Book cover of “Blood and Dawn“ by Taylor Brooks

Blood and Dawn

  • Genre: Werewolf
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Taylor Brooks
“A drop of her blood signified their doom.” Born to the Greek goddess of Dawn, Eos, and fathered by a demon, Lukanthropos is the cursed child of both beings. His only crime was having been born to the forbidden love of his parents. Now, he is cursed to wander the Earth and devour everything that appears in his sight. But after cries and sacrific... 

Chapter 1

There was nothing exactly special about Birdy.

She had just turned twenty-seven and graduated from school about three years ago with a degree in Arts. She had stopped living with her parents about two years ago and immediately moved in with her boyfriend of five years. And just last night, he had gotten down on one knee, held her dainty, soft hand in one of his, and presented a little red box with the other hand.

“Marry me, Birdy. Will you?”

Birdy said yes. She had jumped, yelled, and cussed. She was a bit of an overly excited little birdie, but she was all right. That night, they had made love again and again until they had both passed out; the following day, as she drove with her newly engaged fiancé to her mother’s place to break the news, she had felt butterflies tingle her insides.

She had thought perhaps she was a lucky girl, but there was nothing really special about her. The drive to her mother’s place had seemed a bit longer than it usually was, but she didn’t mind. She wanted them – herself and Joe – to break the news in person, not over the phone. How happy her mother would be; she’d always liked Joe.

“Keep staring at my face like that, and I might lose control of the wheel and crash our heads into a tree,” Joe said with a soft smirk. His eyes remained on the road, but it was hard not to feel her stare at him. They had been lovers for almost six years, but every day still felt like a brand-new day being in love with him. Joe had never hurt her, and she believed he would never hurt her.

“You’re just so amazing. I still wonder why you chose to date a girl like me.”

“Not this again, Birdy.” Joe frowned softly. Birdy had a bit of a self-esteem issue, even though anyone who glanced at her could see she was drop-dead gorgeous. She was of average height, slim, and African-American descent. She always had her natural full curls packed into a full bun. Her brown skin glowed as though she were the Sun. She was smart, graduated with a first-class, and had some of her very brilliant works in dignified art galleries.

Joe, on the other hand, was getting his Ph.D. in Biology. He hardly worked since he needed to concentrate on bagging his Ph.D., thus leaving Birdy alone to cater for their rent and every other necessity they required. Birdy, though, was fine with this. She believed Joe was worth every dime of her money and time.

Birdy laughed his comment off and leaned back into her seat. She turned away from him and transferred her gaze to the outside world she could see from her window. She noticed that the sky suddenly looked a bit darker, as though thunderstorms were gathering somewhere overhead.

“Bad weather, ain’t it?” Joe tried to revive the conversation. He stared at her briefly before looking back at the road.

“Didn’t think it was supposed to rain today,” she mumbled.

“Yeah. It wasn’t on the weather forecast. Maybe the gods are furious. All hail Odin, the almighty father!” Joe scrunched his face up hilariously and spoke in a deep, odd voice, mimicking what a god would sound like. Birdy threw her head back in laughter and leaned into him to place a kiss on his cheek.

***

“YES!”

Birdy and Joe burst into laughter at her mother’s reaction to the news. That was what Birdy wanted – the exact look on her mother’s face at that moment. It was priceless. If she had done it over the phone, she would’ve missed out on this, and sure, she could have been able to do it over Skype, but nothing would beat seeing the raw emotions face to face.

Joe’s hands were wrapped around hers as they sat with thighs kissing thighs on her mother’s old couch. Her mother continued her display of happiness through words and facial expressions. Birdy’s mind wandered off. She was back in the house where she’d been born. The house where she had gone through most of the things that had shaped her into the woman she was today. In this house, she had experienced her first, second, third, and fourth heartbreak. It was very easy for her to fall in love, and it was very easy for people to fall out of love with her. She had never understood why. She was far from clingy, and she never requested anything. It was merely a fraction of the time she’d always craved, so why did they always leave her?

That was the question she had continuously asked herself until she met Joe five years ago. He was perfect for her. Her previous relationships had lasted, tops, for only four months, but Joe had stayed for years, so when he proposed, she was absolutely certain he was the one for her, and she would say “yes” a thousand times more if he asked her a thousand times during different lifetimes.

“A wedding! Oh my God. I can’t believe I get to plan a goddamn wedding this time!” Birdy’s mother, Anna, exclaimed again. Birdy grinned; her mother was a bit of a drama queen sometimes.

