Day by day, the cobras spit upon the corner of the glass cage with the venom of the snake gods. They pressed against it, testing its weakening power. The crack grew until finally they could push against it and be free. Yet they waited. Mere freedom was not enough.

She came again, as she always did, with the steel snake-catcher, swooping on one of them to caress, to dance for her. As she pressed deep into its throat, the chosen one writhed wildly. Its muscles tightened, relaxed, in the magic power of snakes, keeping her enthralled with its struggles. The others pushed on the glass and escaped, each quietly to the assigned place.

The snake gods nodded. The chosen one felt its form expand until the form under her fingers was no longer comprised of ribs and thin muscle, but of the same flesh as herself. They stared at each other, her hands now far too tight against the soft folds of flesh around the dark solid hollows of a throat.