Mother made me from ten drops of blood. From whom they were taken, I do not know.
She lived in the isolation provided by the forest. Not from choice but from necessity. Mother was different, she would say. Her solitude kept her safe but in due course, this same solitary life in which she lived had left her feeling lonely.
But my mother, being so clever and smart, knew she had the proper way to remedy her situation.
Ten drops of blood, from beneath a new moon
To a ginger root, taken two weeks too soon
Then bathed in milk, and dried in hair
Will make the one, both tall and fair
She was a very patient woman, my mother. She had gone to great lengths to teach me right from wrong, all the while knowing it was difficult for me. Although Mother was strict in her teachings and sometimes cruel, I knew her love for me ran as deep as the well from which she drank.
She showed me the way of her name which I was clumsy to perform. But Mother said this was not my failing as I, too, was different. In fact, I was made different and would have to take my dimensions and form into account. But Mother taught me nonetheless.
She also kept me safe. Told me the laws I must abide by. I was never to travel to town, for they knew not of our ways or my existence. Mother said they fear what they do not know. They would fear me. They certainly feared Mother. This was why she grew lonely.
In spite of everything, I grew. All the while I still could not slow the passing of time. I was unable to stop death. Not even my mother, so witty and smart could do that. Although she had tried.
She passed through this plane like smoke through a chimney. Vanishing above to leave only a blackness to stain the walls. Leaving only me.
And like my mother before me, I, too, have grown lonely this way. I, too, was alone. Although I am neither as clever nor smart as she, I did know the way to remedy this.
However, I have no blood to give.
The new moon had come, the ginger was pulled, and all had been prepared except for this one thing. These, ten things.
Mother would have certainly scolded me had she been alive to know where I was going. Even in death, I presume she knew.
Ten drops is all I needed.
I like to imagine I was assembled from Mother’s blood. I like to believe a piece of her still lives on inside me. Perhaps the only thing living inside me.
I ducked below the branches to loom closer. How would I pick the one?
Blazing lights cut through the darkness and seemed to stretch on forever between the neat rows of tiny houses, of the kind that I had never seen. I picked the one nearest to the trees.
The dwelling was too small for me to fit inside, but the man outside would do nicely.
He was gray like Mother. He was alone like Mother. He was alone like me. This one would suit me well.
I looked down at him with a gleaming smile, excited at the thought of a creation of my own. My creation. I was ready.
Ten drops is all I need.
Matt Bliss is a construction worker turned speculative fiction writer from Las Vegas, Nevada. His short fiction has appeared in MetaStellar, Cosmic Horror Monthly, and Diabolical Plots among other published and forthcoming works. You can find links to his works and where else to find him at flow.page/mattbliss.