Chapter 1- Life on the Run
Lynn springs around the corner of the gate and sprints into the garden. She can barely see anything in the faint light of a waning crescent moon, and only hears the sound of herself wheezing and the creature chasing her. Her silky gown flutters in the air as she forces herself to move as fast as possible. After a while, the creature’s footsteps recede as if it has given up on catching her.
She hides in a corner while she catches her breath, and then she carefully begins walking around to the front of her estate. This routine has consumed her life. With the world of hunters unbeknownst to her, she became prey, and creatures now chase her constantly.
Her parents spend too much time away to pay much attention to her, and when she does get the chance to tell someone about the attacks, no one believes her; they just blame it on an over-active imagination.
Luckily, Lynn’s small body frame allows her to maneuver around easily, and her fleet feet carry her at breakneck speeds. Thanks to her nimbleness, she manages to escape from most of her predators, but recently a persistent creature presented itself. Lynn evaded it with ease at first, but she knows that she will not be able to outrun it for much longer. Her short legs cannot keep running forever.
For today, however, she considers herself safe. Although she remains vigilant and highly alert, her senses detect no other presences nearby. As she arrives at the front of her home, an extravagant estate on a private beach, she cautiously cracks the door open and scans the area before swiftly slipping inside. Her butler, a rather lanky man, instantly appears and hovers over her.
“Ms. Lockhart! I have been looking all over for you! I specifically told you not to leave the estate!” he scolds, escorting Lynn to her room.
“I was just in the garden! And I told you, Bentley, there was a monster chasing me! I couldn’t just sit there and let it get me!” she argues, pouting.
“Please, Ms. Lockhart. I understand that you want to play pretend, but you can play inside the estate. You know you are not in the best of health, and the frigid air will only aggravate your symptoms. Now off to bed, you need to get some rest. You appear to be quite worn out.”
“That’s what happens when you have to run for your life. However, I am fine, so stop treating me like a child! I am almost fourteen after all; I think I can take care of myself,” she whines as she crawls into her bed. Bentley flips the lights off, earning a prompt reaction from her.
“Bentley, turn the lights back on right this instant!” she yells, and he reluctantly flips the switch back on.
“If you act like a child, then you shall be treated like one,” Bentley mumbles as he exits the room, leaving the lights on and the door open.
“If only Bentley knew what is really hiding in the darkness. Then maybe he wouldn’t treat me like such a child,” Lynn sighs, as she rolls over in bed and closes her eyes.
Lynn sits up, stretching her arms and rubbing her eyes. She glances around the room to make sure that she is safe, and then she crawls out of bed and begins walking toward the stairs on the balls of her bare feet.
“Bentley! I am ready to have my breakfast!” she shouts, as she delicately descends down the stairs and into the kitchen. Mesmerized, she stares at the bare table. Bentley usually prepares breakfast and sets the table before she even crawls out of bed. “Bentley, could you please prepare my food? I am starving!”
She hears no response, and quickly grows impatient, so she climbs onto the counter, straining to reach the high cabinet that contains her favorite cereal. Once obtained, she pours some into a bowl, leaves the box open and tipped over on the counter, and begins eating.
Bentley is so harsh on me, but he thinks he can just do whatever he wants. He does not even notice the monsters when they are right in front of him. I thought the reason my parents paid him was so I would have someone to watch out for me, she thinks to herself. Once she finishes eating, she leaves the dirty bowl on the table and decides to locate Bentley.
“Bentley, where are you?” she yells as loud as she can, but once again receives no response. Then an eerie feeling overcomes her, a feeling she knows all too well by now. She slowly turns the corner and then bolts out the door. To her surprise, the sun has not risen yet. She realizes that she must have woken up much earlier than usual.
“Help me!” she cries out, as the sound of heavy footsteps follow her. They grow heavier and louder as she speeds up. She runs along the coast until she can hardly breathe, when her foot slips on a bulky seashell, sending her falling face first into the sand. The footsteps slowly creep closer. She lies motionless in the sand, praying the creature might leave.
The footsteps cease, and Lynn hears the heavy breathing of the creature looming over her. When she finally works up the nerve, she turns and looks up into its luminous red eyes. The vaguely familiar human-like figure stands in the darkness, staring her down. She tries desperately to tell her body to move, to get up, to run away, but the creature’s gaze leaves her paralyzed with fear.
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