An Essay By Perry Allen Austin, Texas
A Mother's Love
The Picture: a black and white image of a woman's face in shadow. Her hair is jet black and her skin is a pale ghastly white. Her lips are full and dark. Blood red perhaps? Her eyes have an intense predatory look as if anticipating her next meal.
She waits silently in the dark just inside the crypt door. The full moon is rising and its light casts the shadows of the steel fence surrounding the crypt upon her face. She watches hungrily, knowing that soon she will feed. Already she can hear the beating of the heart, the blood coursing through his veins. She can smell the freshness and purity of it. Her sharp eyes can see that it is a man of medium build with fair skin and dark hair. He is dressed all in black with a bit of white around his neck showing. Perhaps he is a priest? If so, what brings him out on such a night as this? He has something in his hand that he looks at occasionally and then looks among the headstones, reading the inscriptions as if he was searching for something. As he gets closer she sees that he is indeed a priest, perhaps around 40 years old, and very handsome. For a moment she contemplates bringing him over. It's been several years now since her master and love was caught and staked by the hunters and she's been very lonely. She's still young as vampires go, only being turned about thirty years ago. In her other life before she was turned she had been a happily married woman with a ten year old son that she loved very much. She tries not to think about her other life often, as the memories make the loneliness almost unbearable. The man has stopped at a headstone across the path, and as she watches, he falls to his knees and she hears him sob quietly, "Mother, I've found you at last." She slowly glides through the doors of the crypt and then through the gates towards the kneeling man. The hunger is twisting painfully through her guts now. She must feed! But the man must have sensed something, for he spins around and his eyes go wide in terror. All the breath leaves out of him and he whispers in horror "Mother! No!" His words cause her to hesitate, but only for a moment, for the hunger is too great and the red mist has fallen across her sight. As she falls upon him and rips out his throat, a fleeting moment of uneasiness and recognition crosses her mind, and then she begins to feed.
After she feeds she remains kneeling next to the body with her eyes closed, basking in the cold light of the moon, feeling the fresh warm blood coursing through her veins. She feels herself coming alive with energy. She is still young and it has been too long since she last fed. Finally she opens her eyes and they fall upon the headstone the man had been kneeling in front of. With a start she recognises the name on the stone. It is her own. Her own headstone and grave where she was buried so many years ago. She had forgotten. Then the words of the man come back to her, the words he whispered in terror before she fell on him. "Mother!" In shock and unwilling to believe, she reaches a shaking hand out and turns the man's face towards her, and suddenly she knows the truth, this is her son. The one she left behind thirty years ago. She looks at her son in horror, realising what she has done, and a long anguished cry of unbearable pain escapes her lips into the night sky. As her cries reach a crescendo the night suddenly goes silent for miles in all directions. The sound of insects still, children asleep in their beds cry out and stir uneasily in their dreams. Dogs awake suddenly and whimper in fear with their tails tucked in between their legs. Cats freeze, with their tails and hair standing straight up, their backs arched, hissing at something unseen. As the cry fades the night returns to normal. The insects continue their night serenades and the children become still and breathe easier in their sleep. The dogs rest their heads upon their paws and dream of chasing rabbits and squirrels, and the cats go back to their nightly prowling.
Back at the cemetery she's on her knees with the body of her son pulled into her lap, holding him tightly. Her tears of blood fall on his face and into his unseeing eyes. After some time has passes, she rises. She reaches down and lifts her son in her arms and carries him to the crypt. There she gently lays him into her coffin, brushes his hair back and kisses him. Before she closes the lid to the coffin she whispers softly "Goodbye my son, I'm sorry". She locks the door to the crypt and the gates as she leaves and then stands looking around. It will be dawn soon, the sky to the east is beginning to turn that light grey just before the sun rises. She turns and begins walking slowly towards the east, towards the dawn and the rising sun.
Perry Allen Austin, Texas
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