“I can finally rub it in your aunt’s face. Every time she got to plan the weddings of her three kids and would rub it on everyone else’s face like we were without kids of our own too. Now, I get to do the bossing around.” There was a look of pride on Anna’s face.

“Bossing around? Mom! It’s a wedding – my wedding! Not a competition or business!” Birdy exclaimed. Joe chuckled and brought Birdy’s hands to his lips. He dropped a light kiss on them, and Anna squealed with excitement like a newborn child.

“Oh, young love! I must spread the news now! First, to my sister, your aunty. Now, if you two love birds, excuse me; I have a wedding to plan.”

“Of course, of course. Go on, Mom. Plan your wedding. It’s not ours, after all. It’s yours,” Birdy said between laughter, and Joe grinned from his side. Anna stood up and walked away, heavy with pride.

Anna was a very traditional woman. An African who, despite having lived in the U.S. almost all her life, still sometimes stuck to the traditional ways of her birthplace, Uganda. Birdy had no problem with her mother acting the way she did at times; it gave her a sense of joy knowing her mother was excited about the wedding. She could care less about planning a wedding or stuff. All she wanted right now was to be married to the one true love of her life.

The minute Anna stepped out, Joe’s phone began to ring. He stared at the caller ID with a frown for a second before looking at Birdy.

“Hey, babe, I’ve got to take this call. It’s from the university.”

The smile he’d attached to the end of the words seemed a bit forced, but Birdy thought nothing serious of it. She nodded as he dropped a soft kiss on her lips before rushing out through the front door. With her mother and Joe gone, Birdy focused back on the house.

The old walls had hardly been repainted since she’d last visited about nine months ago. She wondered where her dad was. Her mom barely mentioned him, and she hardly ever spoke with him on the phone. She needed to give him the news too, but with her mother on it, there wouldn’t be a single soul on Earth that would probably not hear about the wedding. Birdy grinned at this thought, then brushed it aside and stood up. For a second, she had her face turned to the window; she could see Joe pacing the front porch with a very odd, worried look on his face. She couldn’t remember ever seeing him like that. She wondered if his research was giving him issues and made a mental note to talk to him about it.

She traced her steps around the house, recollecting memories. From her parents’ room, she could hear her mom’s voice boom through the walls and door. She smiled softly and continued until she got into her old room.

The walls were filled with scribbles, marks, and drawings that showed how her works of art had transitioned over the years. From when she was five till a little over thirteen. When she was thirteen, she’d left the walls alone and took to drawing on her notepads, the canvas her parents bought for her, and every other piece of technology she could leave imprints of her art on.

She smiled as she dragged her fingers slowly through the drawings on the walls. There was a funny-looking elephant on one side of the wall. She had drawn that when she was seven. It didn’t so much look like an elephant – it looked like something completely alien.

Birdy giggled at her naivete. She wondered if she was still that naïve little girl. There were drawings of a girl – herself, birds, her parents, and a bunch of other stuff, but then, her eyes stopped to focus on just one drawing, hiding almost in between all the other hundreds of small drawings.

Birdy couldn’t remember what it was or if she had even been the one who drew it. She squatted and tried to get a better glance at it. A frown creased up her face. It looked very odd. She had no memory of drawing it.

Whatever it was, it had wings, and it wasn’t a bird or any other animal known to have wings. Its wings were sharp and colored with the darkest of black. It was faceless and seemed to be descending upon a place with something cradled in its talons. Upon closer inspection, Birdy believed it to be a child. It was naked and had most of its body covered by the wings of the being.

With every second she spent staring at it, Birdy felt more disturbed, and then, as though she was in a lucid dream, she saw the wings flap. She thought she had heard the heavy sounds they made as they flapped. She thought she heard wails from the people below this creature and child. She thought she had seen the depths of hell. Just then, her eyesight was enveloped by a blinding white flash. It had the voice of a woman. Birdy began to feel very sick to her stomach. She felt like she was trapped in a sort of sinister revelation. She was starting to feel lightheaded as well, and then, it seemed as though the four corners of her room were beginning to close in on her. Her fingers began to tremble, her eyes failed to blink, and she couldn’t scream.

“Birdy!” Joe’s voice broke her out of her trance as she fell to the ground with a loud thud.

“Ugh!” She groaned as Joe leaped to her rescue. He held her in his arms, putting his right hand on her forehead.

“Birdy! Are you okay? What’s wrong? I’ve been calling out to you. You were just there, staring at the wall.”

