Flash Fiction No. 46


Digging Up The Past

It didn’t matter to me. They all looked the same, anyhow. I guess it must matter to the families, but I don’t concern myself with that. It’s not in my remit.

But I couldn’t keep my eyes off the girl.

I leaned on my spade, feeling the head slide into the turf. She looked different to the rest of the congregation and at first I couldn’t place why. She was dressed in black with a small veil over her face.

I wasn’t needed yet, so I just watched from the shadows of the church, an uncomfortable sensation twisting my stomach. Something drew me to the girl like it had drawn me to the others before her. My fingers tightened on the spade handle. I could feel her eyes on me, burning into my skull. This time I wasn’t going to make the first move.

The ceremony passed without incident. Solitary once again, I filled in the grave and headed for my place, assuming she’d thought better of coming to me. Of course, when the shadow landed on my shoulder, I realised my mistake.

“I’m not coming,” I muttered, but the creature didn’t move or make noise.

It seemed like a stupid thing to do, but allowing it to accompany me home was the only way to keep from causing a commotion. Once inside, it stretched its leathery wings until the girl stood before me again. Her face flickered in the dull candlelight, a mixture of soft beauty and harsh pain.

“I told you, I’m not coming.”

Impassive, she gazed at me, scrutinising my features, lingering too long on old scars. My unsteady hands tore the cap off a beer and I slugged. This was no social call. She needed to get it over with and leave. I’m not into their sordid mind games.

“You’re Gaelic.”

Her lips barely moved when she spoke. Hands clasped together, she looked as if she could be in shock, but it’s hard to distinguish any real facial expressions with her kind.

I clenched my teeth. I’d dropped off their radar for years. How could she know who I was?

“You knew my mistress, Soren?”

Now there was a name I hadn’t heard in a lifetime. Soren used to be part of the royal guard, wife and protector of the vampire King. And every vampire King had to have his trained dogs. Soren took care of her master’s ‘pets’.

That’s what I used to be. But not any more and I wasn’t going back.

I was the only one who’d survived the massacre when the King had found out what Soren had done. She’d wormed her way back in, but her master’s pets had to go. How could he trust her with them again? So we’d been set for slaughter when Soren was away, just to make sure.

“I knew her. Is she… well?” The words tumbled rough and awkward on my tongue.

“She died.” Tears clamoured on her face. “But before she went, she told me about you.”

I snorted. “And why would she do that?”

“She was my mother as well as my mistress.” Wide eyes rounded on me. “And you’re my father…”

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