Amon lightly gripped the body of the slender animal. It idly writhed in his grasp, slithering down his arm as he held it close to his mask.
“You have failed me,” Amon said coldly.
The speckled orange and brown snake shifted its head around and flicked its tongue out repeatedly.
“You have been in my services for a week and have yet to dispose of the spiderrat. You have accomplished nothing.”
The snake extended its neck towards Amon’s mask. It rested its head on the nose for a moment as it stared curiously at one of Amon’s eyes. Then it slowly slithered through the eyehole.
Amon remained motionless as the snake escaped his hand and explored the contours and ridges of his face. He sighed. He then decided the only way for this situation to become more demeaning was if a member of the cause was there to see such a pathetic display.
The lock in the apartment door tumbled mechanically, and the door creaked open.
He shouldn’t have tempted fate. Amon sighed again.
Several footsteps clacked against the wooden floorboards leading into the kitchen. They stopped, and there was a silent pause between the two people in the room.
“Amon...” Lieutenant said expectantly. He eyed the scaled, limbless body sliding across the eyeholes of his leader’s mask.
“Yes?” Amon answered, as if absolutely nothing was unusual.
The serpent peeked its head out from the bottom of Amon’s mask.
“Why did you even buy that snake?” Lieutenant asked.
“Because I wanted it.”
“Do you even know what they eat?”
“Ugh, Amon...” The Lieutenant watched the snake hang from the mask, craning its neck forward. He reached out his hand, and the snake retreated from his owner’s face to curl around the Lieutenant’s hand. “This is a coastal grizzly python. It eats fish.” He affectionately thumbed at the underside of the snake’s head. “He doesn’t eat rodents, arachnids, or any combination of them.”
Amon didn’t say anything in response. He was too busy cursing internally for botching what should have been a straightforward assassination attempt. Now he looked like a fool.
“Does he even have a name?” Lieutenant asked as the snake explored his neck and shoulders.
“Lieutenant,” Amon blurted out.
The human Lieutenant glared at him.