owner picked him up.  She handled him.  It had seemed unnatural at first to allow this, but she was good at handling him.  Dare he say he liked this?

No.  No no no.  That wouldn’t be snakelike at all!  No.  He tolerated it.  Yes, that is the world these silly humans use.  Tolerate.  It means to endure something.  She handled him all the time.  Still, she was good at it.  Nemesis stopped there.  He tolerated it.  That’s all.

Afterwards she set him down.  Since he was out, he wandered.  He glanced at the cages with the other creatures that he allowed to dwell in his domain.  There was two two geckos who referred to themselves as May and The Thing.  They seemed to be clamoring about.  Crocodile tears were on their faces as Nemesis passed them by.

“No fair, “ May said.  “It’s not right that you’d be allowed out of the cage.  You got handled too.  Thing!  They got handled!”

“I know May.”

“We have rights too you know!”

“Yeah but we’re not snakes.  They need to be handled more than we do.”

“Sorry guys,” Nemesis said graciously.  “I’ll put in a good word for you next time?”

“Sure you can acting so high and mighty.  You got handled!  We loved being handled!  Hey owner!  We need love and attention too!”

“You just want to touch her boobies Thing!”

“Quiet May!  I just want attention and love.  The boobies thing is a bonus.”

“Right.”   May and the thing were two lizards that always wanted the attention Nemesis got.  They always complained about it.  Nemesis for the most part was amused by them.  He kept looking.  Luna seemed to be sleeping.  She just sat there in a daze.  Afternoons really weren’t her time of day.  She was an early riser.  She always called herself Luna the great hunter.  She would spend hours practicing her pouncing.  One day, she said, she’d be the greatest hunter of all.

Then there was Raven, the other snake.  Nemesis at first felt a little threatened by Raven .  He like Nemesis was a snake.  And snakes as he knew were the greatest creatures on the planet.  Raven though wasn’t quite like Nemesis.  For one thing he never fights the owner for attention.  He lavishes it and embraces it.  He was so pitiable.

He was just so happy.  It was the happiness that drove Nemesis crazy.  I mean sure happy was all fine to be at times, but there were something to be said about moody.  It was good to change moods .  It gave variety to life.  Being happy all the time was just this bright colour of sunshine.  What was worst, happiness was a disease.  It was contagious.  If he wasn’t careful he would smile too.  That wasn’t snake like at all!

“Come on owner,” Raven said so nicely.  “Let me out too.  I’ll be good.  I’m always good.”  Yes he was.  Maybe that was what bothered Nemesis.  He was too good.  There had to be a rebellious streak somewhere inside of Raven.

“Why are you always so good?” Nemesis hissed at him.

“Why are you always so grouchy?  You are getting all the attention and love here.”

Nemesis couldn’t find a response to that.  Why wouldn’t he be happy?  He was always loved by the owner.  Would always be loved by the owner.

Wouldn’t he?

The infernal device buzzed off.  Nemesis didn’t understand it.  Why did the owner put this device on her ear every time it vibrated or buzzed?

“Hello?  Oh good!  It’s here!  I can’t wait!”

What’s here?  What can’t she wait for?  Nemesis wanted to know.

She looked down at Nemesis her snake.  There was an excitement in her eyes.  If Nemesis didn’t know better he thought she’d be jumping up and down.

“I’m getting another pet Nemmie!  I can’t for you to meet him.”

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Nemesis' Great Escape by Joshua Pantalleresco is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.