The serpent uncoiled from the tree of life and hissed, pissed.
"What do you want?"
"You don't even remember, do you?"
"Yesss. Yesss. What do you want? A cake? To celebrate."
"One thousand years ago, you made me a promise."
The serpent stretched and twisted, slipping from the tree and sliding across the burnt earth, to legs like bark, planted and rooted and rotting. Your legs.
Its tongue touched your cheek, tickling the grooves between the growths.
"Finnne. I'll give you your freedom. Gooo. Ssselebrate."
You try to blink. Try to move your neck. Look down to your legs. Look up. See the many branches reaching from your fingertips, the many leaves you have grown. They reach so far. So thick. So dark.
You feel the serpent wind up, its scaly skin passing before your eyes like a train that never ends; up into your boughs, and back: its head curling around your neck and its tongue in your ear.