The children asked for the story. They sat in a circle around the old man, who squinted at the massive pictures as if they were the smallest of symbols. His voice came out shaky—he’d been a smoker—and without much volume, but the children stared in rapt attention.
They did not need exactly to hear it. They all knew the story well enough. They could all recite it, really, if it came to such a thing.
But, his voice came out anyway, all crusted and crackling.
“There once was a man who wished he could live forever.”
The children bopped their heads and smiled. A small clicking sound came from them.
“And, though he failed to use the secret himself,” the old man said, reaching up to wipe a tear from his face, “he worked it out well enough that his children could live for as long as they wanted.”
The children smiled wider, and each of them had—instead of canine teeth—small syringes, surgically grafted to them.
“The process was simple. Drain youth from someone. If only the father had been young enough—the surgery might have taken.”
He shivered a bit, a look of deep sadness on his face.
“But, sadly, he could not. It was the cruelest fate. Instead, he would have to leave it to his children to learn how to feed, how to take the bite that would drain away all the minutes, hours, days, that their targets had in them.”
The man looked around at the kids, who looked back at him with wide, hungry eyes.
“The kids…the kids…they learned…they would choose one person…”
The man jumped to his feet and took off in a run. He was already much too old for that to be effective. One of them caught him on the back and brought him down with a slicing bite into the neck.
The other children wandered close, waiting their turn. They each only needed about a pint of human blood to stay young for another week.
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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“Just Another Chosen One is a blisteringly paced, action-soaked debut from author Brandon Scott, sure to appeal to those who’ve gotten tired of reading the same old stories about the child of prophecy destined to save the world.”