With the final call from my brothers, my silver eyes open to a bright white sky. I can’t remember where I was or who I was before this very moment. My mind is bound in a barbed-wire cage and an inferno bellows in the pit of my stomach, filling my body with black smoke. I wipe away the blanket of snow on my chest, and I snarl. The claws. I always forget about the fucking claws; they’re like razors. But my self-inflicted chest wound heals fast until it is only the snow that is tinged crimson.
The smell of blood causes my muscles to tighten and I let out a ravenous growl. No matter how hard I try to stop myself, my legs tear under me at an unrelenting pace. Sprinting through the forest, I barrel through frozen trees and leap over fallen boulders, and my eyes scan every leaf and branch of the woods in front of me – my ears cover my peripheral. My heart races in my chest as I grow closer to my prey, until I’m so close that I whimper from years’ worth of hunger and cravings. A small buck is lapping at an ice-covered pond, but it doesn’t last long. I send my heavy body at the young deer and tackle it, forcing its thick body through a rotted tree trunk. It doesn’t have time to react before my hands rip the animal apart, and my long tongue and teeth invade its abdomen and other juicy innards. A crazed cackle leaves my mouth, leading to an eruption of a lumpy cocktail of blood and grass down the corners of my mouth. Clumps of guts and red slime slap the ground as the stream of regurgitated venison leaves my maw.
It’s not enough, though. Centuries of hibernation demand more than only a small meal. And in moments my body once more surges me forward through the woodland. Another scent fills my nostrils as I’m half-consciously running. It’s not unlike that of the other wildlife, but it’s sweeter. It’s definitely sweeter. And suddenly whatever conscience I have left is submerged in a boiling pit of hot tar. I feel my conscious eye slowly close, the final pillar of my humanity crumbling, and allow the fiend to hunt in the flesh.
I awaken with a sharp pain of ice emanating steady, swift pulses of agony throughout my body. My silver eyes fall upon the figure of a young boy, whose trembling hands grasp the hilt of a metal stake with which I am pierced. For the first time since I can remember, tears stream my face and I emit a thunderous roar.
For a few seconds I feel the metaphoric cage loosen and I look around. Bodies are strewn on top of vehicles, houses, and about the street. The sidewalk is lined with strings of guts and vomit, and doors and windows are sprayed with blood. Torsos of men and women lie in pieces around torn bits of their children. A baby blanket entwined in a welcoming sign waves in fragments – as if it was solemnly dismissing the souls that were just slain.
The flood of my humanity extinguishes the malicious firestorm that once flickered in my bowels, and I am once again staring into the face of a startled young boy who is paralyzed with fear. His blond hair flows in tufts with the wind, and his chapped face shines white, shaming even the blinding blizzard. With some of my remaining strength, I fall backwards, releasing my body from the silver sword. Memories of the past fill my mind and I can almost visualize Annie’s face. Almost.
The boy is still sitting there and comes to when I throw my hand to grab his arm; I want to explain everything. But he straddles me, crying out as he drives the blade into my body again, again, again, and again. But his new found rage and thirst for retribution isn’t his own. With my last breath wasted, before I could inform him of the curse that has befallen him, I see his beautiful cerulean eyes fade into a menacing silver.