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Chapter 1- Mary

My heart was pounding in my chest as I tried to slow my breathing. The hunter was near, I knew he’d be able to sense my fear.

“Shh.. Anya.” I whispered to my little sister who was sniffling right beside me. “If you don’t stop crying we will never be able to find mom and dad.”

“I’m trying, Mary.” My sister clung tighter too me.

The wind shifted and I felt the breeze blowing in my hair. A low howl sounded. I knew then the hunter had caught onto our scent.

"Run Anya!” I screamed at my little sister, “Run to the river. Quickly Now.”

“What about you Mary?” Anya asked a worried look on her face.

“I’m going to make a false trail, I’ll circle back and meet you at Silver Stone Lake. Float the river to the lake Anya. Don’t get out until you make it to the bottom.”

“Mary, I’m scared.” Anya whispered to me, clinging tighter.

I knew the hunter would be on us in a matter of minutes. If we had any chance of freedom and finding mom and dad, then we had to leave now.

I reached down, and grabbed Anya’s head, holding her face between my hands.

“I know your scared Sissy, but I need you to be brave. I need you to run as fast as you can and don’t stop for anyone.”

“Promise me, you’ll meet me at the lake?” Anya asked, a look of desperation on her face.

I swallowed loudly, not wanting to make a promise that I couldn’t keep.

“ I promise Anya. Now Run.”

I watched as Anya took off running towards the river. The Hunters howl was growing closer, I knew he’d be here within a matter of minutes.

I grabbed a sharp stick off the floor, and plunged it into my hand, leaving a deep gash, that began to fill with blood, I clenched my hand in a fist and took off running in the opposite direction, towards the old village, hoping my blood trail would be enough to keep the hunter off of Anya’s trail.

As I neared the village, I slowed down, feeling my strength beginning to wither away. Anya and I had been on the run for a week, searching for Mom and Dad. We had started running low on food about halfway through the week, and I had started rationing my meals, so Anya could eat more. She was only ten years of age to my eighteen, and I knew she needed the food more than me.

I tore a strip of material off the bottom of my dress and wrapped my now throbbing hand, hoping to get the bleeding to stop. The material was drenched in my blood the moment I wrapped my hand, but at least now I wasn't dripping blood everywhere. I walked into the abandoned village, looking for a place to hide from the Hunter. I tried every door on every house, and almost gave up until I came across a small shack. I twisted the handle and to my surprise the door opened. I quickly scanned the inside of the shack, looking for anything threatening, as well as food and possibly a weapon. I knew I wouldn’t be able to fight the Hunter off if he caught me, but I could try my hardest to at least weaken him. I spotted a screw driver, that I grabbed and shoved into my smock pocket.

The hunter let out three howls. He had caught the scent of his prey. My heart beat rapidly in my chest. He would be onto me soon. But at least Anya was safe. And then I heard a scream, the terrified scream of a little girl. My stomach churned.

“No.” I cried out putting my hands against my mouth, trying to muffle my cry. How was it possible, How did they manage to capture Anya. I lead them away from her.

“Come out girl.” The voice of the hunter was nearby. “We have your sister. There’s no use in hiding. We will find you. If you come out now, we might just spare you.”

I watched from the corner window, as they walked past the shed. There was two of them. The one talking was obviously the leader. He was double the size of the other, and he looked to be about twice his age. I held my breath and imagined my heart beat slowing. The continued to walk past me. As the second one came into view, I noticed he was dragging a little girl by her hair, her mouth gagged so she couldn’t cry out. It was too dark to tell if it was Anya, she seemed to be the right size and age though.

“If you come out now,” the leader spoke, “we will take it easy on your sister.”

Lies. The hunters were merciless. The ones they chose to keep alive, ended up as slaves to the Vampire lords. The others ended up being given to the Alpha of the Wolf Pack to do as he pleased. Anya was too young. If they kept her, they’d send her away to their “Orphanage,” where she would be kept until she came of age. The witches, who governed the orphanage would train Anya to be obedient. They would teach her that she was at the bottom of the food chain, and that she had no free will.. If she disobeyed and fought the witches, they would end her life. “Euthanize her,” they call it, “like she’s a damn ferocious animal, that came be tamed."

No I wasn’t going to let that happen. I reached into the pocket of my smock and tightened my grip on my screw driver. If I could take out at least one of them, the other would be distracted, and Anya or whoever the little girl might be, could slip free. I would risk the chance of losing my freedom, and perhaps my life, but at least she would be safe from the nightmare that was to come. I decided there would be a greater chance I could take out the smaller one, than the leader. I didn’t give myself a chance to second guess the plan. I acted out it immediately. As the Hunter dragging the little girl passed the shed door, I burst out of it, the screw driver held high in my hand. I could see the girl clearly, it was Anya, she must’ve traced her way back, intent on following me. I slammed my screwdriver into the chest of the hunter, with as much strength as I could master. His eyes filled with shock as he released his grasp on Anya’s hand. I watched as hair began to sprout out of his arms.

“Run Anya.” I screamed, as I removed the screw driver from the Hunter’s chest, with the intent of stabbing him again.

“If you run girl,” came the voice of the elder hunter. “ we will find you. Our beasts will see you as prey, and we will let them devour you.”

Anya started crying in fear and the smell of urine drifted into the air. Anya stood perfectly still, absolutely terrified of the beasts around us.

“Anya, don’t listen to them. Run away, as fast as you can. Don’t let them send you to the orphanage.” I screamed, as I once again plunged the screwdriver into the hunter in front of me, he was already more beast than man at this point, his entire body almost coated in fur. He let out a strangled howl, as his bones started to crunch, and his body began to shift into his wolf form.

Anya seeing the man transform, took off running towards the river. The elder hunter grabbed me around the waist and pulled me away from the wolf.

“Levi,” he commanded, “After the girl, don’t let her escape.”

I began flailing my arms and legs, and thrashing my head back, trying to get the elder hunter to let me go.

“No,” I begged. She’s just a baby. Please just let her go.” I begged as tears started to fall down my face.

Levi, the wolf let out a howl, closing in on his prey. I heard a heart wrenching scream, the snarl from a wolf, and the the crushing of bones, before I began to lose consciousness, the world turning black all around me.

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