Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.
The small boy sat in his mother's lap, who was wearing a black gown with the collar reaching her chin, some pure black veins stretching across her face. She hummed a slow but soothing tune, as she brushed the boy's hair. The boy looked up at his mother before asking: "Mother..? Why do you have those..?" he pointed to the pulsating veins on his mother's cheeks. "Well my dear Mortem, once you come of age." his mother started, poking his nose, "you will become a Shadow."
Mortem ran out the door chasing a girl, looking to be the same age as him, with white hair reach-ing the middle of her back. She ran across the courtyard that belonged to a small mansion, she ran to a nearby fountain and jumped in, holding up what seemed to be a large goat skull. "If you want it so badly come and get it!!" the girl yelled, "Can't you just leave me alone for once Achlys?" Mortem said, looking fed up, standing at the edge of the fountain. Achlys threw the skull to him, as he caught it and held it to one side. "What's with you anyway? Why are you so obsessed with that skull of yours?" Achlys said, climbing out the fountain. "Mother gave it to me, am I in the wrong for cherishing it?" He said tilting his head a bit to the side, with a rather blank expression.
Mortem looked at himself in the mirror, staring at the alarming number of black veins, that started climbing up his arms and legs. He looked terrified up at his father, who was holding a needle with the remnants of some black thick liquid. He looked to his hands, and all he could see was the black veins spiraling around and pulsating.
His mother was stood in the corner of the room, her eyes blank as tears streamed down her cheeks, the same black veins as before, but more prominent than before. Achlys was already sitting in a chair, almost jumping with excitement. Their father reached out his hand, while their mother quickly grabbed a second needle that was sat on a metal dish. Her hands were trembling, as she handed the man they called father the needle. She stepped back into the corner, Mortem stared at her, feeling some sort of... Pity... "You were always my favorite Achlys, so quiet and well mannered." Their father said, before injecting the same thick black liquid into Achlys's arm. Achlys took a deep breath as if she was enjoying the burning sensation in her veins.
His father dusted off his hands and made his leave, walking into his office, with Achlys following quickly behind. Mortem looked to his mother who stepped out of the shadowed corner. "Mortem... My sweet boy, I need you to-" before she could finish the sentence, the front door to the mansion fell to the ground, a loud crash echoed through the main hall. His head shot to the side, before quickly returning to his mother. "I need you to run Mortem, save yourself, I am of no use." His mother pleaded, before starting to shove him off, yelling and crashing that seemed so distant began to get closer and closer. Mortem turned and ran towards his room, quickly bursting through the door grabbing the skull, that was neatly hung on the wall above his bed. He leaped out the window covering his head as he fell to the ground.
All he could do was run... Run... His mother's words forever hunted him.
He quickly shot up from his bed, standing up pacing around. Mortem gathered himself, and quickly went downstairs, so he could start his day in his bookshop. After all the books weren't going to sell themselves.