Chapter 1 The Chosen
The full moon lit up the main
square of the village as everyone in town gathered
round, cheering us, with pride plastered upon their
faces. All five of us stood on a raised wooden plinth
waving our arms receiving everyones gratitude
like heroes off to fight a mighty battle. We were no
heroes and we knew full well what awaited us, but I
would be lying if I said I didnt enjoy the
Three men and two women, including
myself, wearing nothing but robes of white silk stood
proud while basking in the praise of the townspeople.
We were chosen as the most suitable candidates based
upon our size and weight as well as our capability of
coping with the task at hand.
Among the cheering crowd were my
parents wearing their Sunday bests. My mother
continuously wiped away her tears into a handkerchief,
but she was not weeping because of the eventual loss
of her beloved daughter, but rather weeping tears of
pride. I was in effect going to war with vicious
beasts and sacrificing my life for the village. My
father even wept a few tears knowing that my name
would go down in history as one of the chosen few.
I stood tall, with my legs astride,
and my fists resting against my hips. The four others
standing on my right also adopted a similar pose
reflecting the accolade that everyone felt for us.
The village was going to be safe, for another year at
least, because of our willing sacrifice. Our names
would live on forever in their hearts.
Up until that moment I had led a
sorry existence spending most of the day working on
the farm and most of the night making merry at the
local inn. Some days I never got a wink of sleep
while others I found myself waking up in the street.
I lived the wasted life of a drunkard. But my past no
longer mattered for my destiny had already been
chosen, to die a heroine alongside four mighty
Im so nervous,
the girl at my side said to me.
She looked far younger than myself.
Her pretty face was contorted with fear that she
tried so hard to mask behind her confident pose. I
didnt blame her, for we all felt the same way.
Each of us acted brave and full of pride while our
guts twisted with terrifying fear. We had fasted for
the entire day, supposedly to cleanse our bodies, but
we all knew deep down the truth as to why we were not
allowed a meal. If we ejected our food either through
the mouth or backside then everyone would know how we
really felt, and it was imperative to hide our true
feelings of the situation. The entire village knew
deep down what we were going through but they could
never live with themselves if they were forced to
realise what they were actually doing to us.
I feel exactly the same,
I told the girl, Im sure all of us do.
Just continue to smile and wave at the crowd. Itll
soon be over.
Thank you, she said.
The crowd roared with cheers as we
continued to wave our arms. One of the men among us
was tall and handsome with a thin waxed moustache.
His long black hair cascaded down the back of his
robe. He was loving the attention and cheered back at
the roaring crowd.
Yea! He shouted as he
punched the air.
Another of the men was very
overweight, with his large robe barely covering him.
Just one slip of his silk belt would reveal his full
nudity to the spectating crowd. In fact if that did
happen they would likely see his huge belly rather
than anything more intimate he had hidden down there.
I guessed he must have been chosen based upon his
large size yet the rest of us were nowhere near as
big, and there were lots of other fat people in the
village that would have been suitable.
He waved his arms continuously from
side to side giving the appearance he was enjoying
the attention, but his blank expression revealed his
true feelings that he tried with all his might to
hide. He did occasionally speak but they were more
grunts than actual words.
The other man standing among us was
fairly muscular and had a rough unshaven face. He
appeared quiet as though trying to comprehend the
situation he found himself to be in. I also noticed
his left arm was tucked under his belt while
occasionally waving to the crowd with his right. It
was clearly the wrong way to sling a broken arm so I
guessed it must have been paralysed.
We love you! Someone
screeched from the crowd at the top of their voice
addressing us all.
I leant forward and smiled brightly
into the direction the sound had come from. There
were peasants standing side by side with noblemen,
their faces filled with happiness. We were the
saviours of our town and everyone, rich and poor,
owed us a debt of gratitude.
Woo! The moustached man
shouted out while kicking and punching at an
imaginary object causing the crowd to cheer even
How old are you? I
asked the girl standing at my side.
Ill be 20 next birthday,
Her lips grimaced as she felt a
sharp emotional pain when she realised what she had
just said, for she would never reach her next
birthday. Her death was to be that very night along
with the rest of us chosen ones.
