My name is Rae. I guess you would have considered me your average teenage girl. I went to high school and tried, without success, to fit in. My home life was less than perfect, though I had one person who I knew I could count on. No, my life was nothing out of the ordinary. At least, until that night. The one that changed my life forever, made me what I am. I never asked for any of it, but then, it doesn't really work that way. You just take what you can get, and you do what you believe is right. Keep on fighting, don't look back. My name is Rae Mason, and this is the story of how I died.

Chapter 1

I pulled into the school parking lot, my sister Beth slouched in the passengers seat with her straight dark hair riding in what little breeze was coming through the slightly open window. My new Crash Moderns CD was blasting in the car stereo.

"Do we have to listen to that everyday?" Beth complained as I was turning off the car. I grinned, pleased that I had annoyed her.

"It's my favourite," I replied.

"Fine, but tomorrow, I get to pick the music." We stepped out of the car and walked towards the trunk to get our bags.

"Hey Beth, you alright finding another ride after school?" I asked. "I have detention." Beth sighed dramatically.

"What's the point of even having an older sister who can drive if she can't even give you a ride home?" Her tone was sarcastic, and she soon broke into a smile, rolling her eyes. "I'll be fine, Rae. Don't worry about me." She slammed the trunk and we strolled towards the school.

Already I was not looking forward to the day ahead. High school for me was not the joyful, carefree place it was supposed to be. Contrasting with Beth, my looks were quite plain, though we did have the same straight brown hair. Beth had a group of friends, but I didn't really interact too much with my other classmates. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, I was failing history.

"So, what'd you do?" Beth asked curiously, tilting her head at me.

"Huh?" I swung my attention back to Beth.

"You said you had detention. What for?"

"Oh," I answered. "I broke Miranda's nose yesterday." A hint of a smile was forming on Beth's face. "Which, by the way, was totally worth the detention," I added. Beth laughed, her aquamarine eyes sparkling.

"Fighting again? Man, you're lucky you don't have like, superpowers or something, 'cause you would really do some damage!"

I smiled back at her; it was hard not to. It was like my sister was constantly surrounded by a bubble of contagious enthusiasm that people just could not help but pick up on.

"Damage? Trust me, she needed the nose job." I grinned.

I knew she was right though. If there was anything that Dad ever gave me, it was my tendency for violence. My fighting in school had gotten me into quite a lot of trouble, and it was only getting worse.

Once we got into the school, Beth waved goodbye and skipped off to her first class, while I went to my locker. I opened the lock and stuffed my bag inside, preparing myself for another day that would lead me closer to graduation. Only one more year after this one, I thought.

A few lockers down, Miranda was talking to another girl in our grade. I grinned as I saw the large white bandage over Miranda's nose. Her outfit was fashionable as usual, but the other girl had on a lavender knitted sweater that looked like something my grandmother would wear. Her straw coloured hair was pulled into a messy ponytail in the back of her head, and two blue eyes peered out from behind thick glasses.

"You know, Ellen," Miranda said to the girl, coating her voice with a thick sweetness that was as fake as the diamonds on her watch. She preened her shimmering blond hair as she spoke. "I just adore that sweater."

Ellen glanced nervously down at her clothes. "Seriously," continued Miranda. "Where'd you get it?" Before Ellen could answer, I kicked my locker shut and walked over to them.

"Miranda," I interrupted in a voice equally as sweet and equally as fake. "How's your nose?" Miranda crossed her arms and glared at me. "Seriously," I mocked, "I'm concerned."

She flipped her long hair over her shoulder before storming away angrily. I looked at Ellen, who gave me a small smile of appreciation, then quickly pulled off her sweater and stuffed it in her locker.

"Hey, it's Ellen, right?" I asked.

"Yeah," she replied, rearranging the books in her locker.

"Listen," I started, "I'm kinda failing history right now, and Mrs. Wolsely said you were the one to talk to about tutoring."

"Yeah, I can help you," Ellen replied, a bit too excitedly.

"Great," I said, then after an awkward moment of silence added, "'Cause y'know, it's either that or summer school and I mean, do I look Japanese?" Ellen looked at me, confused. "'Cause of... they have school all year round?" I offered. It was my lame attempt at humor, but I didn't think it was that bad. Turns out my social skills were even more pathetic than I thought.

"Oh," Ellen smiled politely to make up for not understanding my joke.

"Yeah. Well, see ya." I said before walking away, mentally kicking myself.

After school I went to the familiar detention room, and spent the next hour doodling on the desk in the back of the room and watching the seconds on the clock tick by. As soon as it hit four, I left for the library to meet Ellen.

We went over the Russian Revolution, and, surprisingly, I actually felt like I had learned something. We agreed to arrange another time for tutoring in a few days.

As I was driving home, I noticed it was dark out already. I glanced out my window and saw Beth out walking with a few of her friends. I could feel my temper rising; I always had to remind her not to stay out too late. My city had a very bad crime rate; there had been some strange murders going on, and I didn't want Beth to be the next victim.

Beth saw me, and I pulled over to pick her up. She stepped into the car, and began to greet me, but I interrupted.

"What are you doing out after dark?" I demanded.

"What are you doing out after dark?" she retorted, smart alec as she was. I ignored this.

"I told you, ever since those strange killings started, be home by dark!"

"You're not mom!" Beth reminded me immaturely.

"Since she's never around, I might as well be!"

"You know what? Thanks, but I'll walk." Beth stormed out of the car and into the nearest alley. I took a deep breath and pressed my forehead to the steering wheel. I decided to get out of the car and follow her. She was so immature, it's a wonder I didn't go crazy trying to look after her.

The sound of Beth's scream interrupted my thoughts, and I jolted into a run down the alley. A group of four people stood around Beth, only I was sure they couldn't be human. Their eyes were a shade of yellow-green, and were practically glowing in the dense blackness of the night.

The worst part though, was their faces. They were twisted into a ridge that went from their forehead down to their noses in somewhat of a V shape, making their expressions look fierce with rage, even when they were smiling. It was a very unsettling image, and I tried to focus on pushing the fear away, even as I saw the woman.

There was only the one female among them, and she was the most gruesome of the creatures. She was standing closest to Beth, and inching ever closer. I could tell the others obeyed her because when she tilted her head in my direction, two of the creatures came over and grabbed me. I tried to fight back, but it was like they couldn't even feel it. My fists felt like they were hitting a solid brick wall rather than a body. I was more of an annoyance to them than an obstacle, and suddenly I was more afraid than I had ever been in my life.

The fear was coursing through my blood, making me shake and sweat. Most of all, it was making me angry. I was angry at Beth for not listening to me, and at myself for letting her get into this situation. That was the moment I realized we were going to die.

"Are we drinking them both?" asked one of the creatures who was holding me.

I looked at Beth, confused. The woman were crawling up my sister's neck, and Beth was shaking also, her breath coming in short gasps. She looked at me, fear in her eyes, and tried to smile as if to apologize.

"No," replied the woman, turning towards me. "Turn that one." She grinned with her gleaming white teeth, and her eyes glowed brighter. She tightened her grip on Beth, and Beth let out a small cry.

Then, without warning, the female creature snapped Beth's neck. I gasped in shock and disbelief, as I felt one of the creatures who were holding me, bite into my throat. The image of Beth's body falling to the ground was the last thing I saw before I was unconscious.

They say right before you die, your life flashes before you. With me, all I could think of was Beth. Her sharp cry of fear right before the female creature snapped her throat like a twig. I should have taken better care of her. I should never have let this happen.