A young man walked whistling down the street. His arms filled with groceries. His pale blonde hair flashing in the light of a full moon. Wind rushed suddenly wiping around him suddenly making him shudder. He paused and looked at the sky. A streak of darkness leaped from one building to another. He ignored it and shook it off believing it to be nothing more than a figment of his imagination and then continued on his way home not knowing that tonight would be the last night he lived as Alexander Riley. He shifted his groceries to get the key to his door but they began to slip. He bit the edge of the bag to try and catch it and winced at both the horrible taste of the bag and at the ripping sound that followed. Crap. Groceries fell hitting the ground. He shrugged and put the rest down and heard the sound of metal scraping rock. He looked up and cursed softly under his breath as he saw a can of soup roll away from the safety of the warm yellow light that lit his stoop. Double-crap. He rose opened his front door and half shoved half rolled his groceries through the threshold. He paused turning his expression thoughtful. Something wasn't right. Something was off. the air was colder then it should have been on a warm May night and the night seemed quieter and sharper. It felt like something in him was unraveling, awaking and could feel something in the air tonight. Maybe he should just leave the can and come back for it in the morning. the warm light of day. He laughed pushing his black rimmed glasses further up his nose. This was his neighborhood. His boring neighborhood, where nothing happened. Which was part of the reason why he chose it. It was safe calm . dull. The perfect place to start a family with his fiancée, his love, Christine. He smiled their wedding would be in two months three weeks two days and seventeen hours. He grinned, a sappy smile coming across his face. A sudden cold breeze made him shudder and he realized hoe foolish he was being. Standing in the cold night air in nothing but a thin midnight blue sweater and black blue jeans. He didn't even have a proper jacket. He could already hear Christine telling him how his imagination was getting away from him again and that even though his overactive imagination helped him when he was writing it was also dangerous if it got him so distracted he wouldn't remember his jacket in a snow-storm. of course it wasn't snowing but.. He shook his head to clear it grinning. His mind was wandering again. He was still in the cold and the door was still open. He should just get the stupid can and be done with it. He wrapped his arms around himself and tried to rub the circulation into his arms. His breath cast pale white mist in the air. He stepped off his stoop. The soft crunch of his feet in the soil just to the left of the steps. He reached out to get the can and he heard the crunch of feet behind him only. there was a dragging sound. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end and goose bumps rise on his body. He closed his eyes for a second before turning. But he never truly got to face his attacker. A flash of darkness, a pale figure cloaked in black. A harsh male voice in his ear. "Help me." Sharp teeth. And eyes so dark and full of a frightening hunger . and desperation locked on his. Inhuman and yet so human it was even more frightening. Sudden hot, dagger -like pains on the side of his neck. Pain over whelmed him; he never even got to scream. Sharp-pain in his throat. No air. Blood, red and hot splattering through the air against pale asphalt. Blood on pale skin. Blood on white. Like blood on snow. Red snow.

((( Two figures watched. One a young girl, one an older man who hid behind his dark glasses. The girl was blonde with brilliant green eyes that were wide with shock and glassy with tears, her thin elegant face was pale the only color on her face was the red lipstick on her lips. Her hair blew across her face. She turned to the man next to her and tried to see past his glasses into the eyes of the man who had become a father to her. The woman spoke horrified, "Oracle, why couldn't we save him. we were here. we could have.." The ageless man next spoke never taking his eyes from the night sky not even looking below at the grisly scene. "It was not our place. He will be something far greater than we can understand.." A woman approached, the moonlight catching in her brilliant red hair making it gleam as though ablaze. The wind caught it making it ripple like flame. Her face was pale her features distinct and eyes were disillusioned and tired. "Your men have captured the rogue half-breed." She hesitated, "he has been. contained. and awaits. neutralization." Oracle didn't speak or give an indication he had heard her. He continued to look outward into the abyss past the stars. She looked at him trying to read his face for any change of expression and yet could not read the features she had once so long ago thought she had known. The unreadable face she had once looked at lovingly. She gave up as he had given up on so much in her long, long life. She almost smiled at that thought. Physically she was just a week into twenty-five and yet she felt as though she had lived many years. many lives. Only no smile would come. She turned to give up, turned to go, a blazing ghost dressed in the same black as all the others. One of the men. That is all she would ever be. All she could hope for. All she had to live for. She stopped not bothering to face him as she called over her shoulder, her voice calm and tired, ancient, "Oracle, he has the mark. he is the one you were looking for. He has it just like you said he would." She left, not seeing the smile that played across his face but Eliana did and was horrified by it. By the calm contentment she saw in it while at the scene of a . murder. He seemed luminous. A shadow more brilliant, dark and somehow distinct from all others. A luminous shadow. It made no sense. Contradictions. But it was what he was.Oracle smiled. and what the boy would be.