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 ”
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.
8 YEARS AGO
”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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