They had all died, of course, but none had died like this one. We lay him down to sleep and when we came to claim him, the snake had already taken his soul. I pulled the snake’s jaws away from the child’s head and wept bitterly into the night, my heart filled with odium. His eyes were closed and the blood trailed from the deep gashes in his skull down his cheeks, and into my hands. We pulled the snake into pieces and cursed the night.
Howling, I took him to where the others were waiting and together we left his poisoned body for the creatures in the forest to devour. Tonight we would not eat, perhaps tomorrow we would find another child to consume.