Several centuries passed and the human population had multiplied nearly tenfold. News of Adam’s death spread through the network of tribal humans that remained under the protection and leadership of Aklia. Finally, Cain thought to himself as he stared up at the moonless night sky. But his mother had passed just a few years before, and that was an ache that he would never be able to get rid of. So many things had transpired between them. Unspeakable truths that even at this point in his life, he refused to revisit.
The single story dwelling made of mud and stone he shared with his pregnant wife Luluwa, their three growing fledglings, Tati, Tyre, and Eliana had been built by the hands of humans he enlisted for help. Nunka had finally found his own bride: a beautiful dark- skinned daughter of a chief from the northern tribe of Seth. She was as vicious as Nunka before being turned- so much so- that she had been cast out from her own people. By the time Nunka had discovered her, she had already killed several members of her tribe, claiming that the pagan goddess of fire ordered their execution. But her father had known the truth about his blood thirsty daughter. Unwilling to kill her, putting an end to her psychopathic and sadistic behavior, he decided to cast her out into the wilderness.
And that was how Nunka found her.
And together, the two of them rained a vengeful bloodshed upon that very village when she had awakened to her thirst.
At first, Cain wanted to kill her, believing that her existence would bring attention to Aklia and her daughters. And it did. However, in a surprise attack orchestrated by Nunka and his wife, Naima, the two of the successfully killed Aklia’s oldest and strongest daughter Adinkra. And in a sadistic ploy to taunt Aklia, they left Adinkra’s broken, bloodied body out in the open, hanging by her neck in the treetop clearing.
Aklia’s screams could be heard for miles.
However, their victory was short lived. Neither would have known that a bite inflicted upon Aklia’s daughter would have resulted in both Nunka and Naima’s longsuffering internally. It was then Cain discovered that his sister and her daughters were something else too. Something designed to combat his family. Their blood proved toxic to blood drinkers, causing temporary blindness, pain, and their ability to heal stripped from them. Cain and Luluwa assisted with providing both of them blood just to keep them alive. Once they were strong enough to be moved, that is when Cain enlisted the aid of human helpers to assist with the construction of their homes…separate homes.
Nunka’s abode was positioned over the edge of a cliff less than a mile away, looking downward over a mountain of jagged rocks and a guaranteed death for the unlucky human who dared to venture into Nunka’s territory. They now knew and understood the importance of Cain’s rules regarding secrecy. All of them were being hunted and would forever be hunted, until each one had been taken down.
Cain studied his pregnant wife, delighted that once again, another member of his kind would be born and not bitten. He wondered if Nunka would be able to expand their legacy with his wife, but time would only tell. His three younger children were nearing the ages of adolescence and like Nunka, despite being blood drinkers, they could still survive on food. Luluwa and Naima needed blood and blood alone.
Luluwa still prepared meals as she did when human and caring for her family as she learned from her mother Eve. But when darkness fell, she was no longer Luluwa the doting wife and mother of his children. She became a huntress, a predator…something that he found both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. The duality of the mother and monster that resided in her, he found fascinating and something to be studied. And as the days drew nearer for the birth of the newest addition to his family, he began to do what any loving, considerate husband would do for his wife: bring food home.
She rested peacefully within the dirt hole that he carefully dug just a few feet into the ground, long enough to accommodate her 5’6’’ height, and wide enough for her to shift and change positions should she need it. He lined it with blankets made of the skin of goat and ram for her comfort. Some days, their children would join her as she slept, as they preferred the night anyways. But now they waited for her to awaken from her rest, and the three opted to skip and run around outside as normal children would.
Yet, it would be just their luck that a wanderer found his way near their home, unaware of the danger.
Cain stood up from the corner he rested in quickly. “Tati! Tayre! Eliana!” He shouted, moving at light speed to retrieve them, only to discover that they were nowhere to be found. Cursing, he rounded their home, listening for them.
His children were also predators.
A loud scream echoed not far off in the distance of the trees.
With a sigh, Cain materialized from inside the dwelling to where the gurgling sounds of a man on his last breath struggled to pull away from the three fledgling vampires that fed on him.
“Tati! Tayre!” Eliana!” Cain called out to them again, this time capturing their attention.
Savages. His children were savages. They looked up at him, each kneeled from different positions surrounding the dead body, with blood and flesh dripping from their exposed fangs. Tati and Tayre, the twins each had chewed away the side of the poor man’s neck, while Eliana worked at his thigh.
“Get away from him!” Cain shouted as he approached the body. “What are you doing?”
Tati and Tayre glanced at one another and slowly rose to their feet. On the other hand, Eliana remained on her knees, still leaning over the man, like a vulture protecting her prize.
“We were hungry,” Eliana stated evenly. “And he is food.”
Cain studied the youngest of the bunch, unsure of how to approach the subject matter at hand. What she said was true indeed, but still he could not allow them to remain undisciplined. There needed to be a balance, lest the archangels instead of his sister decide to come for them.
“Eliana,” Cain began carefully, still focused on her. “That may be true, but were you not listening when I explained to all of you, despite being the hunters we are also the hunted?”
Eliana’s eyes slowly normalized from blood red to the soft brown that seemed to always melt his heart. “But Papa,” she pleaded, pushing herself away from the body. “His blood, it called to us.”
“As what blood will always do to our king,” Cain replied, moving his attention from Eliana to the twins. “But you all must be careful. Humans are a very delicate population, and it is true that individually they stand no chance against us, but should they band together in numbers…”
“Then we should bleed them out one by one,” Eliana declared, catching a frown from her sister Tati.
“No Eliana,” Cain chuckled. “Then what will we do for food if we bleed them out? In a few short years, we could easily destroy humanity and then what? Your mother and I nearly starved in the beginning…”
Tati stuck her tongue out at Eliana, who sneered back at her. “So what will we do with him?”
Cain exhaled sharply as he examined the body. His children had done quite the job on the poor wanderer. Had he been lost? Did he have a family that would without a doubt come for him? The poor soul’s jaw line and jugular had been ripped out. Tati’s work was evidenced by the serrated gash that extended from the man’s jaw to his shoulder, all the way through to the bone.
“We are going to have burn the body as usual,” Cain said finally. “But not here.”
“Let us come with you,” Tayre said, licking around the edges of his mouth. “At some point, we will have to know how to do this on our own.”
Instead of children who played with toys made of cloth and wood; children who begged their papa to tell them stories of great adventures; children who sang along with their mother; children who skipped and played and laughed at silly things…his children, in the five years since each of their births, perfected the art of being a predator. They were smarter, faster and stronger than human children and most adults. They laughed when a victim begged for mercy, screamed in terror, attempted to escape, struggled to fight back…like a small pack of hyena they would surround their would be victims, taunting them with their childish expressions.
His children were monsters.
But he loved them anyways.
“Grab his feet Tyre,” Cain instructed as he grabbed the dead man by what was left of his neck.
Tyre did as instructed as Eliana and Tati hung back, waiting for their father’s instructions. Cain quickly glanced at them with playful merriment in his eyes. “Oh and one more thing,” Cain smiled. “Try to keep up.”
Cain took off with Tyre still holding onto the man’s feet without having been ripped apart and laughed.
“Hey!” Eliana shouted racing off after them with Tati behind her. “Wait for us!”