Snakes and Ladders

“You’ll need a ladder.” I looked up to see the owner of the voice. A little girl, observing me curiously. “You’re going to need a ladder,” she repeated.

“I’m not sure what use a ladder will be to me right now. I’m trying to have a picnic. Alone,” I said, indicating towards a half eaten pork pie and some sorry looking sandwiches. “I can’t eat a ladder.”

“You’ll die without a ladder. They’re coming,” she said, pointing behind me and crouching down to take an eclair. I looked around, taking in the beautiful, open field. Nothing appeared to be coming. Though my desserts were certainly going somewhere. I turned back to ask her to stop pilfering my pudding, but she had gone.

As I returned to my pork pie, I heard a buzzing wind. A sound as if hundreds of bees were trapped inside gale, frantically trying to escape. It was getting louder. Dozens of birds disappeared overhead, scattered amongst the sky.

Suddenly I was surrounded. Countless eyes looked into mine. Each pair attached to grotesque, serpentine creatures that looked part teeth, part bigger teeth. Their pale pink bodies pulsated, blocking every route of escape. Except up.