Daughter of Jumlin

Updated on December 9, 2017

She thought about what it was like growing up in a village that feared her from birth as she made her way out to the place that the creature was said to hide. It had been difficult to get people to trust her, many of them only helped her survive for fear of her father. He had already terrorized the village and many people feared the day he might return. It was clear that they would never accept her the way things were, and she knew she couldn't blame them. Not after the way her father have wrecked her village and ravaged its women. Not after the blood and innocence of these people had stained the ground.

She thought about her father, who had been left to be raised by the people that his father had treated in the same way as she pushed passed brush and made her way closer to the where the creature was said to hide. The onslaught of violence that he had been conceived under had ruled every part of his life that she had ever heard. He was a being of rage and blood lust, half human and half vampiric demon. From the moment he was big enough to overpower a human being, he was leaving bodies in his wake. Even as an infant, he had terrorized his hometown. There had been much quiet and hesitant celebration to be had that night, and no matter how many people thought he would return, he did not.

She thought about her father's father, the Jumlin, as she crawled inside the creatures nest and hid between its massive eggs. It was a giant bird with feathers like swords and it had been picking off livestock and killing people ever since she could remember. As she waited, she thought about how the Jumlin had tricked a generous Medicine Man into bringing him into the real world. The tales of his first months on Earth were well-known, they were full of terror as he deceived the people and kept the title of Medicine Man to reign with the respect it gave him. His path of destruction was just as infamous, and the pain that he had caused.

The Cherokee woman's name was Inola and as extraordinary as these events may sound, they weren't supernatural to her. The first Cherokee vampire, his children, and the giant bird flying in overhead were all natural to her; and not just because she was a quarter vampire as well. For the Cherokee, these extraordinary beings were all part of the natural world.

And this naturally extraordinary had finally figured out how she would gain the respect of the village she was raised in. Her unique strengths allowed her to do many things that most humans could not, making her useful, but still not wanted. In her head, the only way to prove that she did not deserve to be painted as a monster for the sins of her ancestors was to do the exact opposite. Inola would become a hero.

Above her head, the giant bird ruffled its feathers and perched itself atop its nest. From her position, she could see the weight distribute and the protective feathers that made the bird almost impenetrable and therefore impervious to harm spread around the eggs. Grabbing a pair of daggers that she had hidden in a pouch attached to her side, she quietly stabbed them into the closest egg and used them to climb. It took an incredible amount of upper body strength, but she was able to scale the egg by pulling herself up with each new stab of those daggers. The eggs shell was penetrated and the clear, protective liquid inside poured out, but she kept moving. Her fingers became sticky and slippery, but she held on and kept climbing to the top.

As she neared her destination, she carefully maneuvered herself between the giant bird's feathers. Each one was as sharp as a blade and stronger than any instrument known to the Cherokee. As it breathed, she watched the feathers closest to her rise and fall like the ocean's tides. Her heard pounded in her chest and she wondered how much of her grandfather's immortality had been passed on to her. She knew she had enough of his blood in her to slow her aging, make her immune to illness, and give her the same thirst for blood that he had. It was his favorite part of himself and it was her biggest secret.

When she got to the top of the egg, she pulled herself up and balanced her weight on the two daggers. Freeing her hands, she unsheathed the weapon that she had asked her mother to have imbued with the magics of her people. After a deep breath to steady her nerves, she shoved it up into the soft, exposed skin of the giant bird. The sharp blade sank in to the hilt as if it were sliding through warm butter and there was a loud caw of pain and surprise. Inola hopped off her perch with the weapon still in hand and watched the egg she had weakened crumble under the weight of its mother. Yolk covered her and masked her scent, making it impossible for the bird to find her as it pushed its beak between its eggs to try and find its attacker. No matter how much it pushed around, nosing in between the eggs, it couldn't find her.

Biding her time, she waited and hid, using the sounds of pain emanating from the bird and the scuffle of nest fabrics being pushed around to plan her next move. When the bird came near, instead of hiding, she rushed forward, running between the feathers so that she could cut the beast's head off. The rest of the eggs were smashed when the giant bird tumbled and writhed, lifeless but not still. Once she was sure that all of the eggs were damaged beyond the potential for life, she took the bird's head in hand and dragged it all the way home.

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