MY DAUGHTER • by Rumjhum Biswas

“Mummy! Don’t come near me!” shrieked Greta. The whites around her bloodshot eyes gleamed in the moonlight. Her hair was a tangle of golden knots. She faced me, fists clenched. Her neck was lowered like a bull ready to charge.

“Greta, my darling,” I said, my voice almost breaking. “Don’t…”

“Stay away, mummy! I said stay away from me!” She almost snarled. Her nostrils quivered like a rearing horse’s.

A sudden reek hit my olfactory senses. I backed away, but only a little. She was my daughter after all; my little baby whom I had suckled for nearly two years. There was a time when she would follow me around wherever I went. Even standing outside the bathroom door when I took my bath, a favorite doll clasped solemnly under her armpit.

I thought of summer days when we used to sit on the swing, two pairs of languid legs dangling, arms around each other’s waists, singing made-up songs or just gazing at the clouds and giving a name to each shape.

I recalled stormy nights when she refused to sleep anywhere except between us, her dad and I, because the lightning scared her too much, and no amount of reasoning or admonishing would make her budge. In the end we gave in to her soft arms and legs and warm milky scent, and secretly admitted to each other that we’d never slept better.

Greta loved her dad, no doubt, but she was closest to me. I was the one she always came to for everything. I was the only one who could reach that deepest place in her heart. But now all that was changed and she was irrevocably her daddy’s girl.

Her daddy, my husband, the Rev. Joshua Gabriel! A wave of hatred washed over me like molten lava. And, to think that there was a time when I loved him so much that I would have laid down my life for him. But that was before I met Grigore, and the scales fell off my eyes.

Grigore helped me realize my true self. It was he who made me see Joshua for what he really was — a chauvinistic fanatic, who would stop at nothing until you were either on his side or finished forever. Now he was extracting his revenge by turning my darling daughter against me. Oh! I wish I could tear him apart. If I could only lay my hands on him…

Greta was looking at me strangely now. The expression on her face banished all thoughts of Joshua from my mind for the moment. I couldn’t bear the way she was looking at me. I had to get my baby back. I would deal with Joshua later, once I had won Greta over to my side once and for all. The thought made me feel better. Grigore would have approved too. He wanted Greta to be part of us, our family, away from Joshua.

I took a step towards Greta, but she screamed again and yet again. Her screams fell on me like knives. The stench emanating from her was horrible. It was all I could do to keep myself from fainting. But I had to do it. If I lost this one chance to take her, Joshua would win forever. As it was, it was impossible to see Greta during the day. And Joshua never let her be alone at night. I had waited for my chance for many days now. Tonight was my lucky break. I knew that the longer she stayed with him, the stronger his influence would grow. How heartless of him (and how like him!) to separate a mother from her beloved daughter, her only child. How could he be so confident that Greta would not wither away without me?

“Greta, my love. My precious baby. Don’t do this. Come to me. Come to mummy.” I extended my arms towards her.

Tears streamed down her eyes, and she sobbed. “Mummy! Oh, mummy!”

I took another step and then another and another. I held my breath as I advanced. Slowly, cautiously, but determinedly. She didn’t seem to notice, racked as she was by her sobs. Now I was close enough to touch her hair if I reached out, just a little.

“Baby!” I whispered.

She jumped back with a force that startled me.

“Don’t come near me!” This time her voice came out like a deep growl.

I could see saliva at the corner of her lips. Her eyes stared wildly and she thrust out her right hand. I gasped and jumped back. Fear clutched my heart with dead cold fingers. I shivered as I backed away. She opened her fist with a look of triumph, which quickly turned to pity and sorrow and yes, also hate. She raised her hand high and the moonlight glinted on the lethal little thing in her hand — a silver cross. And the string of garlic pods around her neck glistened like pearls.


Rumjhum Biswas is a headless chicken when she doesn’t write. She stores her stuff, not necessarily on time, here: www.rumjhumbiswas.com. And recently started to blog here: rumjhumkbiswas.wordpress.com.


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Every Day Fiction

  • Gerard Demayne

    Loved it. Brilliant. I DID NOT see that ending coming.

  • Avis Hickman-Gibb

    Nice twist.

  • Ohhh i didnt see that coming, nicely done

  • Jim Cobb

    Nice one!

  • Sorry, but I did see that one coming the moment Grigore was mentioned…

  • I saw it too but it didn’t spoil. Very nicely written ending, Rumjhum.

  • Edward Caputo

    I really liked this one. I gave it 4 stars. My reservation revolves around 1 line:
    “see Joshua for what he really was–a chauvinistic fanatic, who would stop at nothing until you were either on his side or finished forever.”

    Because of the nature of the story, this is a crucial description that will (possibly only after I’ve reached the end) tell me all I need to know about how their relationship changed — and I feel it falls short of that. Once I know her true nature, this line should fit. And to me it doesn’t. If anything it’s jarring: Why would a vampire think of someone as chauvinistic? Not say that’s impossible, but it’s not explained in the story. ‘Uncompromising’ fits better for example, because while it reduce it to a single-dimension description, it doesn’t clash, or remain unexplained at the conclusion of the story.

    Still, I really liked this. I love the pacing and the build-up. I felt a genuine pang of loss when you evoked the memories of the daughter’s childhood (hopefully, my own experiences with my children won’t change so drastically as this woman’s!). And I didn’t see the end coming.

    Thanks for a good read

  • By about halfway through, I was wondering if there was a reason Greta should hate her mother, other than what the mother was claiming, but I wasn’t sure until the very end. Nice ending, and I like the unreliable narrator point of view.

  • Thank you, all of you for your comments and votes. I am so happy so many of you liked this story. Today was a long day so I got to my computer pretty late. It’s great to see so many people reading my story!

    I used the words “chauvinistic fanatic” because from a vampire’s point of view, Joshua is just that. He could have let her bite him and they could have remained one happy family, perhaps even a happy extended family, if you count Grigore in!

  • Gerard Demayne

    “Sorry, but I did see that one coming the moment Grigore was mentioned…”

    I didn’t twig onto that until AFTER finishing it TBH but you’re right, it is a bit of a “tell”. If rumjhum had just called him Gregory…

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  • Wonderful! Loved the twist at the end, and I didn’t see it coming. I was thinking maybe they’d split up over religious differences, so the vampire thing was a total surprise!

  • harley

    This was really satisfying. (Maybe the chauvinistic thing was a bit misleading, but it didn’t bother me.) What hooked me most was the daughter’s horrible smell; I thought it was a brilliant misdirection.

  • Jen

    I also saw rhe end coming but loved it just the same. I gave it a five out of five.

  • Thank you guys. I am really happy you all liked it. Makes my day! 🙂

  • I was intrigued by this title and the story, and read it from among all the recent ones in my mailbox, but I didn’t get it much at the end. Only on reading comments here did I understand the mom’s a vampire. Am not familiar witht his genre, or I might have known who or what ‘Grigore’ is. As I’ve said earlier, wish EDF would mention the genre of the story clearly on this page as well as in the e-mail posted stories. I liked the way you twisted this, Rumjhum, and it’s a good story, once explained 🙂

  • Teresa Koeppel

    Wonderfully written. The twist was pitch-perfect, the characters felt very real, and the story kept me completely engaged! Thanks so much!

  • jennifer walmsley

    Great writing. Didn’t know what was coming either.

  • Celeste

    This has to be one of the best story I’ve read on EDF. I don’t know why my comment didn’t appear on the day as I clearly remember reading it. Superb, beautifully-crafted with a defined twist. Fantastic stuff. More please.

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