A Series of Wayward Adventures
I can still remember the feeling of my mother’s fingertips at my brow that night she abandoned me. Her hands had been cold, near freezing, as she brushed the short bangs from my skin. Moisture had collected and fell from her eyes, the liquid making its way down from my brow to my ear. The tears were warm, the very warmth my mother lacked, and much like a gentle caress, the sensation had my eyes drifting shut.
She was in pain, my mother, and I as an infant should not have known or understood such sentiments nor emotions, but I did. I understood the pain in her, a pain you cannot grasp or control, but an internal pain that plagues your mind and sanity.
I was left upon the ground at my mother’s feet and soon the momentary warmth faded, as did the world around me.
When consciousness found me once more, I found myself within the arms of another. A woman and man held me; strangers. The woman lifted me to her bosom and wrapped me beneath the many layers she had on her, settling me near her heart. Warmth enveloped me and I found myself again losing consciousness as I listened to the rhythmic beating of this kind stranger’s heart.
A few years passed as these two raised me. After the first few months, we all became aware that I was no ordinary child. I grew rapidly, seemed to hold an allergy to the sun, rarely ate or drank, and held knowledge and comprehension that I shouldn’t at such a young age. So after the first year, my adoptive parents moved me out of the city’s limits and we built a large cabin in the woods.
It was an experience, building a home with them. Building a shelter where we could make memories together and live out our lives together. This is what a family was and I loved and cherished every second of it.
Another year passed and I found myself becoming nocturnal, relating more with the creatures that stirred in the night then my own adoptive human parents. My parents struggled to stay up with me, but I never minded. They had already done so much for me, so I held no issue with staying up alone. I would take a book and read from the moonlight of my window most nights, as my parents provided me with many books from town. I remember one night, my father waking up when the moon had reached its peak. He had come to me and picked me up only so he could join me for a few hours in my reading. He take over and give the characters voices and we giggled and went back and forth between the character’s lines. He had fallen asleep as the moon made its descent, and it was a memory I would always hold so very dear.
Time passed yet again and with it another year went by. It was the day we had declared my birthday years prior and I was to turn four, however, my body appeared at the age of twelve to fourteen. Lately I had started to feel irritable, tired, and hungry. I would spend entire days sleeping, eating or bathing, just to relieve some symptoms, but the feeling didn’t pass. No, it just grew more and more.
The sun sunk into the horizon the night of my birthday and I recall rising from my comatose state smelling this intoxicating scent. I knew instantly that what I smelt was my dying desire and like a moth to a flame, I followed it. My vision was spotty and my head pounded as I got closer and closer to scent, however my step never faltered. I remember feeling as if my lips were two tight for my teeth, almost as if they were growing, an odd sensation, and out of reflex my bottom jaw parted with a hiss of breath. I pushed the door that lead to kitchen, my vision almost undecipherable, and entered the room. The last thing I remember before I fell into darkness was my mother hunched over a counter holding a piece of linen to her hand where she had cut herself with the knife she had been using to cut the large pastry that sat on the table.
The hunger was gone.
A door creaked and slammed shut, being my only reminder that time still moved. My tongue pressed against my fingers rather roughly and I shakily pulled them away, chilled I didn’t know why I was doing such a grotesque behaviour. I felt my eyes widen. Blood. Blood clung to my hands and arms and dripped down my elbows to the floor. I looked past the terrifying sight to the floor beneath me and I gasped and fell backward in a backpedal. I slammed to the floor and began to sob, confusion and horror wrapping around my senses.
My adoptive mother, my loving and caring mother, laid in ribbons on the floor. Parts of her flesh were missing and her blood covered the walls, counters and floor. And…
And my hands.
Time froze around me. Delayed footsteps sounded down the hall as my adoptive father walked down the short hall towards me. I could feel the wood bowing beneath his thick work boots and with rising horror I realized I had mere seconds before he would open the door and witness what lay inside. I felt my teeth grow once again and watched with tear
filled eyes as my nails extended. I choked on a sob.
