Chapter 1: Annabelle's Hell

"Two Times in my life I'd tried to escape this life, only to be brought back with my wings broken." (Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat

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It started just like every other fight. He started drinking, and then he started yelling, and then started hitting, and pretty soon she started bleeding.
This time she couldn't take it anymore, it was just too much for her too bear.

"You worthless bitch! Why don't you do something with your life? Why do you stay here tormenting us all?" She didn't hear him, it was all just noise.
She did hear her own sobs as he struck her, hard across the face. Finally her knees gave out, letting her melt onto the floor.
She could taste blood through her fear, running in small streams down the back of her throat making her choke.

"Get up you whore!" The leather of his belt caught her across the face, cutting her cheek open. Blood cascading onto the floor,
staining the white carpet red. She looked up it time to meet her father's hand straight on. As she collapsed to the floor again she could hear
another's laughter. Her brother came forward grabbing her by the hair and pulling her to her knees. He smiled at her and he leaned closer.

"You really are pitiful, know that?" His lips met hers before he threw her back to the floor. She saw his cruel smile, stained with her blood,
the world faded away.

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Had hours passed, or days? She didn't know. What she did know was that she was alone, for now. As she opened her eyes, she found nothing
but the cold unfriendly darkness around her. So, they had locked her in the basement again. She felt twinges all over her body, new cuts and
bruises. Every part of her hurt, she knew what had happened without even thinking about it. Once again they had violated her; taken her and left
her, it would probably be a very long time before they came for her. She pulled herself from the floor, trying desperately not to collapse.

This was the end, she couldn't do this anymore. Moving forward she soon found one of the walls. It took her some time to find the small window.
Once she did she tore the boards from it with everything she had. After a few minutes of fretful struggling she could see outside. Something
creaked overhead. She froze looking all around hoping she hadn't been discovered. She could feel her heart pounding in her throat and her
head throbbed painfully. After the noises had stopped she pulled the window open and slithered her way outside.

The asphalt was cold under her bear feet, and her breath rose in a mist before her face. This winter promised to be cold, and she was lost in
it. Her hot tears stinging the broken flesh of her face as she ran. Forcing herself to move just one more step, then another, and finally another;
over and over again.

Of their own accord, it seemed, her feet led her to a large and long abandoned church. Moving ghost like through the courtyard her legs
finally gave out under a large weeping willow, its leafy vines shielding the sight of her from the world. The ground here was soft and cool,
the air around her freezing and stabbing at her injuries. Her tears fell freely; her whole body shook with the effort to support them, and for the
first time in a long time, she cried without restraint.

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She was woken from her sleep when someone grabbed the front of her clothes and shook her roughly. "There you are, you horrid little bitch!"
She whimpered as her brother tossed her over his shoulder. Pinning her legs to his chest. "Dad! I found her." He had a sing song flare to his voice.

"No, let go! Leave me alone!" "Shut up!" She hit the ground hard between the two men. Shaking and sobbing now she couldn't stop her cries
for help. Cries that she was sure no one but her family could hear.

"I said, shut up!" Her father screamed as he hit her. She felt more blood drip down the side of her face as the laceration from his belt was
ripped open. Her sobs became louder as she laid on the ground covering her face. Just wanting it all to be over. Her scream echoed through
the cold air, as he kicked her. Her breath became hard to gather, she coughed with the effort and pain to bring it forth, he had broken her ribs.
The pain that accompanied her uneven breaths was nearly unbearably. Her body became still, waiting for the next blow, but it never came.
Instead something interrupted the insults raining down from the men above her; a strangled cry of pain.

"Who the hell? Let go of me you bastard! You..." Her brother's voice stopped with horrid crunching sound then a thud as something heavy
hit the ground.

"You killed him!" Slight shock and disbelief, "I'll kill you!" There were strange sounds followed by a new voice. A voice that sounded more like
a hiss then anything.

"If you want to live I suggest to running far away from here." Her father scream was followed by the sound of footsteps heading away at a very
fast pace. She lay there waiting, for something, anything. Someone knelt next to her she could feel them there, looking at her. A hand reached
out petting her hair. A small cry escaped her. A hand slipped around her shoulder and the other along her back, and very gently she was
rolled over. The night sky greeted her as she looked up. The star filled heavens made a frame for the man leaning over her.

"Are you all right?" His voice was soft, nothing like what she had heard before. She nodded a little, tears still falling from the corners of her
eyes, her body shaking all over with fear and the spasms caused from her injuries. "Your safe now, I won't hurt you. What's your name?"

"Annabelle, Annabelle Grayson." He smiled; it was hard to tell in the dark, but some how she knew.