By the light of the moon

The woods whisper “family” to Maria. She is open and ready  to receive love in whatever form it comes as. It is a handsome merchant named Akira, who is a member of the church, has adopted a young orphaned boy named Beckett, who is well-liked and respected within their community.

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Despite the tragic turn of events at the last marriage ceremony she attended, when Selda fed off of her own groom, Maria and Akira celebrate their union. Maria wishes her dear friend Raheem had lived to see this day, but she looks forward to her new family life with Akira.

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A cold shadow enters the temple, bringing a chill to each guest. The celebrations are tense and forced, and no one is sure why Maria would inform Selda of their celebrations. But Raheem would have understood the strange pull that Selda’s anger held over Maria. He understood her red hot anger.

Even though Maria had invited her, Selda is angry and lashes out at Akira. She strikes the beautiful man, and Maria is appalled that Selda would take things this far, to fight Maria’s groom on this special occasion.

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As the yelling and screaming rushes around Maria’s head, she feels her love for this strong and terrible woman burn up into a small chunk of resentment in her belly. A smoldering pile of ash is all that is left of her respect for this woman.

But it is the customs of these lands to live together as a family, even a nasty member like Selda. The thought never occurs to Maria that Selda shouldn’t be included in their home. Even when their family relocates to the large new Manor, there is a corner room that is outfitted with the dark gloomy wooden box that Selda prefers to sleep in. Even a respected merchant like Akira and a beloved leader of a movement like Maria follow these traditions.

Aden Manor

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The little patched-together family welcome a little baby boy into their midst! Maria loves him and the other children dearly and as they start coming of age she finds herself more and more fearful of Selda and what she could do to these growing humans.

One night as the moon rises into the sky, casting an eerie yellow light over their large and bustling home, Selda is sneaking out for her nightly hunt. Maria follows her, and before Selda can leave their wooded yard, she sneaks up from behind to ambush this fierce monster. She must move quickly and not be detected before hand, for Selda is unnaturally strong.

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Maria strikes once but is quickly thrown to the ground, Selda’s sharp little teeth glint and glisten in the moonlight. Maria is so afraid, but she thinks of her little baby, of her adopted son, and of Selda’s own blue-skinned daughter, and her fear is over-powered by her anger, by the need to defend and protect these children.

She is screaming, she is hissing, she is throwing her small tight fists at Selda, and somehow she feels a surge of heat rush through her veins, the whisper from the trees and before she has time to process she is standing over Selda, and she raises her foot. There must be no hesitation.

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She brings her small boot down on Selda’s mouth, the very teeth that have pierced her soft flesh. She does not stop until Selda stops moving. Her lifelong fear of this woman will not be her children’s life long fears as well. She stomps the woman’s head until she is a lifeless bag of bones.

She has fought for her freedom and won.

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