Angel Stock or Demon Breed?
"In the very depths of Hell, do devils not love one another?..."
The thunder crashed for days before you, little one. And still no one knew where the lightning would strike.
A sun in Taurus and a moon in Scorpio, Eleutherios didn't cry, or scream, and none of the witches at hand were surprised by it. Semele Lee — known by most as Selma — knew that things had changed the moment her second pregnancy hit. Everyone knew about the scattering of odd powers through her bloodline, about the way magic mingled into the soul and twisted things around. Apotrophia had already gone strange, born dragon with too much magic in her veins, as if seated to rule and dimiss the worst of tragedies from within. But then came Eleutherios who had altered her life even within his awkward early stages in the womb. Her little water snake conjured through the safety of his mother's belly and churned her blood to something new: siphoning. It wasn't the same hunger as the heratics of the West had but something new; the baby hungered in her womb and suddenly, Selma was draining energy from everything around her. Magic, plants, people — the what didn't matter. If it had an energy, if it had life that flowed, it was up for grabs.
Rhodes, for better or worse, couldn't have been happier. He loved his wife and his daughter but it was his unborn son that gave him hope. As soon as he could he tested the blood of the child in the womb. Every spell that used the blood was a burning and divine thing. Every cast made stronger. Every protection made absolute. It was everything he'd hoped for since Semele had first told him about her lineage. It was everything he could have ever wanted... a chance at true immortality without burden or break.
But nature has her rules, no matter the plans of man and magic.
"We don't know what happened, Selma..." The silence of the world outside is deafening. Clouds that cast no shadows and the critters in the grass making no moves, all of them in wait of the next crash of thunder. But it never comes. Eleutherios lays in his mother's arm and the hunger is gone and silence has taken his lungs whole. "He's a witch. Be happy. Be grateful the hunger wasn't his." This was the best they could do with a child who was born from pain and gave back almost nothing.
It's 1642 and Eleutherios has taken his first step. He stumbles and time stops. Rhodes watches, sure he can catch his boy, but something makes him wait. He swears he can see the boy slow down. But then the ground meets his face and scrapes cause the first tears of the young boy's life. Just another witch.
It's 1645 and Apotrophia is throwing another tantrum. Her rage hits a boiling point and she steams from the ears before the tree in the yard is burned to a crisp. Smoke from her nostrils, both Semele and Rhodes are scolding her as Eleutherios watches. And then he burns, too. His skin goes black and his teeth grow sharp and he is a dragon like Apotrophia. A baby dragon, sure, with fire that hiccups before it streams, but a dragon. Everyone stops their panic and rage and try to figure out how this happens. Eleutherios laughs and is a baby again. Chipper and bright. Hiccuping nonsense instead of fire. Rhodes spends the night taking notes and researching but the books of a cabin sheltered from the world isn't the best place to learn.
1662 and Eleutherios is running. Blood drips from his hands and the walls are burning. He can't think, or move, or act; Semele is dead and Rhodes is nowhere to be found and the house — it's burning. What the young man doesn't know is Rhodes has found his ways to learn. Immortality activates after death and to kill his child, well, he needed more power. The power of a hybrid herself would do, to break open the immortal that waited inside of the fox he called son. Rhodes back is the only thing Eleutherios sees when the feral mind takes over and his wolf lunges from doorway to man; but then there is a bolt of lightning so strong it burns right through his fur and he is on the ground staring up at darkness flapping its wings through his vision.