What people think it looked like

On the 11th of September, in 2004, a teenage girl who had amazing art skills, posted a strange picture on the internet. It showed some kind of anthropomorphic snake/naga creature, holding a golden sceptre and standing on a dark background. It was staring straight ahead, as if watching the viewer. The strange thing was how realistic it looked. By realistic, I don't mean hyper-realistic or anything, but it wasn't just a plain old painting either. I can't really put my finger on it.

Anyway, that strange picture was entitled "The Snake Portrait" and its description read "The snake is floating. Will it be watching me?" After the girl posted this picture, she wrote a note saying "Goodbye" and shot herself in the chest. Her family had no idea why she would do that, as she wasn't suffering from depression, and her art wasn't usually so dark and surreal. The only theory they could think of was that The Snake Portrait had some kind of curse on it, or was inhabited by an unclean spirit, which had possessed their daughter and forced her to kill herself. No one knows what really happened, but those who view the picture begin to experience a feeling of being watched, and hear a faint hissing laugh after five minutes.

One man, however, did something incredibly shocking after he viewed it. He took some matches, left the house in the middle of the night, walked down the road to the local school, broke in, and burned it from the inside out. After he was arrested for his crime, he told something to the judge which only deepened to mystery.

"I was looking at the picture. I wasn't doing anything else, when I heard a strange voice in my head. It was a whispery voice, sounding like someone dying. It said, 'Everything will burn,' I was shocked, because the voice was coming from the picture. The snake in the picture was talking to me. 'Wh-what?' I stammered. 'I sssaid, everything will burn,' it growled. 'What are you?' I asked, horrified. 'Don't you know?' it asked. 'I am your own sssself. I am the sssside of every human, which lives to kill. In sssssome, I am weak and feeble. In others, I become them. There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to let me take over, but before long, they regret it and trap me again. But I've had enough of that. I have a chance to show them what I can do, and who would make a better victim than you?'

"I backed away from the computer, shaking. 'No, no, this can't be happening!' I shouted. 'Oh, my friend,' said the snake. 'It'ssss already happened,' Then, it lunged out of the screen, and I don't remember anything more. I guess it must have possessed me and taken over, because I only came to my senses a few minutes before I told you this. I know you'll think I'm insane, but I'm telling you what really happened. Please, for the sake of my sanity, believe me."

So, the lines between what's real and what's not have become blurred. No one will know what really happened, or if The Snake Portrait really is haunted by an evil spirit, but the best we can do is avoid the snake's eyes. They'll be the last thing you see before the Snake takes over.

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