Prologue

As a child Claudia Rose Tardoe was almost never seen by anyone outside her home, and never during the day light hours. She had snow white, flawless skin that was always frigid to the touch, and thick lushes waves of chestnut hair that hung to her lower back. She was slender as any other girl but could lift her father's cows out of the mud without any help. But the feature that disturbed people most about Claudia was her eyes; the left was a piercing ice blue while the right was a soothing lavender that sparkled in the candle light.

When she was born Claudia's parents knew that she was different because of the two tiny fangs in her otherwise empty mouth. Now her parents were no fools, they knew that if anyone ever saw how strange their daughter was they would kill her. So her parents hid Claudia away, her father told the villagers that the baby had been a stillborn and that her mother was so filled with grief that she refused to leave the house.

It did not take this young couple long to realize that the sun burned their daughter's tender flesh, and so she slept during the day in her mother's hope chest. Claudia only came out of the chest after the sun had gone down, and then she could not eat the food her parents tried to feed her.

By the time she was seven Claudia was sneaking out of the house to find her own food and her parents knew that she was the creature feeding off the livestock in the area. She never killed the animals, she would only draw from each of them a small amount of blood but still the villagers were angry. So her father used their meager savings to buy a few laying hens and a rooster. With these he created a small flock of chickens for Claudia to feed off of.

As she grew Claudia's father had to buy more and more laying hens to keep the flock big enough to sustain his precious daughter. Over time the burden of hiding her daughter and lying to her friends slowly drove Claudia's mother insane, and the woman began to torment her only child. She would purposely cut herself while making her husband's dinner and turn to watch Claudia's pupils dilate.

On one occasion that she did this Claudia's father, Edwin, was not yet home from the fields and had forgotten to take Claudia to feed before he left. By the time he got into the house Claudia was sobbing on the kitchen floor with her mother's limp body in her arms. On the day of her fourteenth birthday Claudia's mother became her first human victim.

Edwin told the town's people that a wolf had attacked his wife and that her body had been mangled far too bad for a viewing. After that day Edwin was careful to keep Claudia well-fed and away from people. And so she was not seen again until she was sixteen when her father's best friend and his son moved in to help with the farm. The man was called Vincent and his son was Simon, and the day they moved in is the day that I will officially start our tale. Meet Claudia Rose and her father Edwin Tardoe…