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Dim light from the curved splinter of a bone-white moon stabbed the murky waves of Lake Ontario behind the house on the beach. Only the gently lapping water disturbed the night’s silence. Fanci stared at the moon for a moment, and then awkwardly pushed herself off the ground as a last wave of nausea shuddered through her. The finality of the ‘turning’ was happening; she could feel it. Strange, she had no fear, only a ridiculous sense of irony that she, Fanci, should become a vampire. In one swift instant, her life had literally evaporated. The vampires had delivered a wicked coup de grace, and extracted a terrible vengeance.
Until now, she had been a famed hunter, once married to a man whose unique blood was instantly fatal to vampires, and the loving mother of a son who also carried that bloodline. Together, she and her former husband Linc, with Linc’s twin, Dax, had waged war against the suckers for the last twenty years. The twins had been destined for such work. Their blood had mutated as a natural response to the tsunami of vampirism that had swept Earth after the asteroid struck half a century ago. She hadn’t been born with the blood, but after she and Linc started dating, the twins had taught her to hunt, and she had quickly gained a fearsome reputation as a skilled vampire killer. Now foolishly, she had sacrificed that life because she had arrogantly assumed her reputation would protect her.
She had gone outside, a curved blade in her hand, to investigate a strange rustling under the bedroom window. She should have suspected something when the vamp stood brazenly in front of her and bared his fangs. When she had stepped forward, another one had grabbed her from behind and held her, claws digging into her distended belly to prevent her from struggling. The one in front made a small cut on his wrist and forced his blackened blood past her clenched lips. Only after she had swallowed did the two of them take turns biting and sucking. She had fainted, and when she came to, she was on her side, legs curled up in a fetal position.
She swayed, but stayed on her feet. The nausea was definitely over. She rubbed her swollen belly, felt an answering kick. Good. The baby was safe. Now she could take stock of the changes she felt in herself.
She sniffed. A heightened sense of smell flooded her with competing odours, the richest that of blood. Something edible was close by and she was suddenly ravenous. Saliva filled her mouth and when she ran her tongue over her teeth, she felt the dagger like tips of elongated fangs. Sharpened eyesight penetrated the darkest shadows hugging the house. Her ears pricked up to catch the thumping bass rocking from the seedy bar on Beach Boulevard. Jesus, she marveled. That place is almost a mile away, and I can hear it as if it’s next door.
There was a tiny movement in the little bush under her front window. With incredible speed, she darted over, thrust her hand in the bush and snatched up a skinny alley cat. It hissed and clawed viciously at her. She felt her teeth grow long and with an orgasmic rush pounding in her veins, she buried her fangs in the cat’s neck. Warm, sweet blood burst in her mouth and she almost choked in her haste to gulp it all at once. She forced herself to slow down. The cat twitched spasmodically and lay still. She sucked at it until there was no blood left. She threw the body under the bush and wiped her bloody hands on her nightgown. She knew she would never have done that as a human. She was really a vampire...
The scent of blood drifted in, tantalizing and sweet. She sniffed delicately. It was coming from the house. Instinctively, she licked her lips and headed towards the door. A sharp realization stopped her in her tracks. There was no one in the house but her four year old son. Panic set her trembling. Slake her hunger on her baby? Disgust and shame made her flesh crawl. No, no, no! She was a mother first, and always, she thought. Instinctively, her first thought was to call Linc; he would help her...
She shook the idea away immediately. It was out of the question. Linc would kill her, she knew. And if he didn’t, Dax would. They might not want to, but they’d see it as their duty, a hard and terrible one, but one they wouldn’t shrink from. The brothers hated vampires and had lived safely only by keeping one eye constantly open, sleeping in uneasy shifts, and staying one step ahead of both human and vampire bounty hunters who wanted the riches offered for them.
It was this possible peril that had made them both so angry with her when she became pregnant the first time. They had repeatedly warned her about what the vamps would do with a child they could kidnap and hold hostage to lure the more dangerous twins into a trap. Willfully, she had gotten pregnant anyway. It had cost her a husband. Now, it would cost her life if they found her.
