Night drew a curtain on the world that sent a chill prickling along my skin. I was hunched in the branches of a thick tree, heavy with the musk of pine, and all I could do was think about my only child. My son. His face was picture perfect in my mind with his dark curious eyes. Those eyes that absorbed the world and posed a hundred new questions in return. I remembered his small, round face cupped between my hands as I kissed him goodnight. It was the last time I spoke to him. It was the last time he called me, Mommy.
I have no name now, just a title born from the shadow of fear: Monster. It is the title for the creature that slinks in the closet and under the bed. It is the thing that parents tell their children does not exist, but every child knows the truth. I did not ask for this. I did not want this. But like every path, it was chosen for me, whether I wanted it or not.
The blood moon glowed tonight, just like that night one year ago. The same soft breeze rustled the trees at the edge of the city. The same city where my life began, like a shattered plate, and all the pieces scattered. One by one, I have added them to the mosaic that is my life. It was my choice, what I became. I could choose to believe that without this power I would have never been able to protect my son, or I could choose to believe that I that was now tainted and forced into the world of darkness. In a way, both are right. I rescued my son from their claws and their fangs, and now, I hunt. I hunt because it is instinct, nothing more. I chose this path: to hunt those that claim the night as their home. Those with teeth as sharp as pride and claws as deadly as greed. I hunt the monsters.
After that night, I fled. I didn’t choose to, but I had to. I felt sick just thinking about it. His eyes. My innocent son, standing in the hall with his big, dark eyes. His eyes that want to know everything, but not this. He didn’t want to see the glowing amber in my gaze, the shadow of fur, or the claws that no sheep could bare. He didn’t want to know where the sickening smell of fresh blood came from. The look he gave me, broke something deep inside. And no matter how far I run, or how many monsters I kill, I cannot escape his horror. Could he ever forgive me? Can I even forgive myself?
We all have choices that define us. It is not the end of the path, but the journey we choose to take. Out of all that has happened, I do know one thing: I am still a mother who will always love her son.