Chapter 1

It was a windy, dark, cold night. The rain was merciless as it poured down in droves on Marissa as she darted down the dark alley. She skirted a dumpster bin and nearly tripped over a cardboard box. She steadied herself but that did nothing to steady the erratic beat of her heart. Her breathing was ragged as she ran as fast as she could and over the rumble of thunder she could still hear her pursuer's footsteps behind her.

Any minute the moon would appear from behind the clouds and she would become a slave to its bidding. She knew that this was the one reason why her pursuer was chasing her. This was Transylvania and as everyone knew there were werewolves and vampires and monsters here. Marissa was one of them. At age nine a werewolf that she had run into one day in the woods had bitten her. It was almost twelve years later and that terrifying day still haunted her dreams and thoughts.

Marissa stirred herself from her reverie and focused on the present. She had to find a way to shake off her pursuer.

Coming up on her left was an entrance to another alley and hopefully her ticket to losing her pursuer. She turned and skidded into the alleyway and tripped over a metal garbage can. She jumped up and continued running. As her eyes adjusted to the overpowering darkness in the alley she lost all hope and despair overcame her. She saw that the end of the alley was a dead end. There was no way that she could jump over the brick wall and there was nothing tall enough to climb to get out.

She tried to slow down to avoid crashing into the roll of barbed wire in front of the wall but the alley was too muddy and slick to have enough friction to slow down. Marissa slipped, slid, and fell on the roll of wire. She felt a sudden sharp pain in her forearm and side and felt the warmness of blood seep through her clothing. Marissa tried to get up but found that her right leg was tangled in the wire. She looked down at the puddle in front of her and saw her silhouette in the moonlight.

Lightning illuminated the sky and suddenly Marissa felt an odd sensation throughout her body. She felt the hair on her neck stand on end and she watched with horror as her fingernails grew into eight inch silver claws. At the same time she saw the hair on her arms grow and cover them. Soon she was covered in thick course hair. She lifted her head to the moon and howled in pain.

With the transformation now complete she was able to pull herself free from the barbed wire. She shook the water off and looked behind her; her pursuer was turning the corner to the alley.

She crouched down and leaped to the top of the wall. Marissa looked one last time behind her at the hunter, turned, and howled mournfully to the moon. Then she jumped down to the other side of the wall and ran as fast as she could to her home that she shared with her brother and parents.

As she ran she knew that she wouldn't be able to safely lock herself in her room without someone waking up and realizing that she had been out. Mist began to rise from the ground and the rain and thunder continued to come. She settled on the fact that she would have to sleep in the backyard tonight.

Soon she arrived home and Marissa quietly jumped over the fence into the backyard. She found a way under the deck and as she got under the deck she began to feel dizzy and the ground rose up to meet her.