Prologue: Year 1999, 25 August, Wednesday
Phoenix Falls, Oregon
The girl huddled underneath a large oak tree; she was shaking near hard enough to pull something but she couldn't make herself stop. Part of it was shock-her right forearm was badly broken; her face was white-making the bruises stand out that much more-and her eyes could barely be seen because of the shadows and bruises in the surrounding flesh... though at least she didn't have any swelling around her eyes.
She had enough trouble moving around as it was. She'd passed out earlier for over an hour; had also puked just as she was... the girl figured she may have been lucky not to die via choking on the vomit but if she had she would never be here. Trying to hide from the people who'd been tracking her for the last few days-with increasing intensity for the entire afternoon today-... that took so much of her strength. Strength she no longer had. Thanks to her injuries and her previous collapse today... the girl believed she was at – or so close as to make no real difference – the end of her rope.
The only question that remained was how she went out. Either she'd cooperate with her stalkers – she'd seen the results of such things and they made her stomach churn – or she'd provoke them enough to finish the kill. That... that would probably be the better option. She would do much to avoid becoming one of those broken people-they no longer had any will of their own. All they did was at the order of whoever was after her-she'd never caught the name they called themselves, there was something about a kingdom and an old empire-though she just referred to them as the dark people, the bad people.
All they did was make people hurt, she thought as her mind grew fuzzy; the blackness nearly overwhelmed her and she managed to fight it back with a supreme effort of will. The effort left her leaning hard against the oak tree and panting heavily. No matter how much she tried she couldn't make her breathing quiet down-how could she hear the steps of anyone coming up on her? At this rate she'd be taken out-or away, she didn't know which-with no effort on her part to defend herself. What good is it anyway? She thought to herself, pushing herself off the tree.
The girl was able to take a few steps before she had to stop. She had to fight against the urge to pass out again; it wouldn't do any good and she would probably do worse harm to her arm. Not that it could get much worse... And she knew it could but she wouldn't let herself think about that. Things were bad enough already.... And there was no one she trust, no one she could run to. No place of safety for those who had to live on the streets, or those who lucky enough to have homes of their own.
After a few more moments she regained her strength and her balance, getting the strength to keep moving forward. But not for much longer if the shadows moving on her trail, closing in on her had any say in the matter. And the girl was so weak now...
Look for the next three chapters sometime in the next week or two (am currently halfway through the first chapter, shouldn't take me too much longer to finish it, I hope).
This is also crossposted to my LiveJournal account.