Hey… guess who is still alive? Me 😀
Yeah so me and NaNoWri are still together though our relationship has become somewhat rockier. Well as long as I’m still writing and not giving up its a triumph to me at least. So here is a short story I have written for someone in the world to at least enjoy. WARNING: This story contains content which might be considered graphic and disturbing. Read at your own risk.
The Last Son
My mother died on a sticky, hot day. The summer sun set the sky on fire as my brother and I ran in the rich green bushes and lush grass in our vast garden. Though he was the eldest, he was shorter than me and was naturally timid and gentle, a trait that was found in my mother. Like any other boys we rampant and loud to all creatures around us, we did not have a care in the world. Barefooted we ran onto the stone of our patio which was red hot and made me jump up and down to try and stop my feet from burning as we approached my houses back door. I called for my mother and my voice echoed emptily inside. No answer, I called again and my brother called out when I again received no answer. Until outside there was a large thump to the ground, accompanied with a sound that I can only describe today as a gruesome snap and splash. I turned my attention back the outside and followed my ears on where the sound had resonated from, my brother close behind. As we went around house I noticed the wall was blotched and scratched with red, flecking like a rash on its surface. A few seconds later, we found the body. The blood was still seeping into her long golden hair that made an angelic halo around her head, with the impact her blood had been splattered everywhere, as we ran to her body I felt the blood sticking to my feet from the heat already. I shook her, I screamed for her to wake up but her face was a marbled blue and purple as if deathly cold. I gave up and fell into her chest sobbing. As I cried a dark shadowed appeared, looming over us. I looked up to see my father peering over the balcony above.
He said she fell, at her funeral as both my brother and I sobbed freely that she was gone. Mr Sawyer, a friend of our family longer than before I was born was in ruins, crying out her name over and over. He showed more emotion than my father ever did that day. He stood with a face of stone, the entire day he stayed close to my brother and when they lowered mother’s coffin into the dark crypt prepared he gripped onto his shoulders like a vice. I stayed for a while in the crypt, looking at the sculpted body carved onto the lid made to depict her. The sculptor had done an awful job; she was far more beautiful than this ugly, cold stone. I jumped with surprise when a hand touched my shoulder. “Sorry Ashten, I didn’t mean to frighten you.” Said Mr Sawyer apologetically and retracted his hand away from me.
“No I’m sorry Mr Sawyer, I-I’m just a little under the weather.” He smiled.
“Hey no need to be so formal, call me James and don’t talk like that, you are still a child.” He chuckles before he reached out and ruffled my hair which made me feel a little better. We smile at each other before he turns to look at the crypt “You couldn’t leave her either?”
“Well, father and Jason needed to get paid respects; I didn’t want her to be left alone.”
“Ah I see what a good son you are. She would be so proud.” I beam at the complement, it meant a lot. “But, we can’t stay here forever, so how about we go back to the house and like we stand strong for her?” I nod, though I start to sob again, as he lead me back he looked to the sky with shimmering eyes “I was very fond of your mother Ashten, she was one of the most wonderful people in this world.” He made me cry even harder and we both cried our last tears before entering the house.
A few years past and death was back to take someone else I loved, Jason was bedridden with a fever. I sat next to him on the bed, not caring if I was at risk of catching his illness. His breath was hot and heavy as he gasped, struggling to keep inhaling. “Ashten?”
“Will you protect me?” I smiled.
“Hey, you are my big brother you can’t say such things.” He laughed with a rasp.
“Yes, you are right. I’m not a very good brother am I?” I frowned with a deep furrow, wondering how he could think so little of himself.
“You are strong Jason, you know that.” He smiled faintly, before he started to shake, tears welled up in his eyes.
“Ashten, I-I’m scared.”
“You will get better, do not be frightened.”
“No not of this sickness, of-”
The door of the bedroom banged open to reveal my father with a face of thunder. “Ashten! I said that you were not to come in here, you dare disobey me?” Both Jason and I were frightened as he stormed over grabbing Jason and lifting him off the bed like a ragdoll. We screamed, I tried to reach for him but father threw me down quicker than I could get a hold of Jason’s hand. He stormed out the room, with Jason still screaming in his grasp. I didn’t see my brother alive again, a week later my father said he did not make it. So at his funeral, it was my shoulders my father hooked onto.
Six years past and my father had banned me from going outside, saying I was too precious and he didn’t want to lose me. At eighteen years old I had become a full-fledged man, I had not seen a soul for all the time my father had kept me locked up in this room. I was locked up in my mother’s old room, though I was puzzled that I was not kept in my own, it was comforting to be around her things. I was reading a book on the bed as usual when I heard unfamiliar voices from outside my room. I look through the keyhole. I see two servant women who I did not recognise were just on the landing in front of my door. There words were harsh and whispered, meaningless words laced with gossip and giggles. “Ladies! What are you up to?” The voice was unusually velvet and smooth but I instantly recognised it as my fathers. “Sorry Lord Campbell, we were just on break and on our way to the servant’s quarters.”
