My snake-self

1

My name is Nagesh, and I sometimes turn into a snake. I recall the first time it had happened, I was seven years old then, jolted out of sleep by a nightmare I can only faintly recall now. There were many men and something was burning, or was it me that was burning? It was too much to bear, and I woke up—but not as myself. I tried to move my hands but it was as if I they were not in my control, I tried the same thing with my legs and did not get any response again—I was quite literally glued to the bed. In the darkness of the night, I could not clearly see my body, but it felt different, yet I couldn’t say how. In fact, I couldn’t say a single thing, it was as if my mouth was sealed shut. And in that state—unable to move or say anything—I finally fell asleep again and woke up the next morning back to my usual self.

During that fateful night, I didn’t get to see my snake body, but that happened soon enough. This time it was during the day, I had dozed off on my bed in my room while trying to read something (maybe a book my mom was forcing me to read!), and then I had the same nightmare. I woke up from it again, with the same burning sensation, and found myself glued to the bed again. I couldn’t move even a single finger. But my eyes were working, and when I looked at my body lying senseless on the bed, I froze further in terror. It was a good thing that I couldn’t say anything, if anyone else saw me like that, they would have definitely killed me thinking that I am a snake. And I actually was a snake at that time, my skin was glistening black, my body so narrow and essentially useless lying in the position I was in. I HAD to move, I thought, it was way too risky to go back to sleep in the middle of the day like that. If I could move, I could hide under the book cabinet till I change back again, at least I would be safe. These were my immediate thoughts. My body slowly became responsive, and that was the first time I consciously experienced what it was like to be a snake. Imagine, if all you could do is slide, raise your body a little off the ground and open your mouth and bite… no hands, no legs, no other movement possible. Always vulnerable everywhere and living in hiding for most of your life. While humans are terrified of snakes, let me tell you that snakes are equally, in fact even more terrified of humans.

I am twenty one years old now and by the look of it, my life is completely normal—except that I sometimes turn into a snake, usually because of my recurring nightmare, but these days, as I have discovered to my surprise, occasionally after intimate encounters as well. I am in college now, I have love in my life, very surprising you would think given my condition, but I love her dearly, and I know she does too. So far I have kept my condition a secret from her, but I can do so no longer now. I need to tell her, I have to tell her today.

2

They are trying to catch me, they are poking things at me, at my body, and won’t stop until I come out from under this shelf. But I cannot, they will surely kill me. Oh, how my life has changed in just a few minutes! Here I was in my girlfriend’s room, holding her hands, and telling her that I wanted to share the biggest secret of my life with her. The next thing I saw was her jumping out of the bed and shrieking, yelling calling people for help. She opened the door and ran out saying “Snake! Snake!.” I have no idea where she is now. I think I hear her voice in the mix of all the other sounds. These are people I know, I have known them for two years, but they can’t see me, all they see is my snake body.

They have brought some sharp things now, I have to move out of here somehow. I could slide under the bed, but I know they won’t let me rest there either. Actually, they are removing all the furniture in the room, one by one all the places I could hide under are being taken out of the room. If only I could change back to myself…. but I can’t, I need more time, and I need to relax. Take a few deep breaths, Nagesh…

I know I can turn back into a human again if they let me.

3

“It was him,” I hear her voice, “it was Nagesh, you have to believe me. He turned into a snake…”

“You are imagining these things, Sarpika, that can’t be…” others pleaded with her.

“I know what I saw,” said Sarpika, and for a moment I hoped that she would stop them from hurting me, she loved me after all.

“We need to find him, we can’t leave him here in my room, we HAVE to find him and be done with him, I don’t want him in my room, I don’t want him in my life, I don’t, I don’t…” she burst out crying and her friends circled her and started consoling her. Others kept poking at me. They were about to lift the bookshelf now and…

Please, please, look at me, look into my eyes, I am your friend, please don’t hurt me….

4

I am in the air now, floating above everyone, what has happened to me? There is someone lying on the floor with wounds all over the body. There is blood gushing out of his head, his face has been smashed… it’s me! It’s me Nagesh. What has happened to me? I see Sarpika here, she is wailing like it is the end of the world, everyone else has turned pale, they can’t fathom what just happened.

Oh, I remember everything now—they thought they were killing a snake. And it turned out to be their friend. One of them steps forward to check my pulse and breath. Too late now, my friend, I have already left that body. My end saddens me, but overall I am relieved to be free of this dual existence, I am a full snake now in spirit, and this is my true invincible self. My inner snake had a very hard run, but, my friends and my love, I hope you have a better time when your inner self comes out.

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