Chapter 1.5

Giving Evan a quick goodbye kiss and tucking in the necklace. I took my leave, every step further away from him and closer to the door was bittersweet. My only way for freedom was to leave the people I cared about.

The brisk, cold air hit me. The natural light flickering. My hand reached the doorknob and without turning back to see the face I left behind. I closed it shut, sagging back into the door, letting out the deepest breath I seemed to be holding in.

My supplies would run out, soon enough. My small backpack could only fit the essentials; some sparse notes of money, toiletries, change of clothes. It was enough for at least a week, from then on I would have to make certain decisions for myself, be left to mother nature to lead whatever path it has for me. I didn't have a plan, but at this point, I didn't need one. I was sixteen, I knew there must be some sort of job for me, somewhere. I guess I had to live like a nomad before I could find it. Now, these days work didn't come as easily as it did before. You'd have to fight to keep yourself fed.

Taking one step, out off the front porch, a sudden loud, shout of blaring sirens started to go off and I snapped my head left down the lane, approaching me was a hefty tank, soldiers and military personnel surrounded everywhere. They all held heavy bulky flashlights shining them in the windows of people's houses making sure no one was out.

I knew I was in trouble if they saw me. Rumors have been going round of what they do to you, if they decide not to kill you on the spot they would take you back to their base torture you until you begged for some sort of death. They did that to enforce order, so no one would disobey or rebel against them especially at this time.

There were only rumors, but I didn't want to be the one that finds out the truth behind them.

Closer the lights were getting closer and if I didn't think of something soon. I would be caught.

Looking at my chances, I could run, run across the road and down the alleyway that was directly opposite my house or I could go back inside and wait till they leave.

I whipped my head back looking at the devilishly red door that always used to make me feel uneasy, like the way it was designed looked like a face mocking me, saying I would never get far without getting shot or killed, maybe the door was right, maybe I don't have a chance on my own.

But I was willing to prove the inanimate object wrong. To prove Eaton wrong.

Knowing it was now or never, I flung my body around and ran. Ran as fast as my legs could manage. Everything slowed down, my heart was thumping so loud I could almost hear it, gunfire and shots flung around everywhere, bouncing off bins and metal gates but missing me. Always missing me.

The shouts of the soldiers brought me back to normal time speed and I knew if I didn't pick up my pace they would reach me in no time.

The alley was just in sight, just in my reach. Those footsteps kept advancing as the round of fire spot. Taking this as the perfect opportunity, I dove into the space, flying my hands out so my face wouldn't make contact with the brick wall of the nearby house. I had to restrain myself from screaming in joy as I made my way across the road to the alley completely unharmed.

I took a momentary pause slapping my hands onto my knees, hunching over trying to regain my breathing.

Those heavy footsteps were getting nearer, tracing back to the way I was going. They were following me.

Still running, I could hear them behind. Closer but not close enough.

I knew where I would go and I'd be safe, there was this forest half a mile from my house if I got there they won't be able to find me, I knew those woods like the back of my hand and if anyone was going to get lost, it wasn't going to be me.

Abruptly, the pounding series of steps stopped. I could hear nothing but the buzz of cicada and the whirring of flies. No soldiers. No military. No tanks.

Maybe they decided to let me go?

Nevertheless, I took this opportunity to run straight into the woods. Dodging trees and ducking from branches I kept running. If they didn't catch up with me then, who's to say they won't catch up with me, now.

But I still felt they were following me if it wasn't them then it was something, or someone else.

Instantly, foreign hands wrapped around, dragging me against tree bark. The roughness, rubbing into my skin. "No." I tried struggling out of the stranger's grasp, trying to break free from his hold. "Stop, I'll go willingly. Just, don't shoot."

"Shoot you?" The voice came back confused like it was simply wrong for me to be worried about my safety. And that's when I stopped and tried to take a good look at the person.

I looked up and even though it was dark, I could clearly still make out his features. He was tall, extremely tall, his hair was shaggy filling with blonde, glowing color, his eyes intoxicating. Bright blue dotted with specs of dark blue. The definition of his jawline and the plumpness of his lips. Whoever he was, that didn't really matter. What he was doing here was more important. It was curfew? How did he get past the soldiers? "Why would I shoot you?" He repeated.

Maybe, he really wasn't here to inflict any harm on me. But, I couldn't take any chances, if I was going to die it's not going to be at the hands of some stranger. "Here! I'm here!" Immediately he draped his cold clammy hands over my mouth. His blue eyes clashed with mine and he shook his head slowly from side to side.

And that's when I heard it. The deafening shriek and what sounded like faint, flapping of thick wings. It was too loud to be that of a bird? But if not that, then what?

He cautiously let his hand free my mouth, unsure if I was going to scream again and he used his free hand to point up to the sky his eyes searching my own looking for some sort of reaction.

My eyes meet the dark sky and what I saw I knew would haunt me for life. Hovering in the sky was the most grotesque looking creature I've ever seen; the mangled body seemed to merge into bare, split wings, its glowing red eyes scanned the forest, looking for I presume was its next prey. It wasn't possible for something like that to even exist. The smell atrocious. It seemed to fill the entirety of the air and quickly too.

"I'm surprised you haven't lost it." I spun around looking him straight into his eyes. "What's your name?" He asked.

"Shouldn't I be asking you that?" I kept my voice low prompting that he would be wise to do that as well, he didn't seem fazed by what he saw, but he seemed occupied like he was calculating our way out of here. "Who are you?"

Without warning, a shriek filled the sky and I didn't have to look at the creature to know that it has found us. My breath hitched and I felt ready to just stand there and cry.

"Sorry to burst your bubble, but we need to leave, now!" Whoever this was, his resolve didn't break, he spoke like this was a daily occurrence for him. To the point, I felt slightly stupid of having that fear in the first place. But, this wasn't something I viewed every passing day and I had the right to be scared. It made me human. Humans have emotions and feelings and impulses.

We both wasted no more time, sprinting side by side from our assailant. But an unnatural one, I was sure couldn't even bleed. That wasn't even human. Repeatedly, I ducked through raves of trees and plants, slamming aside any hanging branches that obscured my view and my clear path. Despite everything, I knew we couldn't keep this up any longer. We'd have to give up the chase, sooner or later.

It instantly hit me, I had a safe haven. My safe haven. I knew it wasn't far from here, when I was younger there was this abandoned house, that no one ever seems to finish building, and ever since it just wasted there before it became part of the forest itself. I would always go to when I needed time to think, it was my second home but after all the curfew and issues at home happened I was never allowed to return there. This time, I was thankful that it would come in great use to us. Despite its crumbling exterior, the locks were practically unbreakable. It should give us time to recover and figure out what happens next.

But could I trust him? This stranger, was he to be trusted?

Juggling the decision whether to tell him or not I took a deep breath. "I know a place!" I stopped him, leaving him no choice but to stop and listen to me "We'll be safe for a while in there, it's not too far down from here! We can go there!" Despite the thick trees and shrubs concealing us, I knew it would be close to impossible to evade the creature forever.

The shrieks got closer and closer.

"Do you trust me?"

"What does that have to do with anything? Were you listening to anything I just said?"

"Do you trust me, Alexis, do you?" He sounded desperate, longing to know my answer. But he just said my name. He just said, Alexis. I've never met him before, I've never even seen him before. So, how did he knew my name? "How do you know my name?"

He shook his head, swiftly grabbed my wrists, and before I could retaliate, I was temporarily blinded with a flash of burning phosphorescent light.

The next thing I saw was a shaking room.

And that was it, I could feel my body hitting the floor and my eyes slam shut

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