Chapter 1- Dive Right In
People wouldn’t imagine a fifteen year old doing anything dangerous. A normal, boring, straight-A student couldn’t possibly break any rules. That’s what everyone thought. But certain fifteen year olds didn’t have parents like she did. That definitely made her different. A typical teenager didn’t sleep with a pistol in the nightstand next to her bed-fully loaded and ready to go-did they? People wouldn’t suspect her to be dangerous.
The night sky was an inky indigo. Stars dotted the canvas and twinkled happily. Twigs snapped in the still silence of the forest, and only a trained ear would know what was stalking them. Because tonight wasn’t a simple walk in the woods to clear the mind; the outing wasn’t for smelling the pine trees in the cool breeze, either. The fifteen year old that no one would believe to be dangerous was being watched, and the monster that was doing the watching was being hunted.
The teenager ducked behind a tree, put her back against it. Her chunky black headphones dangled quietly around her neck. The silver knife that would have to be twisted once after getting plunged into the monster’s heart was tucked safely in its sheath on her belt. She wasn't afraid. This situation wasn't her first. The monster, however, hadn't met her yet. It didn't know what it was in for.
Another twig snapped, and the girl whirled around. An angry hiss startled her and she fell to the ground, the Vetala snapping at her neck. This female looked like an ordinary woman. Except this ordinary woman with the blond hair had needle-sharp teeth and vertical slits for pupils. The girl cried out and slashed at the monster; the silver knife dug a nasty gash in its cheek.
Suddenly, the girl was lifted from the dirt and thrown ten feet into a pile of leaves that had fallen or had been a nest of some kind once. She huffed as she landed to lesson the impact. Scrambling, she struggled to her feet and looked around her. Where had the Vetala gone? She had tangled with them before; this one was the male's mate. The teenager had killed him a few hours before and the female was looking for revenge. They tend to do that sort of thing.
But this monster was fast. The girl gripped the knife more securely. She whipped her head around, peeking into the branches behind her. She wanted to end this quickly. Vetala venom was nothing to mess with. If she was bitten, she'd be a goner. There was nothing to do but to kill it. The thing had ended too many lives already; it was not going to live another day to ruin more families in this town or any other ever again.
She was knocked off her feet and she rolled down the hill, bouncing and cursing until she crumpled to a stop at the bottom. Blinking away the dirt, the girl looked up to watch the Vetala skid down the slope. The female's grin painted a grim picture. Its teeth glistened with dripping venom. She hadn't spoken yet, and maybe she didn't need to: the teenager knew from every move it made that it was intending to kill her. The girl had slain its partner, and now she was going to pay for it.
The silver knife had flown from the girl's grasp when she landed. She could see it glistening in the moonlight. It was too far to reach, even if she managed to get to her feet in time. The Vetala was coming closer. She had to think of something fast.
A deer ran out of the brush and stopped, tail high and eyes alert, in between the pair. The girl closed her eyes. She knew was what coming. So she pushed off of the ground as hard as she could and ran towards her knife. The sound of the deer's neck being snapped behind her only pushed her faster. The Vetala was so close. But the girl felt the cold leather grip of the knife and knelt to one knee, spinning towards the approaching monster as she did so.
The girl lifted the knife. A guttural snarl that ended in a choking screech forced her eyes open. The Vetala was hovered above her, the silver knife plunged into its heart, the girl pushing it deeper still into the monster. There was a quick twist, and the Vetala fell forward. The girl rolled to the side.
The monster lay face down in the dirt.