My seven year old daughter, Lasha, lay on the floor, coloring in a book. Her head bobbed to music that only she could hear. The movement made the sunlight dance and glint off her beautiful emerald skin. Her horns already cast long shadows on the floor in front of her.
Like most little girls, she loved coloring, unicorns, and liked to pretend to be a princess. Unlike most little girls, her skin left burns when she was angry, she could conjure shadow beings that could attack, and she could talk to the dead.
Lasha was a miracle child, literally. I had no idea who her father was because I had not been with a man in some time when I found out I was pregnant with her. Her appearance didn’t help the mystery, because she looked like a demon and only a demon. Yet, I had never been with a demon. My last lover had been nine years ago and he’d been a vampire.
She had also been the last child born in the Elder world. There had been none since I had gotten pregnant with Lasha. Even the most zealous of breeders couldn’t manage to reproduce.
Some thought it was my fault. Some thought it was my great-uncle’s fault. I believed it had something to do with my daughter, but I didn’t know what.
“Mommy,” Lasha looked up from her coloring book. “Can we go play with Pegasus later today?”
“Sure, honey,” I told her. Pegasus was an ever present figure at our house. While he was a winged-horse, he was a giant winged-horse with glistening white feathers and very light gray hair. He also occasionally ate Elders. Pegasus could see into the souls of every living creature on the planet and he ate those that had become consumed with evil. However, he liked to hang out at my parents’ fortress because he liked me. We were kindred spirits.
In theory, I was a demon/vampire with some witch blood flowing through my veins. In reality, I didn’t have a single vampiristic power in my body. Like Lasha, I looked like a pure-bred demon. Long horns with no hair on my head or anywhere on my body, jewel colored skin, and I was stocky, like my grandfather and his brothers.
Also, like my mother, I had very limited powers. I could hold a lot of magic, but I couldn’t use much of it. I could raise the dead, talk to the dead, lay the dead to rest, bring death to anything living, and even read the minds of the dying. I was a Death Demon. Which was why Pegasus hung around me, we could both bring death to immortals and like Pegasus, most beings were terrified of me. I was the only Death Demon to ever exist.
Being connected to death, as I was, I could also feel it coming. Sometimes, if there were going to be many deaths, I could feel it days or even weeks before it happened. Two months earlier, there had been a major volcanic eruption of Krakatoa. It had killed hundreds of thousands of humans, I had felt their lives diminishing for over a week before the eruption.
The last day or so, I’d been feeling it again. Elders no longer interacted with humans, we hadn’t for over sixty years. They had essentially kicked us out of their world thanks to my aunt who had built a cult and tried to bring about the end of the world. Not that it would have mattered, I couldn’t have told that was going to happen to them, just that something was coming. I wouldn’t even have been able to give them a timeline.
It was unsettling to know that beings were about to die. There was nothing I could do to alter their course. I couldn’t heal them. I was the first demon ever born to not have the innate gift of healing.
“Come on, Munchkin,” my cousin, Ginger stood up from the couch. “Let’s go see what kind of mischief we can cause while we wait for your mother to get ready.”
My cousin Ginger had no children of her own. Instead, she had helped me raise Lasha.
©Hadena James 2015
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