A little moan from inside the house interrupted her thoughts. The boy was probably dreaming, tossing in his sleep. Unbidden, her feet carried her to the front door where she forced herself to stop. She didn’t know if her response was maternal or...this new self. She thought of him lying there, helpless, vulnerable...and delectable. Horrified, she dug her nails into her palms. She couldn’t go back in, she thought. She shouldn’t go back in. She wouldn’t be safe with him and, worse, she would be consigning him to a life tormented and haunted by visions of a mother who had turned into a monster while he slept.
“Mommy!” he wailed plaintively. A fast fading human maternal instinct won and she hurried into the house and down the hallway to his bedroom. He smiled when he saw her in his doorway and held out his little arms. She stared at his small body, riveted by the pulse gently throbbing in his throat. She could not tear her eyes from it, and took two steps toward him. She clenched her fists and forced herself to breathe calmly. The temptation to fall on him clouded her mind. She felt her teeth getting long. A series of kicks drummed deep in her belly.
He must have sensed something frightening because he reared back, eyes wide in terror. “Mommy?” he gasped.
She must not bite the boy; the rational part of her mind reminded her that his mutated blood would instantly kill her, and what grew in her. Yet... a seductive thought snaked its way in: if I bite him, I’ll never have to live on the dark side, forced to hunt nightly, living forever trapped by what I’ve become and can never escape, and perpetually on guard against his father and uncle.
The temptation didn’t last long, however. An urgent sense of self-protection took its place, and with it a wicked impulse. I could kill him, she thought. Ensure sure he’s no danger to me or the baby. A tiny voice in her mind said, ‘Do it. Save me. Save us.’ She looked at her frightened son. She didn’t see a scared four year old; now she saw a threat, a grave danger that she had to eliminate. She left the room and walked to the kitchen.
She opened a drawer and took out a butcher knife. It felt heavy. She walked back down the hallway.
The boy was crying. He shrieked when he saw the knife glinting in the faint light.
She advanced on the bed, knife held high. The boy shrank further against the wall, holding his blanket in front of him as a shield. He was sobbing hysterically.
A memory of him in his crib, wailing disconsolately for her, popped into her mind. Her perspective shifted and she saw herself as her son now saw her. Shocked, she dropped the knife and swooped down on her boy. She cradled him against her, murmuring gently.
“Oh my baby! Mommy’s sorry, so sorry,” she cried. She nestled his head against her breast and rubbed his back. After a long moment, he calmed down and she kissed the top of his head. He looked up at her, tears still glistening in his eyes.
“What happened to your neck?” he asked.
She started. She had forgotten about the wound the attack had left her with. She touched it gingerly and newly coagulated blood coated her fingertip came. She felt saliva flood her mouth and then a fierce kick within her belly. Without thinking, she stuck her bloodied finger in her mouth and licked it greedily. The kicking intensified. She was hungry. The baby was hungry.
She knew what she had to do. He was dangerous to her, and she to him. Leaving him would be her last maternal act, done as much to save herself as him. She had to call and use the prearranged signal that meant she needed help. She caressed her son one last time then gently pushed him away.
She forced herself to smile. “Just a little scratch,” she said. “You go back to sleep. I’m going to call Daddy. He’s going to look after you for a while. Is that okay?”
“Are you going away, mommy?” He tried to wrap his arms around her. His little white throat came perilously close to her mouth, and she had to fight for control.
“Yes, honey,” she managed to say. “Lie down now, and go back to sleep. When you wake up, Daddy will be here. Be a good boy, and do what he tells you.” She pushed herself clumsily off the bed and, not daring to look back, walked out of the room. She went into the kitchen, picked up her cell and punched in a number.
“He’s not safe,” she said.
She hung up. She’d done her final duty. Now she had to look after herself and the new life ready to emerge. She walked out the back door, never looking back, and disappeared quickly into the night.
Intriguing! I'm very interested in what happens next.
Timothy O. Goyette
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