A scream pierced through the dark soundless night followed by loud sobs and then another painful scream.

”Dakota…calm down…its alright…its okay ”

”Mom…it…it hurt…hurts…it…hurts so…bad!! ” she forces the words out of her mouth in

between breaths choking on her words. Her face damp with free falling tears as she

clutched onto her body tight. The sensation of her bones on the verge of breaking spread

throughout her body which made her cry out in agony. Her body felt like it was on fire at

the same time cold chills shot through her veins causing her to shudder after every minute.

Although she was in her mothers embrace she snuggled closer, trying to feel a sense of

security. The pendant on her chest felt heavy and hot ready to melt at any point, if hell

could be experienced Dakota thought she was in one. Though she felt like she was on the

edge of crumbling down the feeling of her mothers arms around her and her soothing

voice gave her some comfort. Slowly her breathing began to regulate and her body began to

feel lighter as the pain started to fade she thought that finally she could be at peace, but it

was not meant to be at least not tonight. As the first light of the moon in its full glory crept through

the window of her bedroom which directly shone on the mother and daughter, a blood

curdling scream shot out of her mouth breaking the temporary silence that lasted for a few


”Mom…whats happ..pening…to me?? Why do…I go through this every time…there is a

fu…full moon…why?? ”

”Its not the moon darling…its just that…you have this kind of sickness, it happens once a

month ” Rei responds tightening her embrace on her precious treasure. The sickness was a

lie of course but she couldn tell her the truth, she had to hide it and if it meant that she

had to lie she would lie forever as long as her daughter was safe. Dakota slowly pulled away

from her mothers embrace, her breaths deepened and an inaudible grunt escaped her

throat. She looked up at the latter hoping she hadn heard it. Rei looked into her daughters

eyes and gasped inwardly as her eyes widened at what she saw next. Dakotas irises

changed from normal to slits each time she blinked, even the color seemed to switch between her normal blue to emerald green, sometimes both changed and at times it looked like she had heterochromia.. Unconsciously Rei put her hands over her mouth holding in tears. ”Mom??..Whats wrong? Why are you looking at me…as…as if Im some kind of monster?? ” Rei flinched at the word monster and instantly took Dakota into her embrace and held onto her as if she would lose her any moment. ”No…no…you arenot a monster…You will never be a monster ”

”Mom… ”

A while later Rei notices that Dakotas irises returned to normal, her breathing had

regulated and her body temperature seemed to have reached the normal level. She

breathed a sigh of relief as it was over now and her daughter could finally be in peace. The

moonlight gradually disappeared from the room; the dark sky began to lighten as dawn

prepared to take over. Overcome with exhaustion Dakota instantly fell into a deep slumber.

Rei held her close and let out the tears she had been trying so hard to fight back. Then

getting her act together she slowly lifted her up and laid her on the bed and covering her

with a blanket she placed a gentle kiss on her forehead and slowly made her way out

carefully. Upon hearing the door close Dakota weakly opens her eyes and closes it again,

Why was mom crying she thinks to herself.


”Who is it? ” an old man demands looking up from over his work that was on his desk.

”Grandfather…it is me ..Stephen ” the speaker sounded nervous standing outside the door he

played with his fingers repeatedly. It seemed he had no wish to enter through that door. His

grandfather sternly ordered him to enter. The elder looked quite strict his white eyebrows

furrowed together forming a scowl. His very appearance exuded authority, confidence and

fear and as Stephen stood before him he felt fear as always. Deep brown emotionless eyes,

a ragged scar across his left eyebrow, round silver rimmed spectacles on his nose, tan skin,

calloused fingers and a bandaged hand. These features describe his appearance but his

stringent and harsh dominative nature described him best. He took off his spectacles and

motioned Stephen to sit down before he began to speak. The latter sat down obediently not

daring to look into the others eyes. His heart pounding in his chest which almost seemed

audible in the large cabin if not for his grandfathers deep voice that made him jump in his


”Stephen you are of age and as the heir to the Archer family there are responsibilities you

are obligated to carry out ”

Stephen still looking down knew exactly what it meant, he belonged to the family of

hunters he was aware that one day he would have to shoulder the family name as well as

its practice he knew very well but he not was prepared for it mentally. He didn want the

position of heir it was a burden to him.

”Look up boy!! ” his grandfathers serious tone snapped him out of his reverie; he tried to

look up but couldn find the courage to look into the formers eyes.

”Yes I understand…Grandfather ”

”All these years, your siblings and you have been training for this. I hope you will not let me

down ” Turning away and facing his back to his grandson he says ”You are not allowed to

fail me or this family. ”

Those words weighed on Stephen, at this moment he just wanted to get out from there. The

room stifled him; it crushed him down making him feel giddy and uneasy. Still he managed

to force out words, ”Yes Grandfather. ”

”You may leave now ” the elder says returning his attention to his work that he had been

attending to before. Stephen got up quietly and left closing the door behind him. He let out

deep breaths and then made his way towards his room. He opens the door into his room

and plops himself onto the bed placing an arm on his forehead he closes his eyes.

Flashbacks of memories from 8 years ago flood into his mind, the time when everything

was alright, the time when his grandfather looked kind and smiled more.


”Grandpa Grandpa! What are you doing? ” a small 8 year old boy with blond hair looked up

at his grandfather who was aiming for a straw dummy few meters away.

”Its a bow and arrow little Stephen ”

”Wow! ” his amber eyes widened ”Can I play with it too? ” he added on excitedly.

”Of course but when you are a little older ” he says putting down his equipment and then

going on to carry little Stephen in his arms. They both smiled at each as he picked him up

and seated him over his shoulders and jogged around both laughing heartily. Their laughter

echoed in Stephens head as he opened his eyes and looked at the ceiling Why am I afraid?

Even though I know very well the reason for Grandpa changing drastically, why can it be

like before? he thinks to himself then sitting up he says ”Grandpa I will not fail you. ”

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