Tenebrus

“This person was a human once. He was very clever, fiercely so, and determined to rise up in the world. He had harnessed his magic at a young age, around the same age as us, and was going to use it to aid him. The Eternals discovered him, and Lycan and the vampire representative sent somebody after him to…take him down.”

She winced, and I realised the implications of the phrase. 

“They were going to kill him?” I gasped.

“You must realise that he was dangerous to us all, he risked exposure for worldly glory,” Meena said quickly. “The vampire and the werewolf reached him at the same time. They had both been given orders and neither would make way for the other. So they both attacked.”

They were looking at the ground with empty faces, but mine was probably horrified. 

“But if  they both bit him, what happened?” I asked. Would he have survived it?

“He became what had bitten him,” Willow explained. I opened my mouth but she cut me off. “Yes, both of them. Half of each. People called him Bloodwolf because of his condition.”

“What’s his real name?”

“I don’t know what his human name was,” she shrugged, “But the name he chose for himself is Tenebrus.”

Tenebrus, I tested the word in my head. Odd, yes, but it wasn’t exactly straying from the norm for immortals. I guessed that Willow and Meena were not the names they had had before either. Which raised some more questions. But first, the questions we were discussing. 

“Doesn’t that mean dark?”

“Exactly,” Meena smiled grimly. “From the Latin for ‘blindness‘.”

I felt like I was missing something. I felt sorry for this man who I had never even met, but they were speaking with tones of suppressed anger and slight fear. 

“Is he blind?” I asked, glancing from face to face. Willow snorted.

“No, and it wouldn’t  be any easier to beat him if he was.”

“Beat him? I thought he was the victim of a vampire werewolf attack?”

My voice was frustrated, and they picked up on it and hurried to finish.

“He was, right, but… okay, I’m going to have to explain this,” Willow’s tone was apologetic as she deviated from the subject again. “Do you know how vampires… well, exist?”

“Yeah.  They bite people with their fangs and drink their blood, they sleep in coffins and only come out at night because the sun will burn them…”

I trailed off because both of them were obviously repressing laughter; Meena was biting her lip and the corner of Willow’s mouth looked like it had a nervous twitch. I gave a defeated sigh.

“Okay, so I’m wrong again. Those are all myths, right?” As they nodded, straightening their faces, something I had heard came to mind. “Hang on - don’t myths have a basis in fact?”

“Some,” Willow shrugged. “But you have a lot to learn. The only thing you got right was that they drink blood. The rest is all superstitions made up to make the creatures sound more frightening.”

“Crosses and holy water?” I asked with one eyebrow raised.

“When they got too frightening, people needed to believe there was a way to destroy them and defend themselves. They didn’t have a hope really.”

I was surprised by her casual tone. “So are vampires like sharks then, they attack when they smell blood and can’t stop  themselves feeding?”

“No, no, no,” Meena said quickly before I could get carried away. “Wild ones are sometimes like that before they learn to control themselves…”

Infettare,” Willow put in quietly. “More commonly called fledgling vampires or neophytes.“

She pulled two small books, the size of pocket bibles, from inside her blazer. “I knew we would have to tell you about this, and these should make it easier. Meena has already told you some of it.”

The End

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