Im 32, I replied,
Just stay at my side at all times. Ill
look after you.
Her looked then changed to one of
Even when we
Well die together,
I responded, Side by side, holding hands. Itll
be easier that way.
She nodded in response.
I strangely felt maternal feelings
toward her and wanted her to know that a friend was
willing to stay at her side right up until the end,
even though it was the first time we had ever met. As
I thought about it further I realised it was
something all five of us were going to have to do, it
would be far easier for us all if we died holding
I started to wonder as to why the
girl had been chosen as well as why some of the men
were selected too. I secretly suspected I was picked
based upon the fact that I was still a spinster and
had no interest in finding a husband therefore not
able to bear children. Of course that wasnt
what I was told but I knew deep down it was the real
reason. I wondered if everyone else selected were of
a similar disposition as to myself. In many ways some
could see the vampire situation as a convenient way
to dispose of undesirables within the community. As
of that moment we were seen as heroes and I had to
remind myself to keep that thought, not just in order
to repress my rage at my own people but also to help
cope with the extreme savagery of what was about to
be done to us.
I blinked my eyes and took deep
repeated breaths in an attempt to rest my mind. I
concentrated and reminded myself of the good that
would come of all this.
Whats your name?
The girl at my side suddenly asked interrupting my
trail of thought.
I took a moment before responding.
It was difficult to discuss anything over the
constant loud cheering from the townspeople.
Clementine! I replied
having to shout.
Thats a beautiful name!
She yelled back.
Thank you! I responded.
Im Adra, she said
while leaning closer to me, Its very nice
to make your acquaintance. Friends are
There was an instant hush from the
crowd with only a far distant echo from their voices.
The contrasting change from cheers to silence caused
my ears to feel strange. The people standing near the
front of the plinth began to slowly disperse allowing
room for the horse drawn carriage that was
approaching in the distance. We all listened
intensely at the clip-clop of the horses hooves.
Adra grabbed my hand tightly while
her body trembled.
Stay brave, I whispered
to her whilst staring ahead.
It wasnt just for her sake
that I made that comment but also for my own while I
tried my best to hold back my fear. My parents and
the rest of the townspeople needed us to remain
strong otherwise theyd be forced to face up to
the truth that they were trying their best to repress.
They were feeding us to vampires, which was
tantamount to murder, in order to save their own
sorry lives. I despised the whole situation yet I
still fully understood their reasoning.
The silence was interrupted by
sobbing from one of the villagers who then tried her
best to repress it causing instead to make a strange
howling noise. I saw movement toward the back of the
crowd as she tried to leave only to be stopped by
someone who tried to console her. She then tumbled to
the ground letting out a high pitched whine.
The open topped carriage approached
and stopped in front of the wooden plinth where us
chosen ones waited to be offered. A hooded figure
sitting at the front of the carriage simply turned
his head to face us indicating that it was time for
us to enter.
I stared directly at him trying to
get a glimpse of his vampiric features but it was too
dark to make them out. If I hadnt known better
I would have assumed he was a normal man, just a
usual villager, riding a normal cart with normal
horses. But I and everyone else in the village knew
full well that he wasnt. He was a bloodthirsty
vampire and we all knew it wouldnt be long
before he sank his fangs into our necks.
I then stared out at the crowd
trying to gain sight of my parents to give them one
final goodbye, but had lost sight of them among the
vast group of people. I waited to see if they would
call out but the crowd remained silent. No doubt both
my parents were in total shock as were the rest of
I then turned to the people
standing at my side and Adra who was still holding my
hand. We all remained totally quiet while exchanging
glances for the briefest of moments which seemed to
last an eternity.
I faced the crowd once more and
took a large breath before slowly descending the
wooden steps in my bare feet towards the carriage,
with Adra still holding my hand, and the others
following behind. Each of us in turn clambered into
the back then sat in total silence while the two
horses in front snorted as if annoyed by our presence.
The hooded figure sitting at the
front flicked the horses reins causing the cart
to jerk forwards before making its way around the
village square and back out of town. I sensed the
silent gasps of the villagers and the relief they
felt for they were now safe for another year.
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