Flashbacks. Again and again and again. Each night they came stronger than before. The blood, the corpses, and then the screaming.
The screaming was the worst part of all. It was loud and hellish. It sounded like an old banshee sent from the infernal kingdom. No matter what Lucy did, the screaming wouldn't stop.
Why now? Why after sixteen years had it come for her now? The realm was already at war with the Vampires in the Shadow Lands so why now has the darkness come to reap the prize of her soul.
She prayed to any celestial being that would listen. "Take my magic away," she begged. "Please! Take it away! All of it!" But the gods were not on her side, and each night, her prayers went unanswered.
Lucy came from a long line of pure-blood witches and sorcerers. Powerful and ancient magic ran through her veins, but some of this magic was evil and forbidden. Necromancy ran coursed through the girl's blood, just as it did with each witch that was born separated by five hundred generations. Power came at such a terrible price.
Lucy didn't want to pay that price - that cold, wicked, and vile price. It was unfair.
She tossed and turned for hours within her bed until she was eventually met with the bright rays of the sun piercing through her window. Once more, night faded and the morning dawn came. She hated it. Why did the world around her have to be so bright when she was broken and crestfallen inside.
Lucy felt trapped within the abyss of her own tantalizing thoughts of "what if" and "maybe if I just." She felt broken, she looked broken, so she must have been broken. Nonetheless, she trudged on through her day.
While at the store, a young man passed by her. "How does it feel to be an orphan?" He asked this with a malevolent sneer.
Indeed, Lucy was an orphan. Her mother and father died only a month ago from mysterious circumstances. Many people had accused Lucy of killing them.
Members of the Veign family weren't very popular in Shadow Nation Valley. Many were criminals, thieves, murderers, and smugglers. The family's blood was stained black with the crimes of two hundred generations.
Finally, Lucy met up with her friend Ariana. They talked about the current Vampire War taking place in the Shadow Lands and the newfound power that plagued Lucy's life.
"Just let my dad help you," Ariana insisted. "He might be the king, but he will make time for you. There hasn't been a necromancer reported in over fifty years. He can and will help you, Lucy."
Lucy sighed. She rolled her eyes and let her friend's words pass through one ear and out the other. "No one has time for me," Lucy stated. "Not even the workers at the orphanage. I bet they don't even know I'm gone."
"Don't beat yourself up, okay? I'll talk to Ryder later and get his -"
Lucy made haste to interrupt at the mention of Ryder William Black. "Don't you dare, Ari!" She hissed.
"Whatever," Ariana scoffed. "Ryder isn't as bad as everyone claims he is. He's just..."
"He's just what?"
"Oh cut him some slack, Lucy! His sister was kidnapped six months ago, and we still don't know where she is. He's been through a lot."
"Oh give me a break!" Lucy stood up to her feet and glanced over the wooden fence into the hayfield. "Did he tell you how it happened?"
"Your father!" Lucy clarified. "Did he tell you how they died?"
Ariana's gentle smile turned into a frown. Truth be told, Ariana was too busy with the war that she hadn't even stopped to ask how Lucy's parents had passed. Given the attitude in Lucy's voice, Ariana could tell that whatever happened must have been bad.
Lucy continued. "They think I did it. Did you know that?" She asked. Tears streamed down her cheeks and her anger flashed through her face giving her cheeks a bright red hue. "All of them. And you want to sit here and talk about Ryder William Black? - Besides the royal house, the Black family is the wealthiest family in the realm. So no, I will not 'cut him some slack.' My parents are dead, and you want me to pity a bratty child who has no sense of respect for anyone but himself? Are you insane?"
Ariana opened her mouth to speak, but decided not to. Unlike most people, she had enough dignity to admit when she was wrong.