Training

She still bore his sword, even while she was riding or cooking, she always had it with her; it was the last thing she had of him since they brought it back from the war. Specifically to give it to her, a parade of men had marched up to the horse in the middle of the night and woken her to present her with her father's sword. She couldnt cry or mourn for someone that she had no clear memory of, and her 5 year old mind would not let her think that he had really died.

But she had now excepted it, and like so many other people in that dark world, was trying to live with the consequences that war brung and also banish the idea that one day there will be another one. Yet at 11 years old, 6 years on from the last glorious and final war, tension started to mount again. Every now and then, her eyes would glance at the full moon and hear the cries of wolves and man combined, here the scream of a distant village being ransacked, but not for treasure, but for blood.

Werewolves were known for the capicity to kill, their brutality during battle was well known and even prided on that some human warriors would seek their blood to achieve their level of skill. Yet their downfall was their savage rage, their inability to control their anger and emotions,  so they were left in almost servitude of the vampires. They were the one threat to vampires, the one thing that could kill them apart from cutting their head off; and even then you had to be close enough to that. Because of the werewolves lack of ambition, they lived like the animals they were, and let the vampires thrive in a world that was designed for werewolf living. Only when the first werewolf gave birth to a human child, an anomoly that sent shivers through the spines of every human who knew they were descended from their kind.

Everyone, therefore, had some werewolf blood in them, if they looked deep enough, they would find the source of werewolf animal brutality; but more importantly for some people, the source of a werewolves immortality. Therefore the humans would always fight on the side of the werewolf, whenever the balance was tipped the vampires would wage war to wipe out the werewolves and to beat them into submission. Even the humans were treated the same, as they were less than vampires, and merely their food source; so they too were beaten and broken to the point where they were forced to retract into the lighter plains of the land. There they were slightly protected by the early sunrise and late sunset, but that didnt last long, for the night seemed to be an eternity. The humans believed that one day, someone from werewolf decent would be able to conquer the unimaginable power of the vampire; to kill the legion and end the battle over the night.

Esma sat crossed legged in the stables, staring up at the maid she proclaimed to be her mother while stroking a horse, listening intently to all the horror stories of the past. Occasional when she would mention the vampires, Esma would turn and look towards the moon and touch her neck; comforted by it's smooth chain and cold feel. The maid stopped for a moment, looking out the moon and then quickly stole away into the back of the stables. The little girl looked on with almost comical eyes, thinking this was a game of some sort, something the maid did when she was not paying attention to her stories. She waited and waited until the maid was beginning to become late for her own relief. Esma removed herself from the floor, dusted off the stray that had stuck to her and realised that she was beginning to get worried. She almost hope that this was another one of the maid's training exercises that she had been doing since she was 5, something she had got used to doing; but not at this time of night, when there was a risk of someone finding out what they were doing.

Werewolves patrolled the human life, making sure  no one was doing anything they shouldnt be and making sure no vampires were around; but it had been so long since they had dared come near the human plain that the patrol was beginning to slack. That was how one got in. Through the little border between the mountains and the track to the human plain, they swept across the last carriage and hide underneath, thirsty and desperate for some human blood instead of the animal blood which they had been forced to endure for the last 6 years. The carriage drew to a stop and making sure the light was not directed in it's face, sprouted it's broken wings and waited for the human's delayed reaction to his presence. Panic always seemed to make the blood pump faster, but there was no one around to frighten into submission and fear, instead he sought out appropriate shelter while the patrol moved eastwards towards him. He spotted to small stables and entered, realising the irony of coming here for human blood and taking refuge with animals.

He heard a giggle and the scampering of feet, almost not believing his luck, a small, well rounded woman ran straight into him; unaware of his sudden presence. She looked up with apologetic eyes, then fear; he was standing over her, shadowing her moves. She couldnt scream, couldnt run, couldnt do anything but stare at him. He smiled, glad it would be so easy, but slightly disappointed he didnt stirr up more trouble; but then again he knew a vampire death in the human plain would mean the beginning of a battle of some sort, just what was planned. He leaned over, ready for the neck that was displayed underneath a small collar of the gown the maid wore.

Esma came out of the stables, looked around and noticed two shadows dancing on the side of the stables, where her maid must have gone out the back; maybe this was a mutliple training exercise. She became excited at the prospect that she might be greeted by a werewolf, their stories had fascinated and she knew the maid had known one before the battle before. Yet as she turned the corner, the hollow eyed and yellow skinned vampire standing over her maid who stood rigid and slightly shivering either through fear or the terrible wind that ripped through the air. Instinctively the vampire turned his attention to the younger blood, a young child's death woud be more satisfying for him and also more news and sympathy and anger when found out. He closed the gap within seconds, clutching Esma in the palm of his hand and against the wall. Suddenly he was caught by a hot and seering feeling, quickly removing his hand to let the little girl fall, his hand was marked by a circle with the signs of vampire and werewolf from the beginning. The detailed plans and language that had long been lost was now imprinted into his dead flesh, still smoking from the impact and heat. Esma rapidly got to her feet, removed her sword and prayed that it would be the everlasting effect of a sword crafted before the time of battle that would kill a vampire. She plunged it into his stomach, causing him to bend over in sheer and unknown pain; until she removed it and wedged it into his neck.

The End

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