The old woman was dug in like a tick and showed every indication of trying for immortality and I’d spent too much, wasted too much, to let her just trundle along growing older and fatter and more gleeful as time stole the fluid in my knees and my back. No. I’d suffered her abuse and her instruction, her impatient teaching, her poisons, her witchcraft, her cordite and scorn. Time and past time for sons and daughters of my own, but she just kept pumping them out, sisters upon sisters. I was weary of killing, weary of the sweet taste of flesh between my jaws, of the crunch of soft newborn skulls in my teeth.
No, she had to go.
Poisons and knives, like her mothers before her, like my daughters to be. Wearing the face of my sisters I slipped into her chambers, her guards droning sleepily to themselves. She knew me, when first I slipped inside her, knew me for her own, but what use then? My poisons raddled her lungs while my knives punctured her heart. She could have killed me with a gesture, could she have moved.
The work of moments to kill her, but weeks of eating. Without her command, her guards would not enter, and her appetite, like mine, was vast and insatiable.