Prologue | Wings from the Fallen
The leader sent another blow to Elizabeth's gut, kicking her where it mattered most. She groaned and spit blood towards the ground. She lifted her head and locked her gaze with his, daring to challenge the man who stood before her. "If you have to kill me, so be it. I will never give up my daughter."
Her hands had been tied up behind her back using the rope she would keep in her garage. Unfortunately for her, the garage had thick walls, and neighbors were spaced out just enough that her screams could not be heard. However, her daughter could hear them. The sound of Evelyn's mother being beaten at the cost of her own safety tore the little girl apart.
He squatted in front of her, examining the blood that stained the pinkness of her lips. "We forgot to tell you that we've already found her."
Another man with blond hair entered the room, dragging little Evelyn by her hair. "Mommy!"
"Evelyn!" her mother yelled. She glanced up at the leader of the Maledicta. "Don't hurt her. She's not a part of this."
"The day you gave birth to her, she became a part of this." The leader ordered the other to continue with the plan.
As the leader and Elizabeth watched, Evelyn was forced to the ground on her stomach. She knew if she moved, they would take her mother away from her. What she didn't know was they planned to killer Evelyn's mother regardless of if she cooperated or not.
The blond man grabbed a small ax from the wall of the garage, gripping the top edge of Evelyn's right wing. Her mother shouted at the blond as she tried to make her way over. Within a second, Elizabeth was on the ground as her knees had given out—not meant to be used as feet. With a few swings, the wing was chopped off of Evelyn's back as if the blond man attempted to make her more human. Not a bit of her wing was left except the bone that had been infused inside her where her wing once attached.
Evelyn cried out, screaming in agony. Black blood spilled onto the skin of her back, exposing the pain she would forever endure. Before she had a chance to beg for her mother's comfort between the cries, her other wing was removed. Evelyn was sent into an endless fit of affliction alongside Elizabeth.
Elizabeth called out her name in an attempt to save Evelyn. The choice had been made and nobody could stop what was set in stone.
The pain surging through Evelyn's back kept her under control. Her mother, however, was not. She continued to scooch her way to her little girl. The leader grabbed her hair, pulling her back to her spot. Nothing was stronger inside Elizabeth than the ache to hold Evelyn close until all her hurt flew away.
The leader grabbed a pipe near a wall across the room and gripped it tightly with both hands. He approached Elizabeth one last time. Pulling back, he swung it around until it collided with her head. From that moment forward, Evelyn became the orphan she had always feared she would be.