TW- Chapter does contain references to animal cruelty
People often refer to dreams as things we want. When we sleep, we dream of things that aren’t real. Dreams are a way to escape reality.
When you sleep nothing can hurt you. You can control what happens in your dreams.
The outside world is left on the outside. You’re in your head you can choose the place to be. Dreams can bring comfort. There are some dreams you simply don’t want to wake up from. The sad thing is, you have to wake up. At the end of the day, a dream is something that will never happen in real life.
I wake up with a stretch. The sun still wasn’t quite out. It never was when I started my day. A soft mew pulled me from my thoughts. A soft thump on my chest.
“Morning Char.” Charcoal my three legged cat. He had been beaten and left for dead. Kinda like me. When he was just a kitten I looked after him. He became the one friend I had in the world. He became the only thing I had to live for. I begin to sit up and char jumps off my chest.
I think that in a way he found me. I was starving searching dumpsters when I saw him. I honestly didn’t think he would make it. I looked after him and nursed him back to health. By some miracle he was healed. Sometimes I think it was cruel. If I wasn’t selfish, he could’ve moved on from this cruel world.
Instead I forced him to live on with me.
If it wasn’t for him though I would have perished soon after him. In a way we both kept each other alive. I was just a little girl running the streets. I lived off the trash others would throw away.
Now I’m a maid for a family of cursed ones.
They have three daughters. Two are older, while the youngest is only seven. She’s sweet. I mostly look after her.
It’s not so bad. The family can be cruel, but they’re better than most. I’m of a lesser kind. I could’ve been left on the streets. Eventually I would’ve been caught. If that was the case I would’ve been sacrificed long ago.
The cursed people ruled over humans. Humans are seen as pets. It’s illegal to be unregistered. Which I was. Not being registered means you don’t contribute to the blood society.
Humans are required to give blood once a month. Being registered helps keep track of who donates and who needs to donate. They make sure everyone donates.
Those who aren’t registered are sacrificed. Some are immediately tortured while they’re blood is drained. Others are kept to force produce other children.
You’re not required to donate until you’re at the age of 20. For me that was 5 years ago.
I help the family now. They allow me to remain unregistered. I live in the barn. Since they are of higher status they don’t undergo inspection. When they hold parties they hire alternative help. I prepare on the back end. In the meantime I run just about everything else.
I get to my feet. I brush off the hay stuck to the dress. There was a small light that lit up the barn. The magic was dim, but it was enough for me to see. I needed to begin my walk.
Magic in this world was low but it was there. If you had more money you could afford more. A lot of people simply rely on old things.
It’s how you can tell who really is rich. They source their power from magic stones. Priceless, but then again if you have enough money nothing is.
I adjust my hair. Curly black hair. I tighten the spare fabric around my head. My dress was dirty. I can’t wash it every day. It doesn’t help that it’s the only thing I have.
I grab the buckets. I need to begin by preparing their baths. I begin my walk. I do enjoy the feeling of the grass on my feet.
They used to have horses. At the moment they lent them all to the track. The king is coming to town, so everyone is pulling extras to impress him. I’ll have to be more careful. The king coming into town means more guards. Which means more checks.
I shudder. Even though it was still dark, I could still see. The fireflies were still out. It’s one thing I loved about the warm seasons. They were getting ready to go to bed. It wasn’t quite there yet.
Char chased the fireflies. They evaded him with ease. I laughed at him as he looked bewildered. He couldn’t seem to figure out why it wasn’t in his paw.
I continued to walk. I looked back just to make sure he was alright in the clearing. Then I continued, past the line of trees. The sun was just starting to peak above the horizon.
Hidden amongst the trees was a place where the river was calm. Instead of the roaring rush it was more like a soft stream.
A small bridge built. A really nice place when you need the peace. I would sit atop the tiny thing and listen to everything around me.
