A Life Too Short

She was old, very old.  She had seen everything, and been everything, from a simple housemaid, to a military power causing the rise and fall of empires.  After all these centuries of life one would think she would be ready to die.  She was not.  She wanted to be young again.  She would do anything to keep from dying.

Although she looked no more than forty-five, she was over seven thousand years old.  She knew that within the next ten years her body would, once again, begin to die.  However, she had been preparing for this for the last twenty years.

Twenty years earlier, she had managed to get herself hired as a nursemaid for the young son of a nice young couple.  She came to be like a second mother to him, and like a sister to his parents.

As the boy grew older, she stayed on to care for his younger sister.  And as the girl grew up and no longer needed a nursemaid, she continued on as a housekeeper.  Nanny made sure that the whole family was happy and healthy.

The most difficult part about her plan was that her affection for the family was genuine.  She had put her heart and soul into raising the children well.  But now, after all that hard work, she felt that it was time for her to take what she had earned.

The next step was the only part of her long life that she actually disliked.  It was very messy work and she hated getting her hands dirty.


*                      *                      *                      *                      *

The day after his twentieth birthday, after informing his parents that they would be spending three days at a rented mountain cabin as part of a belated birthday surprise, she left with him.

She had everything planned, as she always did.  His meal would have the spices that would prepare his blood and make him relax.  By the time he had finished eating, he would begin feeling the effects of the herbs.  He wouldn’t feel anxious when he saw the surgical instruments, and he would be able to endure the pain while she was draining his blood.  He had to be conscious until she got enough.

The hardest part would be opening him up and taking out his heart and his brain quickly before death contaminated them.  Fortunately, she had plenty of experience and knew exactly how to do it.

Everything went according to her plan.  She cooked their steak dinner, while he collected wood for the fireplace and explored around the cabin for a while.  He ate his drugged meal, and then helped her clean up.

After that he said he was tired and went to lie down on the couch.  She sat down on the rocking chair across from him and watched, and waited for the drugs to do their work.

Suddenly she heard someone call her name and she opened her eyes, realizing that she had dozed off.  She tried to get up from her chair but found that she was too weak to move.  She saw, to her confusion, that the boy was standing in front of her with his parents and sister.  Something was definitely wrong, but strangely enough, she didn’t feel alarmed.

We know who and what you are,  said the boy’s father.

How? she asked, almost too shocked to speak.

AI recognized you, said his mother with a little smile.

Nanny’s eyes widened in disbelief.

You see, continued the boy’s mother, Aa few centuries ago, you chose to live a public life.  I saw you then.  I even followed your political beliefs.  Several times since that lifetime I saw you, and I knew that you were like me.

Like us, said his father, putting his arm around his wife.  “We are like you.”  He looked at his children.  “They aren’t.”  He smiled.  “Not yet.”

We had planned an extensive search to find another like us to change our son.  And then you showed up at our front door.  We were ecstatic.  We couldn=t believe our luck.  We knew what you wanted, what you didn=t know was that we wanted the same thing for our son.  Neither of us could act until he was older and that gave us plenty of time to make plans of our own.

Since we had the means to give them long life like we have, we decided to have a second child.  When they were old enough, we told them about you and taught them everything they needed to know about the procedure.

My part was easy, said the boy laughing nervously.  All I had to do was switch plates.  I was afraid you would notice, but since you weren’t expecting anything, you weren’t paying attention.

Nanny felt numb, both physically and emotionally.  Never had she even conceived the notion that she would end up the victim in this plot.  This sweet, loving family was just as cruel and heartless as she was.  They wanted the same thing she did, and the only way to get it was to consume her the way she had intended to consume the boy.

“I’m sorry,” said the mother.  “We care about you.  We really do.  But we just couldn’t bear the thought of our children dying while we live on.  She put her arms around her children.  “We just wanted to stay a family.  Forever.”

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