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This is my story. This is how I, Hunter Cross, became a slave. This is not a forbidden love story. This is not a story where a human falls in love with a vampire. This is a story of pain, of abuse, of fear, of blood and dirt. As you read this you can assume that I made it, that I somehow survived. It could also be that you are reading this years after the fact and that I died some tragic death.

Horror / Other
Carla Visagie
5.0 1 review
Age Rating:

1. Tsitsikamma

The day I was taken was one of those rare impeccably beautiful days. The wind was blowing and I could feel the trees sway as I touched the grey bark of one of the old Outeniqua Yellowwoods. The forest smelled like an intoxicating mix of damp earth and crushed leaves. The sun had just started to rise and an orange light shone throughout the forest.

I was busy walking in the dense forest of Knysna known as the Tsitsikamma forest. My mother told me once that the forest was named after a Khoi phrase meaning ‘place of abundant waters’. She told me that it used to be one of the most beautiful forests in Southern Africa. After years of neglect and mismanagement, it started to fade and many of the trees died, but somehow they restored themselves after the Fourth World War. It was as if they somehow regained their rightful place now that the humans were not there to destroy them. Nature could now thrive.

The Third World War was where every nation around the world turned against each other. What was left of the human race, was almost eliminated after the Fourth World War. Dark creatures came out of the shadows who called themselves vampier. They took control of the governments and subsequently the world.

South Africa was the last country to fall. We had no idea that the creatures even existed. We had no way of defending ourselves against their superior military forces. Not to mention their brute force.

I lived in a small village a few minutes away from the Tsitsikamma forest called Storms River. There were not a lot of people in it, only about a hundred. Even though it appeared small it was one of the largest human settlements in the Eastern Cape. It was made up of multiple cottages, cabins and chalets that were left behind after the Fourth World War.

My mother told me once that it used to be a camping site. People used to pay to go camping or to live in a lodge.

In the old days camping was a form of fun, nowadays it is a form of survival.

After the vampier regime took over everyone evacuated the cities.

That was the first place the vampier looked for the surviving humans. They forced them out of the suburbs and burned the lot to the ground.

Black ash marred the ruins of the houses that they once inhabited. Old toys and artefacts charred beyond recognition.

Every morning before the sun rose I hiked toward the forest in search of food. Sometimes it would take weeks before I found anything, other times I was lucky enough to find a monkey or a stray rabbit.

I remember this one time when I saw a small deer. We stared at each other for a few minutes. Each of us wondered who would make the first move. Before I even thought of killing it, it ran away into the woods.

It is strange that although nature somehow came out triumphantly after the war many of the animals had not been so lucky. Most of them were destroyed during the war or maybe all of them ran away to their own personal Eden.

I remember my mother telling me about Adam and Eve and how they lived in paradise until they sinned and were banished. As I walked through the forest I always wondered if there was a place on earth where the war had not touched, where humans and animals lived their lives oblivious to what happened in all of the other countries; a place where something like innocence still existed.

Is there something like innocence still left?

I constantly felt guilty for killing a rabbit or even a chicken, but if it meant food for my family, I had to do whatever it took. It is peculiar what people will do to protect their families. I always wondered where the line was. When did you go too far? Was it okay to hurt someone else if it meant saving your family? I always believed that no one life was more important than another. Every person mattered. Not according to the vampier.

The day I was taken happened to be one of those rare occasions where I caught a rabbit.

I walked with the rabbit in my hands which I held close to my chest. Its white fur was soft as I caressed it with my hands. I wore a thick jacket, a plain white t-shirt underneath and a pair of jeans. It was the middle of June in the midst of winter. It was freezing as the mist left my mouth every time I breathed out. My brown boots were covered in frost from the early morning cold.

All of the leaves on the trees had long since fallen and the trees themselves looked like they were in a deep slumber. They creaked as they spoke to each other. Bare and exposed.

Along with looking for food in the mornings, I would also look for firewood as well. My mother insisted that I only take the wood from old dead trees to make a fire. She believed in taking care of nature and in that way nature would take care of us. She also believed in a higher power. She always said that the fact that any of us survived at all was a miracle.

I looked at the poor frightened little rabbit in my hands. I knew that I had to kill it sooner or later, but I wanted to wait a while. I could not bring myself to do it. He just looked so fragile and scared.

I carried a sack with me which had some wood in it. It was strung over my left shoulder.

