I’ve always looked at the world as a shy and unfriendly place. Its mornings are brighter than the nights, but they share the same gloomy mist that presses hard against your eyes and blinds you from the distance. I never feared what lies in the distance. I’ve never feared at all. Until now.
“Where is my son?” I ordered. The tribe did not speak. They each shared that wordless expression that read nothing. I glanced over each pair of dark eyes but none shared what I needed to know. None but Harmony’s. She was the lover of Corbin, my son.
“I hide nothing.” She whispered.
More eyes glanced at her. Her eyes were facing the muddy ground. She looked up at me and I saw tears glazing over them. She knew what I wanted – as she wanted it too. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
A dark mist ascended over her mind and a twist of truth and future bled into her every thought.
“Corbin spoke nothing of any planned decisions.” She whispered. “This is a strike of fate and nothing more. His actions were unplanned until now. He hunts to kill to quench his thirst for the blood of innocents nearby. His mind is set. Death will breathe its coldest breath tonight.” She gasped.
A tear fell down her cheek.
My heart felt like stone in my chest, as it hammered hard as if to escape. I felt anger pulsate like venom through my veins. My son was helpless. There was, seemingly, nothing I could do but sit and watch him murder. I did not move. I could see Corbin’s piercing red eyes in my mind, bleeding deep into the forest searching for their prey. The boy had no control of where he was going. His mind was no longer his own. He had been infected by the unfriendly world I loathed.
“Where did this prey the prince is hunting come from?” a voice from the tribe asked. “Has it not long been known that trespassers are prohibited on our lands? The forests have never been safe since-”
“-Enough.” I barked. I turned and stormed towards the nearest shelter I could find. They were built with the strongest wood we could find from the forest trees that circled us. I sat under one of the shelters, deep in thought. Harmony followed.
“Garrett.” She said. I looked up at her. Her eyes were still watering. I moved aside and she sat next to me. She was a figure of pure beauty.
“Is there anything we can do?” She asked.
“There is nothing to be done that won’t break my heart.” I said. “I no longer have a son. He has been poisoned by the creatures of the forest and now he is one of them.” I took a moment to truly believe what I was saying. I didn’t want to believe it, but it was true. My son was dead.
“No.” Harmony pleaded desperately. “He is still your son. He will always be your son; you must remember that. He’s only new to the poison; something must be done to remove it. There has to be something.” Her desperate eyes met mine for an answer to her impossible question.
“There is no antidote.” I said. She broke the stare and closed her eyes tight. She looked in pain. She was in pain. With every moment that passed, my son; her lover, was becoming less and less human. Soon he would be nothing more than a demon of the forest – a blood hunter. If he succeeded in capturing his first prey the transformation will be complete and he will forevermore be a monster. An addition of great power to the other tribe. A stolen Prince.
“We will stop him.” I said, suddenly. My mind was working faster than my heart. I knew what I wanted. I would rather my son died at my hands than face a lifetime of cold murder as a creature he truly was not. I know he would want the same. Harmony looked confused.
“But, how?” She asked. I was deep in thought and did not reply right away.
“He will have to be killed.” I answered. Harmony didn’t speak. She knew this was inevitable. She was trying to avoid it all along, but my saying so made it confirmed.
Corbin was going to die.