Blood Song (Chapter 1, page 1 of 17)

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Chapter 1


We said our goodbyes the morning after Jack's beheading. We had all travelled to our family estate in Aberdeenshire first thing in the morning, Marcus and his gruesome samples sharing the van with various bits of equipment he and Fergus had brought across from the estate two days before. The rest of us had crammed ourselves and our luggage into the gold coloured Bentley Fergus had hired. We travelled light.

We had breakfast at the estate. It was very disconcerting to have actual guests in the home that we had grown up in, but Fergus and Marcus appeared to be unaffected by the newness of it all, and treated the situation as if it were a common occurrence.

I looked around me at the familiar walls and the old, heavy furniture with the scars left by three small energetic boys, all redolent with the memories of a carefree childhood overseen by a benevolent father. I wondered if he would have been surprised by the collection of people around the massive wooden table. He had always assumed the existence of others like us, but he had never managed to find anyone else, apart from our mother, of course. Ours was of necessity a lonely and clandestine existence. Each and every one of us sitting at that table had very good reasons for remaining out of the spotlight. The first and foremost of these would always be the genetic accident that had created us all.

My father had unravelled part of the mystery of our peculiarities many years ago, long before the advent of modern science. I had always wondered how he had deduced that iron had played such a large role in our lives. I remember vividly a conversation we had had so many years ago, just after we three had changed, leaving the idyll of childhood for the uncertainty of a future where every day was a struggle to restrain the monster inside. My father had explained that our bodies had changed with the onset of puberty. Our tissues had developed the ability to metabolise iron, and not only did this result in us being exponentially stronger and faster than normal people, but also in a deep and abiding craving for blood and the violence that produced it in copious amounts.

Marcus had asked my father how he had deduced the role of iron in our lives and my father had smiled at us, and said, "There's a lot of iron in blood."

We had sat at a similar table to this one, in a similar room, out in the freezing wilds of Scotland, our bodies trembling with the lust for blood, and we had understood.

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