Chapter 3 – Part 1 – Snare

“Mother is the name for god, on the lips and hearts of all children. Except when it comes to my mother. My mother. The mad mother of Newlands,” I argue the shadow at the window.

It’s been a week since my discharge. A week. Death just won’t come. My hope literally shatters with every waking moment. How week am I? Not even being able to kill myself. No matter the amounts of medication I mix with whatever amounts of alcohol, I still wake up to movement, cold fingers, whispers.

“What do you want?” I shout at the shadow.

“I want to protect you. Is it not obvious my child?” She keeps to the shadows of the house, her movements still catlike. I hate cats.

“Pris. Let’s be realistic. You’ve never much protected me. We can all agree, I mostly protected you. My mother of madness. Always ranting about vampyres. Blood gods. Mibba. Fae. I imagine we’ll never really know who my father was considering it wouldn’t have taken much to get in your pants with all your crazy.”

She’s by my side now. Her cold hand stills around my arm before continuing to rewrap my bandage. I take another sip of whiskey. At least whiskey is reliable. Whiskey always guarantees numbness of my senses.

Pris takes the bottle from me. “You need to stop this silliness child.”

“For god’s sake mother, my name is Natalie. You named me Natalie. Just call me by the name, you, gave me.” I rant reaching for my bottle.

“I know your father. He is a god.”

I snort. Here we go again with mother’s madness. “I know ma, we are all children of God.”

“Stop with this stupidity, please you need to listen to what I say.”

I’m not sure what drives me towards anger. In fact, I’m not sure whether my anger is just directed to anger itself. Maybe new me, this me, prefers remaining numb.

I fall back onto my pillows. Dust particles raise up around me.

“Go away mother. Your child no longer wants to live or listen to you. All she wants is death.” I let my words sink in. “Please just let me die, ma.” I beg, too tired to fight.

A car door shuts somewhere outside.

Pris rushes toward the next window, her movements fast, like a mother protecting her young. I know that feeling. Just never saw it in my mother.

“It’s that pastor. He brought food. Be nice.” She manages before moving back into the shadows.

I lie back, hoping to ignore the doorbell.

No such luck.

“Natalie, I know you are there. Please open. I worry about you.”

I get up. Open the door. “You too? Mother’s been nagging me enough.”

His eyebrows raise as he enters the doorway, his eyes directed towards the opposite doorway.

“Is she back?”

“Who?” I ask confused.

“Your mother. She went missing. We had search parties looking for her for months …”

“Did we?” I ask still trying to make sense of everything. “We’ll she’s back.” I manage to say as I watch him walk through the house.

“Where is she then?”

“She was just there,” I point towards the last area Pris was.

“Are you sure you are okay.” He asks again, looking at me.

“Jip, right as rain pastor. Or shall I say alive and kicking …” I notice his displacement at my scant clothing, the dirt set around the house.

“I’ll send someone to help clean the house,”

“Oh no need for that pastor. Mom and I can manage just fine,” I say directing him back towards the door. Light a cigarette.

“I think I’ll come around again tomorrow,” he adds as I shut the door behind him. I exhale smoke.

“He thinks you are crazy.”

I turn around with a jolt. “What is it with you acting like a ghost? Are you having fun scaring the shit out of me?”

“There are worse things to fear my child.”

“I dunno ma,” I say, “death seems welcome right now. Except I am not dying, and I think it’s because of you. What did you do? Why am I not dead?” My anger inflates. I walk towards where she left my bottle of whiskey, grab it hurriedly just in case she might take it.

She doesn’t, so I take a sip from the bottle before I contemplate; “I took enough sleeping tablets last night. I know I did. It should have killed me. Instead, here I am. Awake. Alive. What did you do to me?” I shout, more smoke.

She moves back to the window, her voice low. “That truck has been there for the past two days. They don’t leave. It’s a matter of time before they come and take you.”

I go look at the truck.

“So what? Let them.”

“You don’t understand. They must never find you.” She whispers.

Hate, frustration all boils to that dark point. “Why are you being so weird. Why can’t you just be like a normal mother. Why are you …” I scream and reach to slap her.

Pris anticipates the move though, blocks my hand. For a second, we both look at each other in shock.

The pain engulfs my entire arm and I sag down to the ground as tears run along my face. It’s as if I hit a brick wall. The cigarette on the opposite side of the room.

