They said I was Mivaroi, the scourge of the community, the one who took all in its path; feeding on the old and the infant. I was the consumer of life force that plagued the healthy, sickening them, taking them before they had a chance to heal.

I had fought by these people, fed by their side, nursed their children so that they could get sleep when their wives died. Now they called me Mivaroi.

Maybe it was because I was poor and was now rising to become greater than them. They dragged me out of my house at dawn, putting me in a sack and clubbing me to a hapless mass.

They pulled me to the shores, I heard water splashing. I knew where they were taking me. Maki’s island was too far to swim to and was now over run by snakes. Once a post for fishermen to rest, it was now a graveyard for outcasts. They threw me in its dry well ignoring my pleas for mercy. The children left first, then the women and finally the guards disappeared at dusk, rowing back to their little houses. I was left there for a week; in the land where Araa, the great snake, could come crawling through on any night.

How long does one die before they realize they must live?  My death was a week long. I scaled up the walls of my open prison until I reached the top. I crawled out, soaking the sounds around me as I lay on the jungle floor in agony and hunger.

Footsteps approached, I sat up. I saw my brother walking towards me. He spotted me and broke into a run.

“How did you get out?”  He started.

“I climbed out,”

“I was coming for you, I know what they did wasn’t fair. I’m so sorry,” he said as he hugged my neck.

I rolled onto my side in pain.

“Where were you?” I asked. My ribs were on fire. “Why didn’t you come sooner? I did nothing wrong.”

“I’m sorry, I wish, I could have done something,” he replied. His eyes went to my leg where gangrene had started to grow. “This is bad, it might…”

I grabbed his neck. His eyes widened with pain and shot me a look of confusion. His healthy form was no match for my disheveled state. I pushed him onto his back and climbed on top of him to get a better grip of his neck. He struggled, I could hear a few words try to escape, “Why, please, no,” but it quickly faded.

The calm returned to the cursed forest. I examined the corpse before me, then bit its neck and savored the taste of my own kin’s blood in my mouth.  On his neck he carried a mirror for good luck. It was now shattered. I looked at my reflection to see that my eyes had turned red, no iris, no cornea, just 2 ovoid patches. I turned to the direction of the town that abandoned me and walked to the beach.

I stepped into the lake. There was no feeling of suffocation as the water covered my head and my walk towards the town pressed on. I had always tried to be what they expected me to be. They had said I was the Mivaroi, I would not disappoint.

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