They smiled at her as she looked around the table. Everyone was there. Her friends, her family, even the pets! There was no one who was missing in this big dinner. It was the perfect birthday!
Being thirteen now, Lilith felt kind of like she should be embarrassed by her folks, after all, most kids her age were, but she just felt an almost overwhelming happiness that she was able to enjoy this.
She grinned back at them. Of course, then she wasn't actually called Lilith. But the name was too painful to remember. Then the cake came.
She began to blow out the candles, but her dad stopped her. "I thought you were supposed to make a wish!" He chuckled. She grinned and closed her eyes. I wish that every birthday i have could be like this... she thought to herself.
She opened her eyes and smiled again, blowing out the candles. Lilith cut the cake herself, and gave everyone a peice.
"Finally!" Her idiot cousin said. "I thought that the best part of this party was never going to come!" Then he shoved his peice in his mouth whole. They all laughed as he swallowed it down. "What?" He asked.
Lilith rolled her eyes.
A few minutes later she went upstairs to get changed. She was going out with her friends for a small birthday treat.
They grabbed her arms as she came back downstairs, practically dragging her out the door.
"Have fun girls!" Lilith's mother called as they closed the door behind them.
They headed out and went around town. They went to watch a movie. Lilith didn't really remember what. All she knew was that she had felt tremendously happy.
They left when the movie was finished, chatting and giggling over different parts of it.
They had already had a large dinner, and so they went out to the park, instead of going out for food.
It was dark and late, but there were street lights. And the girls were all going to Lilith's friend's house afterwards, and that friend's mother didn't mind the girls coming in late. It was for the whole weekend. Tonight was a friday.
They hung out at the park, giggling loudly and chatting in a rather girly way.
Then Lilith had decided to wander. The girls were kind of over-excited, and she felt like she needed to wind down.
She approached the trees on either side of the park where is was dark and quiet. That was a mistake.
"Hey! Where're you going?" One of her friends had called.
"Oh, I'm just coming to sit over here in the dark for a while! I just want a few minutes alone, 'kay?"
"Whatever!" Her friend had then just turned away.
Lilith stepped into the shadows and sat gently, leaning her back against a tree. She smiled. Today was a perfect day.
Then some hands grabbed her from behind, shoving a hand over her mouth before she could scream for help.
This mysterious person grabbed her chin with their left hand, using their right to keep her mouth closed. They pulled her head back, tipping her chin up towards the sky, and bending her whole body backwards. Before Lilith could do anything, the person dipped their head to her neck, teeth bared.
The sharp pain that came next was excruciating. It was like someone had stabbed her in the neck. She groaned, but obviously the girls couldn't hear her. Lilith could feel the person dragging her further back into the darkness. She was starting to feel weak.
And then her friend called her. "Where are you?"
The person pulled back abruptly. Lilith dropped to the ground, stunned. She stared into nothing, unable to make sense of anything.
The person cursed. "Cover your neck!" They hissed. Lilith could now see it was a man. She had guessed as much.
Without realising how or why, Lilith did as the man said and covered her neck, pulling her hood up.
She stared at the man, and although she was unable to see him, her sight seemed to be improving a fraction every second.
"Go out there and continue what you were doing before! Don't look back! Act as if nothing has happened!" The man was ordering her around, and normally Lilith would shout at someone for trying to do that, but intsead she just... did it.
"I'm right here!" She called. "I'm just coming!" She ran out back into the park.
She stopped as soon as she got there. Had it always been that bright?
"Oh! There you are! We thought you'd been attacked or something!" Her friend teased her. She just smiled in the most normal way that she could.
They decided to go to their friend's house now, as it was getting late.
They stumbled along the streets, giggling and having a great time. They reached their friend's house and went straight to bed.
Lilith didn't sleep at all that night. She didn't know why, but it was just because she didn't really feel at all tired anymore.
She had managed to hide her neck from the girls, and she saw why. There was a huge rip in the flesh, covered in now dried blood. It was gruesome.
The rest of the weekend passed in a blur. She smiled, and she pretended to heve fun, but Lilith was really just obeying her orders.
She arrived back home monday afternoon, after going to school.
She grinned at her parents and told them how great her party had been. She then went straight up to her room to read her favourite book.
Her mother came up a few minutes later and told her that their dinner would be quite late tonight. She had burnt the food when she had tried to cook it, and so Lilith's father had gone out to get something else for dinner.
Lilith didn't mind. She wasn't really at all bothered about the food.
It was about an hour later when she heard her father coming back in through the door. She saw that it was quite late and she could hear her father's loud voice from downstairs as he explained how lucky they were that he'd reached the shop in time.
Lilith watched as the sun set. She set down her book and smiled at the moon as it came out. She was happy.
She smelled the food as her mother began to cook, the smell of it wafting up the stairs.
She continued wtching the stars twinkle above her in the night sky. The sky is awfully pretty... she thought as she sat there.
And then she felt pain. She felt horrible, searing, burning pain. It hit her in sudden waves and she stared at her hands as they shook. She remembered one sudden little detail in the back of her mind. She remembered when she had been attacked the other night. She remembered how dark it had been outside. And then she looked out the window again, and she saw the same horrible darkness. No. The sky was not awfully pretty. It was awfully black.
She reached up to her head, not quite sure what she was doing, and she ripped of her skin. She was a horrid creature.
She ran down the stairs. She could smell the human blood. She ran as fast as she could, charging into the room. She stared at the man, his horrified exprssion doing little to make her stop and think. She attacked and killed him, drinking from his dead body.
Then she heard the woman shrieking. She turned and saw her, standing there by the cooker, which was still going. She charged and dove into the woman, kocking her into the cooker. She screamed as she was set on fire, and the creature dodged back as the fire erupted across the wall that this woman had hit. She was dead in seconds.
The creature ran from the house, hating the heat coming from the fire.
There was no one else left in the house that was now burning down. The creature set off after the scents that she had most recently smelled.
By the morning, everyone Lilith had known was dead, and she was lying in leaves, shivering as the sun rose higher into the sky.
A man walked up to her, handed her some clothes and told her to follow him when she was ready.
Lilith stared up at the man, not wanting to follow, but she took the clothes, not wanting to have only the leaves to cover her up. She had burnt all of her possesions.
When she had changed, she stood straight, and the man came up to her, but she turned and ran away as fast as she could, surprised by how fast that actually was.
She saw the charred remains of her broken house and she felt suddenly smashed up inside. She searched inside this place that had once seemed familiar, and she left, rushing away.
As she ran, the thing that had made her go, was shone on by a final shred of light from the sun as it broke through the trees.
As she ran, the sun shone on the black, dead body of her father...