Chapter One// As the
They came in the night, just before dawn. Our legends had been
wrong, everything we'd believed was wrong.
They weren't undead monsters, cursed to walk only at night. They
were alive, they sparkled in the sunlight, and they were hungry.
Patrick came upon them first, but I hadn't been far behind. A
girl only seven years of age. I was meant to be skinning potatoes
with mama, not chasing Patrick through the woods. But that was
all I wanted to do back then, I just wanted to run free, to be
happy. And as usual Patrick was getting away. I believe he used
to take it easy on me, actually I knew. But I also knew it was
only because winning meant so much me, I've always been slightly
obsessed with perfection, and Patrick loved to take care of me.
My big brother, ready at any moment to help others.
If only I would've listened and stayed home like mama had
commanded. I remember Patrick didn't want to go out that morning,
but I wouldn't hear either of them. It was a wonderful spring
day, the flowers had just recently bloomed, and I wanted an
adventure. And so we went for a short hike, in the hope of
finding Lillie-a doe we'd saved a year prior- when I suggested we
race up the stream.
Patrick was feeling lazy and being difficult that day. He only
wanted to relax, walk slow . But after a little more coercing, he
finally gave into me. Only, this time instead of holding back so
we could stay neck-and-neck and I'd have a chance at beating him,
he breaks in a vigorous spirit and leaves me choking on dust.
Still I used every ounce of my strength to catch him, ever
unwilling to accept defeat. But I was younger then and much
slower, so he soon disappeared within the trees.
I was sure I'd lost to him after running alone for so long, not
once catching a glimpse of his dark curly hair ahead of me. And
then Lillie came bursting from the tree line, her eyes wild as
she sprints right past me, followed by a gut wrenching scream.
At first I did not know it was Patrick, but as I tiptoed through
the forest I came across the clearing where a man, pale as the
moon, held Partrick down against the grass with his back turned
to me. Patrick saw me first, his black eyes locking onto mine, I
could see all the pain and terror I knew he was feeling. So
without hesitation I stepped from behind the thick oat I hide
behind, ready to risk all for my brother.
"No!" He croaked, "Run! Go!"
But I ignored him and continued closer. Fearless, until the man
turned around slowly and gazed at me. His eyes were the color of
crimson rubies, and blood poured heavily from between his lips.
So much blood. Quickly I realized it all was coming from my
Patrick. A fear I'd never felt in my deepest nightmares took over
me, as I looked in the scene before me. The hole was bigger than
my fist, it bled rapidly and without mercy. His entire collarbone
missing, small pieces of him were scattered across the forest
floor. My brother was dying right in front of me, and my small
frame and weak arms were no match for the demon that held him.
Standing frozen, my stomach churns, and I close my eyes.
Momentarily unwilling to accept all that I've just seen. But when
open them again, nothing has changed. My heart drops, hope
draining away. And then the beast smiles at me, my dying brother
clutched in his hands, he smiles! My mind immediately rushed back
into reality and I ran. Ran harder and faster than I ever have.
Back down the stream, me feet bare but my will stronge. I would
dare to look behind me as the sound of his laughter caught up to
I had to get back to the others, back to mama. They knew magic,
most still practiced the old ways. They would defeat the beast
and save my brother. My muscles burned, along with my chest, but
I would not stop. I had to hold onto the hope that he'd be alive
long enough for me to find help. And as I reached the waterfall,
I didn't hesitate, I jumped.