Drabble 113 – Ophiophilist

Ophiophilist

It’s been a while. As much as I wanted to keep doing these, it turns out writing most of a book in a little more than a month takes up a fair bit of my time. I’m a slow writer to begin with, and getting the first draft of The Compendium of Magical Beasts written was a pretty substantial task. I learned a lot from the process–enough that I have exactly zero guilt about taking a month off from writing drabbles–and can’t wait to start working on some of the projects I left by the wayside while working on it this year.

The experience of writing a book like this, which is fundamentally different from anything else I’ve ever written, has been incredibly informative and rewarding. I know a lot more about what I’m capable of, and I’m blessed to work with such great people on this project; every time I get a new sketch from Lily in my inbox, there’s another moment of elation because that sketch! is based! on something! I wrote!

I can’t wait for this book to be out in the world, and I hope it brings people as much joy as it brought me to write it.

Anyway, at long, long last, here’s a drabble.

OPHIOPHILIST

(n.) from Ancient Greek ὄφις , for “snake” and philia, for “lover”

A person with a fondness for snakes.

She finds the permanent hissing in her ear a comfort. Snakes caress her scalp, sliding their bodies against one another in a smooth, practiced rhythm. They bite berries from her fingers, flicking her knuckles with long tongues.

There are some who find her fearsome, her stony gaze and hissing hair frightening those who intrude on her domain. She doesn’t mind; the snakes are good company. They ask nothing of her. None have ever tried to bite her, none have twined their slender bodies around her neck. She thinks of men’s hands, their creeping eyes, and slips the snakes a mouse.

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