Roesli learned her lesson about the sun’s rays. She didn’t risk the day time anymore, she waited inside the cool walls of their home, reading a book she found in her mother’s empty room. The strange box she preferred over a bed was strangely comforting to the young woman.
This heavy, leather wrapped book was written in lovely but straight-forward and simple handwriting. No extra swirls and not too big. She read all the books she found in her mother’s old sleeping-box.
She didn’t read at night. She’d creep downstairs to join her family, always wondering where she’d been all day. Especially Beckett. He found her alone by the fire, whispered that he’d really missed her, and he wondered if she’d found what she was looking for in the deep woods.
The candles were low and she could not hear the creak of the floorboards over the pounding of her own heart. Beckett’s intense looks could make her heart flutter, but as he drew even nearer to her, it pounded like the waterfall in the woods, deafening and consuming.
She’d known Beckett was different from the moment she’d first met him. She was confused at first, but these strange desires left her more and more distressed until she confessed to him that she felt a different love for him that she did not feel for the others in their family.
Her sweetest dream was coming true and her Aunt Maria walked right into them. They pull apart as fast as she’d appeared, but she has seen them. There is no soft smile on her face, she is disgusted with them. Roesli whimpers and runs from the room, she doesn’t know if it is her Aunt or the whispering trees, but she hears the word “Devil” hissed at her back.
But if she was of the same beastly nature as her mother, the very Night Walker that Aunt Maria claims to have slain, then she must embrace her beastly nature.
She is convinced her Aunt is truthful during her passionate speeches. She has slain her mother. And she that she has inherited these strange thirsts from her own mother, Selda.
There is no stopping her. If loving Beckett can destroy her Aunt, then she will love him even harder. She couldn’t stop if she wanted to.
But even he can not know the pull she feels to her mother’s old life. She finds the keys to her mother’s apothecary and travels down the road. It hasn’t been opened since her disappearance.
If she can mix a drink for her Aunt and Uncle’s church friends, she can mix together a pot of herbs and follow her mother’s recipes. She can run the small shop, and where her mother was un-loved in the community, Roesli is liked. They will visit her here.
She slips into the room under the stairs where they keep the bottles and tinctures to make drinks. There are fruits and veggies from the garden, and she has been storing her mother’s strange purple plants and gently mashing them into paste. The strange mix has kept her satiated enough to keep from feeding on her neighbors, a mistake her mother always made.
She hears the click of the door and turns to find her Aunt glowering at her.
She is flushed with drink, and accuses her of being impolite with a boy she should consider her own brother. But Roesli knows in her heart that this young man is not of her blood. Her blood must be different, she has always felt so different.
Her Aunt is no longer as young as she used to be. Her face is more lined, and her shoulders slump. She is not strong, and she will not stop Roesli.
And Roesli’s body is stronger than ever, it is growing in size and it is moving and talking to her. Her dresses are too tight and she is almost serene with strength and confidence.
Now her Aunt’s eye’s are on her like an animal. It shakes Roesli’s confidence, for her Aunt’s stare makes her feel as if she herself could be the prey, and not the other way around. She keeps her voice a low growl, she grabs Roesli’s wrist and hisses in Roesli’s ear that she will not embarrass this family like this. She drags her towards the house and informs the young pregnant woman that girls like her will be hidden away and made excuses for, they can not be permitted to roam around flaunting their sins.
But Roesli pulls her arm swiftly from her Aunt’s tight grip, strikes her Aunt knocking her asleep, then pushes her teeth though the delicate skin of her neck. Heaven is glorious.
She picks up her Aunt’s body and takes it to the back yard where she lays it gingerly on the ground. She stacks logs and debris into piles beside her body and sets them ablaze before her Aunt can wake.
She keeps a watchful eye as her Aunt succumbs to the heat and smoke, her body burning up until it’s ashes of ashes. This fire haired woman had taken her mother, and now that Roesli herself would be a mother, she has taken away the red haired woman.