“Please call me Master Ashton, Lord Campbell is my father. No need to be so formal.” As the girls giggled nervously at his suggestion I was completely shocked. What on earth was my father thinking? It makes no sense it had to be some sort of joke. The servants rushed away and I heard them go down the stairs. I should have shouted while they were there, it didn’t occur to me at the time, I was filled with shock and anger. I started wrecking the room, knocking over anything in my path. I went to my mother’s Vanity and flipped it. Her old makeup and perfume smashed on the floor, her fragrance brought my rampage to an end and I fell onto my knees on top of the twinkling shards. I breathe in again and fall onto my hands, it stings when the shards cut my fingers and palms but I didn’t care. Why mother? Why is father doing this? As my vision started to blur with the beginning of tears I notice something strange in the Vanity mirror that I smashed in my rampage. Underneath the crumpling mirror fragments still attached to the mirror I noticed a cream envelope peeking out. For a second I wondered how it was even possible, but I realised that my mother might have slipped it in between the backing and the glass. I hurriedly crawled over to it, tearing the letter out from the mirrors grasp. It was addressed to a William, my father’s first name. It was still sealed with the wax as if it had never been opened. I started to read.
I’m afraid my darling, I will gone from this world very soon. I pray to god that you get this letter. You are the most precious thing to me William, so I beg of you to run far away from this place. Your father, he is not human. I did not realise it until my second child, your brother Drake, was taken from me. Do you remember how both your brothers had a horrible sickness? I was so desperate to visit Drake that I saw a sight so terrible I will not repeat it. You are now my only child left in this world and as a mother it is my duty to make sure you survive. I am in my last hour I suspect, your father will not let me live to tell you, or anyone else this. God cannot protect me; the noose is already around my neck. If you survive through, I will be at peace.
Your loving mother.
Though I was disappointed that it was not my own mother, I said a prayer for the William who never got this letter. Now the bigger question was who, or what was my father? Before I could think, I felt a presence behind me and when I tried to turn round, my vision blacked out.
My head thumped as I awoke from my forced slumber and it took a few moments for my hazy vision to become clear. When I finally came round it came to my attention that I was lying down on a lounge chair. As I arose my head spun but nonetheless I felt vulnerable lying down. I heard the clink of metal on china; I look across to see my father stirring what seemed to be a cup of tea. He appears to be younger than I last saw him; in fact, he looked almost as young as me. He was eerily handsome, though his face was emotionless as I could remember. However, all of a sudden there was a smile that appeared on his face as he looked to me, the smile would usually come across as warm but all I felt was a cold stab. As his eyes were filled with hunger, hunger that was directed towards me. “You are awake? Good. Come here and have a seat, we have much to talk about.” I was hesitant but, I had no real choice and I needed answers. I got up shakily and staggered over to the seat opposite him. I sat down and steadied myself with my hands on the table. He poured me some tea into a cup and saucer and I cursed myself for giving mumbled thank you to him out of the bad habit of good manners. “Drink.” He ordered me while still staring at me with the eyes of a predator. Again, I had no choice but to comply I took a sip before realising he had not touched his at all, big mistake.
I was surprised when I became immobilised, falling face forward onto the table letting go of the cup and saucer so that it smashed on the floor, the tea spilled all over my legs but I didn’t even flinch or scream though it was burning my legs through the cloth. Whatever he had given me, it had completely hindered my speech and movement. “Datura Metel; also known as the Devils Trumpet. It is a poisonous plant that can be found in Italy and often causes fatality. Don’t worry I haven’t used enough to kill you, the paralysis is temporary. It’s just that I can’t have you fighting back is all. I bet you have a lot of questions.” He touches my head and harshly pulls it by the hair so that I face him. “Have you ever heard of the Wolf Spider?” I look towards him blankly and he continues.
“The wolf spider will have many offspring; however, for its own survival it will eat as many of its offspring as it needs to stay alive. Filial cannibalism they call it, the eating of one’s young.” My eyes widened at the explanation, and he grinned sickeningly.
“Ah, you understand? You brother was too young to grasp the concept.” My blood ran cold with the realisation. He had eaten Jason? How on earth? “I see you read the letter Jane left, she hid it well. Like your mother she found out that I was not human.” Mother found out? Is that why she- “Yes Ashten, your mother died by my hand. She was going to tell that Sawyer of my true identity. So I called her to the balcony, before strangling the life out of her. When I was finished I tossed her body like waste.” My eyes lit up, he was a monster.
“You see, my children are blessed with the same blood as me. We can live forever, when we drink the blood of our kind. Once upon the time we drank the blood of humans, but over time it deformed us with the taint of mortality. It is now our poison.” He used my other hand to stroke my cheek; if I could have shivered I would have chilled myself to the bone. “You are my 547th son and my 863rd child if you believe it. The girls were useless, so I made sure they died quickly.” He grabbed his own cup flinging out the poison liquid in dramatic fashion before he got up and walked towards me. He leaned to my neck, with a crooked and sharp fingernail he pierced the soft flesh which almost eagerly bled out into his awaiting cup. He lifted the cup to his nose, smelling my blood as if it were fine wine. “A toast.” He said with a crooked grin. “To my good health.” He swung it back, swallowed; before he started to choke. I could see confusion on his face as he stared at me. Then suddenly his eyes widened as if an epiphany had come upon him. “That…bitch…you are… mortal.” He tried to walk toward me with a menacing look in his eye. However, he fell and while crawling towards me, and perished before he could even touch me.
I was found a day later, still paralysed next to the dead body of my father. Mr Sawyer had waited in the wings as he had been banished to see me. He made sure one of the top doctors in the country was the only one to treat me. Slowly my body recovered, but I’m afraid my mind did not. I am still haunted by my father, my brother and my mother. There dead faces walk in the daylight as well as my dreams. When I lay my head to the pillow sometimes before I dream I hear the ringing of hundreds of voices of children, screaming and snarling, the sound of flesh tearing. As if they are feeding.
I should thank Mr Sawyer for my mortal blood, that one day I will have the salvation of death.