January 16, 2186
Amy Townsend hesitated at the beginning of the alleyway that would shorten her trip home by three blocks. The news had been filled with reports of recent deaths by what everyone was speculating to be a creature of the non-human variety. Apparently, there was something odd about the bodies.
So far there had been four deaths, and everyone was afraid of being number five. Fear still ran high in all humans. Memories of the horrors during the Boala War were still too fresh to ignore easily.
Amy clutched the straps of her backpack a little tighter. She felt foolish to fear taking chances like dark abandoned alleys rather than staying where everyone could see her. But, she remembered the dreams that haunted her sleep.
Well, haunted may not be the right word. It was a reoccurring thing she’d had since she was young. It had just gotten more frequent since the start of the semester.
She dreamed of a woman that looked familiar in ways she couldn’t explain. Her body was alight with flames that danced around her as she held out a hand towards her with a welcoming smile on her face. If she didn’t know any better, Amy would have said it was a memory of some sort.
She shook her head at her own foolishness. It was broad daylight for one. For two, those kinds of things didn’t happen to her. She was a boring nobody. Especially in a world that had been rudely awakened to the fact that their fairytales weren’t fiction.
She needed to stop wasting time, get home, and study for her test in Ancient History before work. Not that the test would be too difficult. Professor Donovan had a way of making you feel like you were there. It never felt like a lecture because the professor told them about lack of electricity, plumbing, and other such simple things that Amy had never thought of before.
Still, she wanted to do well; so study, she would. And there was only so much time for that before work.
With that, she made her way down the alley. The further in she got, the more she relaxed. Amy chuckled silently at herself. See. There was nothing to be afraid of.
A chill filled the air and things seemed to get darker. Amy felt a whimper escape her. She tightened her grip on the straps again as she picked up the pace. Two figures seemed to emerge from the shadows, making her stop dead in her tracks.
“Finally. We were beginning to think we’d have to take you in front of others,” one of them said in exasperation.
Amy spun on a heel and started to run, but something enveloped her, and she couldn’t even get a scream out of her throat. Whatever magic gripped her forced her arms to her side and her body straight.
“Now, now. None of that,” the other one purred. “We aren’t nearly finished with you.”
Amy found herself face to face with two who looked remarkably human. Despite there not being a breeze, their hair moved with a life all its own. They smiled at her. A fact that did nothing to ease her fears.
“There will be power to harvest from you still,” one informed her. “No point in wasting your death after all.”
“She’s already crying. I don’t think we’ll get much.”
“Every little bit counts. Our enemy is formidable after all.”
“If we ever find her,” the other snapped with annoyance. “Let’s get this over with. I want to return to the coven and inform our lady that we’ve succeeded so she can try the spell again.”
“Very well. Here then? We won’t get to hear her screams.”
Oh, how badly Amy wanted to scream. She tried, but no sound would emerge from her throat. In fact, everything felt paralyzed.
“As good as any. Like I said, I don’t think she’ll last long.”
“Let’s begin then.”
The two pulled out knives with two edges and ornate handles. Amy could only stare in horror.
“Now, don’t struggle too much,” one ordered her as she cut Amy’s shirt open. “It will ruin the runes.”