I try not to look in my reflection. It's a reminder that I wish I was anything else. I want my blue eyes to be red. Only the cursed have red eyes. If you didn't have red eyes you were on the bottom of the hierarchy.
I fill the large buckets and begin my journey back. I needed to start the fire to heat.
I begin dumping what I've collected. I'm careful when I light it.
I start my trip back. The sun made it easier to see. The first thing I noticed was char. The fact I couldn't see him.
"Char?" I call out to him.
The panic begins to rise. Something was wrong.
"Char?!" I drop the buckets.
A black cat is hard to find among the shadows. He could've wandered past the river.
I quickly rush to the other side. The smell hits as soon as my foot hits the ground.
Dead animals. All on the ground there were dead animals drained of their blood. I gasped in horror.
My voice became more desperate "Charcoal!"
Then I see it. The red eyes. In his hands my cat. Fangs are ready to pierce.
"No!!!" The monster stopped. "Please don't hurt him." His hands remained wrapped around Char. My voice came out more desperate than I hoped.
"Please. I will give you anything else. What can I do? I'll do anything."
"Blood." He spoke. His voice was raspy. It was deep.
"I need- blood- your blood." I nodded my head and approached him. There was a steady fear. Before I had time to blink. I whimpered when sharp fangs pierced my neck. His hand gripped my hair while the other hand gripped my waist.
I clenched my fists. It hurt.
I bit my lip to prevent myself from screaming. It felt like an eternity. I'm sure it was only a minute. Even in that minute I felt dizzy. He finally drew away. His tongue traced right where his teeth had pierced. There was a wave of pleasure. Since the pain had stopped I couldn't help but focus on anything else.
I finally looked into his eyes. His red eyes seemed almost different. A swirl of different shades of red. I finally released my lower lip from my teeth. My body felt heavy. I fell into him.
I looked back into his eyes.
“I have to get back. I have to finish.” My words barely stumbled out of my mouth. I tried to pull away. His arms seemed to tighten around me. His lips fell against mine. He sucked at my bottom lip. He licked it once more before finally pulling away. His arms still remained at my waist.
He was warm. I couldn’t think. My vision was begging to fade, it wasn’t long until the world was black.
I wanted to kill her.
I wanted to drain her blood til she was completely empty.
I didn't. Something stopped me from doing so. I sealed her wound.
She had passed out. I stared at her calm face. Black curly hair fell around her. A wiped a strand that had covered her. She was dirty, yet she was still beautiful.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen eyes like hers. Humans have brown eyes, and yet hers were blue. I was so hungry I didn’t care. I could get more of a fill from a human than a cat.
She was appealing. Something drew me to her. In all of my years I had never seen someone like her.
My hand inspected the wound. It was beginning to heal. I had bit her harder than intended. It might scar. I had simply just closed the wound. I was weak at the moment.
I then looked at her lip. A hiss came from the corner. I looked at the black cat. It only had 3 legs.
"You were the cause. I could've killed you and her." The question still rang through my head. Why didn't I? She was right here. As of right now she was the only one who knew I was alive.
They had tried to kill me. I was the dark prince. I showed no mercy.
There were many who hated me. I didn’t break the rules. While my brother was nice. I was heartless and cruel. It’s not surprising I had a target on my back. The problem is I didn’t know who had attempted this.
They had slipped a flower in my tea, the Rosa new dawn. Though the flowers are beautiful, they drain a cursed one of all their blood, which kills them if they don’t get enough in time.
Whoever tried to kill me clearly wasn’t smart enough to make sure the job was completed. Right now I need to lay low.
I can’t go back. Not until I can figure out who has tried to kill me. I think it’s better for me to remain here, where everyone still thinks I’m dead.
I look at the sleeping human. For now I will allow her to live. She doesn’t seem to know who I am. If she did she would’ve run from me. She would’ve not offered herself to me. I will have her care for me until I feel it’s safe to go back. I lay my head against the tree and wait for her to wake up.