“I told you. Things are not what they seem. I know your father. He is a god. I kept you away from him, from that life. I tried to tell you all these years, but you never listen. So, when the earth shook and swallowed people. When the darkness came and refused to go away for days. When the heavens opened. I ran because I knew, the prophecy was imminent, and it will be up to me to save you. So, I did what I had to do to protect you.”

Sobs fill my throat, makes my voice all croaky. “What ma, what did you do?” Because let’s face it. Right now, I harbour no feelings of protection.

“I went to the one man I knew would help, I asked him to find you after he insured my change.”

I manage to drag myself to the couch, the lameness dissipating from my joints. “for fucks sake mother,” I manage as some more pain filters through my hand, “could you please for once just make sense.”

I can see my hand inflating.

Pris looks out the window. “I found Tobias. I made him promise to change me. Then he had to find you and protect you. Except, he was followed. The cargos were intercepted, raided. It was a trap, and you had the accident, and everyone died. Except you. He made sure of it. So, he came back to tell me. He waited with me until the change was complete and I could cope with being near you.”

Breathe in, breathe out, in, out – I coach myself. My head about to explode.

“I am a vampyre now. It was the only way left to protect you. To become one of them. All these people that go missing. It’s not an accident. It’s not the dark. It’s them. The children of the night. Somatics won’t stand a chance.”

Haal asem. A giggle manages its way out. What else could it be. Here we are again. Me, in pain and my mother, my mad mother, is once again educating me on this world. Her world.

“So, what you are saying is that you killed my children. If you didn’t send someone to find me. We would all be, okay?” Is all I manage to ask.

“No, if I didn’t let him go look for you, you might be captured, your children might have been two. Where they are now is a blessing.”

“Oh. That changes things.” I state. “So, it’s your fault I am here and not dead with them.”

Pris walks across the floor in silence. Her cold hands are once again on me. It’s an odd sensation to have your mother, the mother you looked after for so long, cradle you.

All I do, is cry.

***

I wake up from the rattle of the doorknob at the front door. It’s yet a new day. I feel somewhat different though. Not as tired or wired. Maybe it’s because for the first time in weeks, I know what I am going to do.

More knocking. Which I still ignore.

I don’t know when it was that I decided on a way forward. Whether it was when Pris told me her story for a second time or whether it was when my eyes finally ran dry. All I know for sure is that I woke up knowing that today would not end the same it did yesterday.

I get up, still ignore the door then move to the back of the house where I know Louis kept the guns.

I’m not sure what the rules are with all these vampyres and gods but the way I see it everyone had two options. Either I blow my brains out and it all ends right here. Or I agree with my mother. I agree that the only way I can try save some humans is to become one of them.

The latest deliberation was one I still had to have with mother. But first I had to get rid of this bloody priest.

I open the safe, collect Louis shotgun, as is the norm in this house, it’s still loaded.

“Natalie, I know you are there …,” Pastor Pieter reiterates his daily song. I open the door and point the gun at his face.

“You know, between you and my mother I am getting really tired of explaining myself. For the last time, I don’t want your food. I don’t need your help. Fuck off.” The expression on his face leaves little to ponder as he stumbles backwards, off the porch back out into the rain.

“Is jy fokken mal, vroumens?” He stutters as I stand firm, gun aimed at his head, then move it sideways.

“Yes Pieter, I am crazy, and no amount of food, good wishes or prayer will change that,” I add as I pull the trigger. Not having anticipated the backlash I fall back, the gun toppling to the ground.

Pastor Pieter runs off.

I get up, dust off my knees, my arms and pick up my gun. As I turn around, I notice mother standing just inside the shadow of the door.

Lucky for me, this gun takes more than one round, so I hold it firm, walk back into the door and shut it.”

“That was really stupid,’ she starts to say but I don’t let her continue. “I thought about everything you said ma, and I decided that for once I fully agree with you. The only way out of this, for me, is for me to take revenge on those bastards that intercepted our run. So, like you, I agree that you need to change me.”

I am not a hundred percent sure what I was expecting from her, then again, she’d always been fairly nuts, so what could one expect.

Anger though, was unexpected.

“No. I will never change you.” She shouts. “You have no idea what you are asking. You have no idea what world awaits you.”