As I walked I thought about my mother. My mother was one of the oldest women alive in our village at the age of forty-six. I loved my mother dearly. She was one of those people who would do anything possible to take care of me and my older sister.

She spent her whole life taking care of others.

My older sister’s name was Valiant and she was twenty years old. Every morning while I went into the forest my sister would walk for miles to other villages to see what she could trade to get more food and medicine. The vampier essentially handed out the medicine for free. They could not exactly let their only food source go extinct.

My mother told me how strangely enough humans hardly ever got sick in this new world. It was as if we had somehow developed a new way of fighting off common colds and cases of flu. The common cold is the least of our worries these days.

I heard horror stories about how there was this place that they called the Harvesting Farm where humans went who were ill or disobedient. All of us feared those farms which was why we were careful. On those farms, they could keep you alive for over fifty years while slowly draining your blood. The logic is apparent, if you are alive you can produce more blood, if you are dead, the production of blood in your body would stop. Humans were kept in a comatose state.

The mere thought of going to a place like that kept everyone from attempting to fight back. If they went against the vampier they had to make sure that they never got caught. If you got caught death would be merciful and that is one thing the vampier was definitely not known for.

As I walked through the forest I stopped as I heard the sound of hooves and a motor vehicle behind it.

It was very uncommon for anyone to drive cars. The vampier were the only ones who could afford cars and the petrol they needed to run.

That was how I knew that I was in trouble.

They were still far away as I reached the outskirts of the old abandoned gravel road, but there was no point in trying to hide or attempting to run. I knew that they had most likely already seen me with their enhanced vision. If I ran I would be giving them a reason to chase after me.

I saw the red flag with the emblem of a golden stag on it. That was how I knew that they were most definitely vampier.

It was three months before the Vendurians were scheduled to pick up new slaves in the village. Those that did the pick-up had the same emblem on their uniforms or at least that is what Uncle Peter told me. He drew a picture of it in his sketchbook.

I thought that maybe it was a random convoy transporting a prisoner or that maybe they were transporting an Eersteling.

The Vendurians were known as super vampier. They were the guards that made sure that the law was kept. The iron fist that struck you down the second that you broke any of their rules.

The Eerstelinge were the most powerful of all the vampier. My mother told me that they were the cruellest. They were the firstborn vampier, those who were not turned, but born into a life of blood-lust.

I stopped walking and I looked directly at the convoy. I looked down and repeated what my mother had taught me from a very young age.

Do not look directly into a vampier’s eyes unless he/she tells you to.

Do not talk back.

Do not talk to them at all unless a question is directed at you.

Do not try to run. Ever.

Do whatever they tell you to do, no matter what it is.

I hoped that they would just pass me by, but I was not that lucky.

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Further Recommendations

Amanda Gallo: This book was so sweet. It actually made me cry towards the.end. I'm so.glad they got there happy ending

aduerr46: Like the story. But the orthography should be improved. Please update soon.

Leigh : I’d recommend this to 16+ audiences. I don’t like it didn’t have a psa at the beginning to tell us the end could be disturbing to some readers cause I’m sure some who read this might get a negative reaction from it. But everything else about this book I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

Ema: Love the story...

aduerr46: Nice story. But the orthography often is not correct

britg92915: Absolutely love it

mayra: I like the narrative and all but the author really needed to make the protagonist a little more resentful towards her husband he did treat her really bad isn the beginning but in stead here love grew for him or at least we could of read her POV but even so I'm enjoying it.

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trishbertram09: Love the series so far.

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burnt2: Really easy read from start to finish. I was hooked and couldn’t put it down until the end. Looking forward to the second instalment.

bwhit1230: I loved it from the very beginning and it just got better along the way 💕Thanks for letting me in to your world ❤️

Sherypher Mousah: Loved it every part of it.also liked the romance with out a love triangle always nice, thank you so much.

Val: Grâce a cette histoire, j'adore les ours maintenant! J'avais eu l'occasion de lire des histoires avec des ours mais sans jamais réussir a y accrocher, mais celle si j'ai adoré! Les protagonistes sont attachant à souhait et j'ai hâte de lire la suite des aventures des frangins!😁😁😁❤️❤️❤️👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

maggiev8mv: I enjoyed book 1, book 2 freaking loved it. A tad predictable, but the writing style and storytelling skills made up for it. Thank you for sharing your story!!! Now Book 3!!

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