During the war many vampires used the cover of conflict to feed. Thana posed as a nurse, a ruse she had first employed during the Crusade Wars. She visited the wounded at night, telling herself that she was being merciful by easing their suffering and sending them on to whatever afterlife they believed in.
It was during one of her late night rounds that she discovered the twins. Drawn by the sound of their suppressed crying Thana went to investigate and found a boy and a girl aged around six years old, emaciated, covered in dirt and blood and dressed in rags locked in a basement room in the hospital. Thana never fed on children but she felt drawn to the twins, with their beautiful blue eyes large and frightened staring out of their thin faces. Perhaps because she had been made a vampire as a young woman, a part of her yearned for the children she would never have. Whatever the reason, Thana knew she had to save them.
The twins huddled together in the corner of the room shivering and shaking with cold and fear. Thana had heard the stories of Dr Mordred and was incredulous how humans could label her kind as monsters when evil clearly walked among them, many holding positions of power.
The twins were anaemic, not from any cut or wound but from systematic exsanguination. Dr Mordred was draining them.
‘Come little ones.’ Thana said holding out her hands towards them. ‘I’m not going to hurt you.’
The children were traumatised and wouldn’t be easily persuaded. Thana crouched down in front of the them, speaking words of encouragement in soothing tones. Eventually they both smiled at her and stood up on their skinny legs, both as unsteady as new born foals.
Thana scooped the twins up in her arms and inhaled their scent. They clung to her, she could feel their bones as brittle as birds. She headed for the door, her intention to take them as far away as possible, but she stopped short. It was snowing outside and although Thana did not feel the cold, the twins would surely die quickly from hypothermia in their current state.
‘Stay right here.’ Thana said. ‘I’ll fetch a blanket.’
The twins reluctantly let go of Thana and stood side by side.
‘I’ll be right back.’ Thana said. ‘I promise.’
Thana returned with a blanket in less than two minutes, but when she entered the room, the twins were gone. All that remained was the scent of Dr Mordred and his guards.