Again, not sure why but I feel this deep sense of calm come across me. Myself and I agreed, I had two options.

“Mother,” I say with utmost poise. “Ma, if you refuse to change me here, right now. I will kill myself. I admit, guns are not my thing. It’s not my weapon of choice but I swear to you mother. If you refuse to do this. I will pull this trigger.”   

We stand there for what seems to be eternity. Mother looking at me. Me standing firm in my decision.

A car door opens. Pris glides to the window.

“We don’t have much time. I knew they would come for you today.”

“Then it’s about time you choose.”

I can see a figure standing at the truck door. He is looking up and down the road but not approaching the house.

She turns around, looks at me, her eyes evident of losing a war. Shaking her head, she smiles before moving toward me. “I will change you but before I do here’s the plan.”

I lower the gun, not trusting this new coherent mom.

“You must understand. This is not something I wish for you. I also don’t know the outcome. Your father was a blood god. You are therefore, – part somatic – part him. If I change you, I don’t know what will happen.”

I try to visualize what’s about to happen but then decide to push it aside. “Explain the process. That way I can try and pre-empt my behaviour.” It was the only thing that came to mind.

“Well, okay, I will inflict the bite. You should become incoherent, as if drugged. Once the poison takes, you’ll fall asleep. That’s the good part because at that time, I can hide you.”

I nod because it was all I could do. “The issue is once you wake up. The world will look different. Sounds, smells – everything will have a pull. Your senses won’t know what to make of it in the beginning. You’ll need to remain still, breathe. Take everything in. Once you feel you have a grasp on things, you’ll feel an uncontrollable thirst. It is not thirst. It’s hunger.”

Again, I nod with understanding.

“This is the difficult part. Controlling your hunger. Deciding what you will feed on. It’s not only a physical thing once you are changing. It’s more. You become a hunter. Everything in you, plans and directs itself to feed. Once you taste blood for the first time, it consumes you. It’s like a dance where you take in everything of your victim. Their emotions, taste, dreams, likes, loves. For a period after, you’ll be in a hallucinating state. It’s usually the most critical time and it’s a time where your maker watches over you, protects you.”

I look back through the window. Notice the person at the van being amiss.

Pris looks back at the window as well, then looks up at the clock. “Our time is running out.”

“Yeah,” I say almost mechanically. The adrenaline that coursed through me once I chased Pieter in dwindle. “Natalie, listen, this is the part I am worried about, the period after your feed. The hallucination stage will leave you exposed. You’ll need time under cover for your body to complete the change. You can’t be exposed to sunlight. In the beginning you’ll need regular rest. Blood is the one and only thing that will saturate the thirst and dampen what you still know as hunger. Nothing else will settle those urges. Nothing. It’s a need that blossoms from the pit of your stomach and encircles your heart. If you don’t feed, it will crush you.”

I look back up at the window, there was someone else getting out the other side of the car. “Ma I’ll be okay. Bite, sleep, hunger, feed, sleep. Check.” I held onto the gun contemplate the options if those guys had to enter the door right now. I’d be a lost cause for sure. The weakness from the accident weighed on my body who hasn’t been given much time to heal.

“Okay, the plan then.” Pris states.

“I’ll initiate the change; hide you away but then baby it’s up to you. I’ll distract them. Wait for them to enter the house before I take off to lead them away from you. If you come through this, find Tobias. He will find me, and we will be back together. I’ll help you finish this.”

I stand there in my dirty house, scantily clothed reeking of whiskey with a shotgun. How much worse could it get. I hug my mother. Not because she’s my mother because this person in front of me is nothing like the mother I know, no I hug her because she is all that’s left of me, the mother, the wife, the nurse. I hug her because I’m scared.

It’s in this motion that she leans in to give me exactly what I asked for. The sting of her teeth breaking my skin, catches me off guard.

I inhale deeply as my vision starts to blur. At the edge of the black veil, I notice my friend, darkness. I reach out for his familiar hand but miss it with a finger brush as the night starts to unfold into me.

Don’t leave me, I want to yell out, but my words are caught in my throat. I close my eyes and allow the river of black to take me. Darkness feels cheated.

I wish I could just go home. I don’t want to move like a cat.

For more you can follow the adventures of Snare on TheIgaziTrilogy Site. You can also catch some references on lingo here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s