It was early evening. Only the tops of the hills were dipped in gold by the last sun rays, before darkening into twilight. Situated on a gently slanting hill top, surrounded by dense forest was a delicate, seemingly desolate little cottage.
The girl sat behind the window, the room swallowed by a blanket of darkness, all outside light extinguished by a dusty pair of curtains. Her cheeks were streaked with tears, shattered plates and china by her feet. Her rib cage was visible as she panted heavily, her weak chest rising and falling rapidly, her fingers furled around the curtain. Despite what could happen, she had to leave.
She waited a few minutes, her glowing hazel eyes seeming to pierce the impenetrable darkness. Minutes passed. Then finally, she stood up. Hand trembling with perhaps excitement or fear, she drew the blinds back. Her nimble fingers swiftly opened the window. Lungs, inflating with a deep breath of fresh air, she jumped out onto the crisp, sweet smelling grass, which flattened under her bony feet.
Eyes, glaring determinedly, she marched towards the looming tree, not one step faltering. All was well. Suddenly, it went dark; an ominous cloud blocking the moon’s calm, silvery light. She heard voices ahead. Her senses tingling, she slowly crept forwards in an attempt to hear what they were saying. Silence. Again, her skin prickling, she took another slow, and planned step forwards. By mistake, her foot leaned against a brittle stick, which snapped loudly, the sound echoing through the almost deserted jungle of trees.
There was a sudden movement behind her. She couldn’t see it, but she could sense it. The hair on her arms stood up on end, and she whipped her head around. Again. Nothing. Seconds passed. Minutes, seemingly hours. Still unmoving, she slowly rose on one hand. Strong, long, fingers closed around her wrist, another rough palm covering her mouth, muting her as her lips parted to utter a silent scream. Vision spinning into unconsciousness, she felt a hot, sticky, liquid ooze from down her forehead, feeling the scratchy leaves scraping against her body, as she was swallowed up by darkness once more…