Chapter 1: Darkness
I lay still in my bed, eyes staring up at the ceiling, unmoving. The dream, it had felt so real, and yet here I was wrapped in my blankets in the comfort of my own room as if nothing had happened. Sweat rolled down my face like bullets as I recalled the horrifying memories that floated around my subconscious and tormented my mind. That dreadful night, one that would leave a permanent scar across my heart.
“How could that have happened...” I sobbed silently, “why couldn’t I do anything?” My mind was numb but my heart hurt as if someone had stuck a thousand needles into it at once and then squeezed with an iron grip. Images of that terrifying night flashed before my eyes and I began to cry harder, my body shaking uncontrollably. Had Sy still been alive I know that he would wrap me tightly in his strong arms and tell me that everything was going to be okay. But he wasn’t, I had lost it all that night, yet here I am living as if nothing had ever happened, as if I had forgotten about them. I sometimes wondered if there was a heaven, and if there was, would my family be disappointed? Would they think that I abandoned their memory?
I could still hear the agonizing screams pierce through the air, but now it was only a distant memory. A distant but agonizing, heart-wrenching memory. I sobbed harder at every memory, every face that flashed in my mind, I had been so useless. Every time I close my eyes all I see are those eyes, once filled with hatred and fear, now only a lifeless window to the soul. They haunt me, torment me, remind me of what I had done... or rather didn’t do that day. Eyes that fill me with unspeakable shame. No matter how hard I try I can never get those memories to leave my mind.
My eyes dart around my dark room, looking for something, anything to take my mind off of my terrible dream. I sigh, realizing that the walls of my room were empty. All that the room contained was a small, empty desk with a fold-up chair and a twin size mattress on the floor. The place I called my home screamed depression and, as laughable as it may be, it was comforting to be engulfed by so much nothingness. I feared to personalize the room because I knew that I would not stay here long, I didn’t want to become too attached. A mere seventeen-year-old, living on her own.
“Woah, how pathetic I sound right about now,” I mumbled to myself sourly. I was angry. Angry at the world, angry at life, but mostly... I was angry at myself. I sat up in bed and kicked my feet over the edge, sliding my slippers on. Standing up, I shuffled my way towards the bathroom, not really wanting to move.
Suddenly a sharp knock at my door rooted me to my spot. BANG! BANG! BANG! The knock sounded angry and impatient. I froze where I stood and strained my ears to listen for any clues about who the knocking might be coming from. As I listened I heard a low voice, barely audible outside my door, but easily heard by my highly trained ears.
“Just knock the door down you stupid grunt,” muttered one voice angrily “I know she’s in there. I can smell her.” My eyes widened and my blood ran cold. I tried to will my body to move but it would not budge. Every nerve in my body was screaming at me but I stood rooted to my spot. Paralyzing fear, my worst enemy, had become a frequent companion of mine, always showing up whether it was wanted or not.
“What if you’re wrong,” said the second voice.
“I’m not and you know it, Casey. Now are you in this with me or are you going to go crying to Jason!” The first voice growled low. I heard no response from the second voice and a lump caught in my throat. I began to shake slightly but willed myself to at least stay quiet. I was absolutely terrified, unable to think straight. My eyes were glued to the door waiting for something to happen.
With a loud thud, the door went flying across the room revealing two muscled men. My breath hitched in my throat and I hoped that they wouldn’t notice me but as I watched them their eyes landed on me and a grin erupted on each of their faces. The two men began to meander towards me, probably with the intent to confuse me and throw me off of my game.
“We’ve found you now, princess” the guy on the left spoke in a low, threatening tone. He reminded me a lot of an alley cat that has had its fur torn away from its body. Straggly and unkempt. A chill went up my spine and suddenly I found the courage or rather forced myself to find it, to be able to move again. I had stayed in this place far too long and now they have found me. My lax behavior lately had gotten me into trouble and now I was going to pay for it. I needed to act fast or I was going to die.
I look towards the window on my right side. “A fire escape! This must be my lucky day!” I smiled to myself. With cat-like reflexes, I sprinted towards the window, but I was too slow. Before I knew it both men had surrounded me and were ready to pounce. That’s when I did the unthinkable.
Placing my pointer fingers on each side of my temple and concentrating with all of my might, I began to hum a high-frequency note, inaudible to normal human ears. Shutting my eyes, I forced the sound to increase as it reached the two men’s ears. I smirked inwardly to myself knowing that I now had the upper hand. Taking a deep breath, gasping for air, and opening my eyes I look down at the two men now lying lifeless on the ground, blood dripping from their ears, and smile at myself. Removing my hands from my temples, I smile and take another deep breath making sure to relax my thoughts. This was the first time I had ever been able to successfully control this curse that had plagued my life for years.
A sound behind me startled me but before I could turn and look to see what it had been, a sharp pain erupted from the back of my skull and I was falling face-first into what was left of my two attackers.
“Goodnight, Princess” was the last thing I heard before my entire world went black.