“Don’t…come in… Please…”
My body drives me forward, disregarding the screaming pleas from my mind, and moved to stand beside the door where I would be hidden once it opened. I convulse from the tears and hold myself as fangs rip through my lips and flesh in reaction from the pounding heartbeat before the door. I watched as my father walked past me, a package in his hands.
“What is the matter my precious moon? Why are you crying…”
My father stopped, frozen by the scene. He fell to his knees, the box falling from his hands.
“What… What has happened…”
My hand slid across the door and shut it with a gentle click and my father slowly looked over his shoulder, his face pale and eyes full of tears that cascaded down his cheeks.
“I’m… so very sorry…”
“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY CHILD?! WITH MY WIFE?!”
He screamed, and sensed more than heard the ruptured vocal cords as the bloodcurdling command exited him. I remember approaching him, but all else is lost to me.
I ran. Ran as far as my limbs would take me. Away from that town, away from our home, away from my loving adoptive parents I had just consumed. I was a monster, a creature of the damned, and I needed to be slain. I stumbled on branches and large decrepit rocks, but I didn’t falter. On and on I went, ignoring the sticks that impaled my skin, or the thorns that raked my flesh, and I would’ve continued if not for the trap.
Steel locked around my ankle and I fell to the ground, dropping the items I was carrying. I cried out, the pain unbearable. I shuddered and sobbed as I pushed myself up so I could look at the trap locked around my foot. I fumbled with the barbaric trap and trembled as blood gushed from the wound. I blinked as I pried the trap apart much like paper and tossed it aside. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. My leg moved to stretch out before me, next to its counterpart, feeling safer by its ally. I stared at my ankle and watched with wonderment as the skin began to heal rapidly, soon matching the other leg, as if nothing had happened. The pain was gone, as was the evidence. My eyes traveled up and noticed the items I had dropped so I moved forward to collect them, not remembering what they were. I paused as I reached out to them, realizing what they were.
The pastry and package. The doughy treat had fallen from its linen and had rolled a few feet away, but the package now sat under her hand. With trembling hands, she removed the sealed lid and lifted it away.
Inside lay a decorative piece of lace the prettiest shade of black and silver. It was done up with little jewels and embroidery and as she lifted it into her hands, she noticed a message was stitched into the lace.
“To our precious moon child, Luna.”
Tears slid down my cheeks as I tilted my head to gaze at the discarded trap.
“I’ll be with you soon, mama… papa. I’m so very sorry I’m a monster…”
I tied the lace about my wrist and moved to reload the trap, but this time, I would aim better.
I dove head first.
I cannot kill myself, I have found out. There is this instinct I cannot control that saves me each and every time I almost accomplish my goal. I have tried to rally others to kill me, but that same instinct saves me from them as well. It is that same instinct that drives me to eat others, to bathe in their blood and life.
I have stopped attempting to take my life, as all it accomplished was the dire need to feed. Which in turn caused me to seek out humans and to take from them, so I have taken measures to stay far from those I hurt and kill.
This worked for some time until I met a man in the woods, who was quite formidable… but that didn’t last very long. He was the first man who had ever treated me like a woman and that was his downfall. The monster killed him mid act of passion and tossed him into the river to rot beneath the currents.
So many years passed and as I spent longer and longer out in the woods I found myself wondering about my original parents, about the woman who had left me in the woods those many years ago. Perhaps answers could help me piece together who I was and why I was the creature I was.
After many years of searching, I managed to find my mother. She told me I was Dhampir, born of human and vampiric blood. She explained she abandoned me as an act of passion, sheltering me from my father, who wished to contain me and keep as what she could best describe as a pet. When my father found she had done this, he had made her vampire so he could bring her to the brink of death, only so she could heal once more she he could repeat the torture. Somehow my mother had escaped him and fled just in time to meet with me as I was passing by. Fate has weird ways of doing things, but I knew what I must do.
I killed my mother, set her free from her personal hell, and left that village behind me.
I had found my answers, and now had a purpose. I would become strong, strong enough that I would be able to face my father so I could personally escort him to the gates of hell.