“Hello poison, hello grave-specter, hello nightmare,” the little green grass snake called, his tiny voice high and all his sibilants hissed. He flicked his tongue and uncurled his sleepy coils. “Hello dung heap, hello monstrosity, hello ruin.”
It was his morning ritual, and all his greetings were for her.
“Hello snake,” she replied through swollen, blackened lips. The others laughed, thin sounds like leaking breath; they never failed to find her amusing.