Birdy didn’t look at him. Her eyes remained fixated on the wall – on the drawing. She softly tapped her fingers against his arm.

“Joe?”

“Yes, baby.”

“Look at the wall.”

“How does that matter right now? You…”

“Joe! Look at the wall. Here…” She pointed at the space on the wall where she could see the drawing.

“Can you see this? This! This drawing my fingers touch right now? What do you see?”

Joe resigned and decided to do as she asked. He shifted closer to the wall and squinted his eyes.

“Should have brought my damn glasses,” he murmured. He stared once more and frowned.

“That’s a bird.”

“Bird? What kind of bird?”

“A normal-looking bird? I don’t know, Birdy. What’s wrong?”

“Is that all you see? A bird? A normal-looking bird? You don’t see, like, anything else?”

“No, baby. Just a normal-looking, tiny bird drawn by the amazing younger you.”

Birdy would have considered the fact that she was suddenly going crazy. She would have considered that, but she could still see the creature carrying the child. There were no voices or movement, but she could see the still picture.

“Why? Do you see anything else?” Joe asked with a worried expression. Birdy shook her head. She decided to keep it to herself; maybe she was going nuts.

“Hey, come on. You’re probably just tired. You’ve been busy a lot with work and most of the responsibilities you’ve been on, but I promise you, babe, once I bag this degree and a good job, I’ll give you everything you could dream of,” Joe said as he turned her face to his and kissed her softly.

Birdy wasn’t interested in the kiss but thought he might be right. Maybe she was just too stressed out. Maybe all she needed was rest.

“Do you need me to get you water?” Joe asked. She shook her head.

“No, I’m fine. Thank you.”

She decided to let her mind wander a bit from what had just happened, and this time, she wanted to focus on Joe’s problems.

“Is everything fine with your research?”

“Why do you ask?” Joe collapsed on the floor beside her and took her left hand into his.

“It’s just, the call you received, you were looking quite worried. I’m worried too.”

“Well, you don’t have to be, my love. Everything’s great with that. There’s nothing really stressing me out, especially now that I’m getting married to you, the love of my life. Everything’s more than great!” He lifted her hand in his and brought it up to kiss. Birdy wasn’t still convinced. Joe never lied to her, but she felt he was hiding something this time.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, babe. I promise.”

Birdy held his gaze for a while before she finally broke into a smile.

“All right, then. I’ll believe you. But…” She took control of the grip on his hands and tightened it.

“You have to tell me if anything’s wrong, okay?”

Joe nodded.

“Yes, ma’am. I promise I’ll tell you if anything’s wrong.”

Birdy felt satisfied with his answer and leaned in to place her head on his shoulder. It was warm and sturdy, perfectly built for her to fit into. Joe was all she needed. All she could ever ask for. She was sure nothing could ever go wrong with him, and if things went wrong, they would face it together.

“By the way, when I walked back inside the house, I found your mom in the kitchen. She’s cooking up something special for us.” Birdy could see his smile. She knew how he absolutely loved her mother’s food. For the five years since they had been dating, Joe had been like a son to Anna, and Anna never failed to treat him as such. In Birdy’s household, he had found another family.

“I bet she must be. I can’t wait till it’s ready. I’m starving.”

“Me too. You think she’ll make that chicken pepper sauce of hers that I love so much?”

“Yes, you bet, baby. I think she’ll make lots of that chicken pepper sauce you love.”

“God. I am so goddamned lucky to have you,” Joe breathed into her hair.

“Me too, Joe. Me too.”

“Okay, then! Up we both go! We should go help Anna out in the kitchen! Up, up!” Joe jumped and pulled Birdy along with him. She giggled as she held onto his arms.

“We’re the ones getting married. I bet she wouldn’t mind if we chilled out here,” she smirked.

“You cannot stop me with words like that. Now to the kitchen we go!” And almost immediately, Joe lifted her and cradled her in his arms. She laughed continuously as they left the room. 

Amid the laughter and joy of the lovely about-to-be-wedded couple, none of them noticed the changes that enveloped the walls of the room. They didn’t notice the absence of the previous drawings of the younger Birdy or the new and odd-looking drawings that slowly started to replace them, taking new forms and movements. On one side of the wall sat gods and goddesses. On another sat strange-looking beings in realms untold. And on one lonely side of the wall appeared a sleeping wolf-like creature that half-resembled a man. “Lycanthropos” was inscribed below the drawing.

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