This is my first story ever on Fictionpress, so I would hugely appreciate if you(yes, I mean you, the one who has their eyeballs glued to the screen and is contemplating clicking on the back button)would read the Prologue below and give me reviews on as to whether or not you think I should quit writing this story and try a different approach, or keep going. I'm asking that for people to please give me their opinions on my work, and I will comment on your stories, as well, if you give me the titles. If you have questions as to concepts and other odds and ends that are confusing, or things you suggest that might be interesting to throw in, please send me a private message. Thanks everyone! :-)

Prologue: A Spring of Refuge

My name is Evaine Winters.

And right now, escape was the only thought that raced through my mind. In this state of panic, there wasn't any room for any other thoughts other than this mindless panic that sent me fleeing from my house and through the forest, smacking bushes out of the way and briers, scratching my arms and hands in the process.

Pain . . . It throbbed everywhere on my body, but still I raced on, determined to reach my secret hideout, the one I'd had since I was a small child, the one that was my only refuge in a time like this.

As I scrambled through the canopy of leaves that concealed a large hole in what appeared to be a rock cliff, I emerged in the small clearing, standing up and gazing around. The spring before me was full of fresh water, of clear, light blue waters lined with nothing but pure sand along the bottom, which glittered in a rainbow of iridescent colors, sparkling underneath the pale moonlight that shone down upon it. I looked up at the sky, my pain momentarily forgotten, at the crescent moon that hung above the spring. None of the trees blocked my view from the moon; the trees lined the tops of the cliff, but there were no trees in the spring.

Of course, moss lined the boulders set along the surrounding walls of the cliff, and there was a small hole in the cliff wall directly in front of me, at least ten foot up, from which the water poured down and filled the spring. Small cracks emptied out the spring along the sides of the cliff's walls, creating small streams along the ground that were barely noticeable outside this secret hideout.

Even if I ignored my pain because I was distracted, I wasn't able to ignore it for long. It throbbed violently through my sides, and I gasped, crumpling pathetically to my knees, my nails clawing through the sand, as if a hand would grasp mine and I could help relieve my pain by squeezing it.

I manged to crawl to the edge of the spring, dipping my hands in the water and washing the blood from my arms and hands, from the scratches I'd acquired, before I gasped as another searing throb raced through my sides. I clutched at my ribs, and I felt something warm and wet against my hands, seeping through the cloth of my torn shirt and through my fingers. Beginning to tremble with revulsion and fear, I slowly pulled my hands out in front of my face, to look at them.

Blood dripped and ran down my fingers, my own blood.

I choked back a scream, because I didn't have the strength, and before I knew it, as pain pounded through me, I began to see spots in front of my vision. With a groan, I slumped against the sand, Steven's words racing through my head.

"You're just a useless bitch! You'll never amount to anything!" Steven screamed, and I cried out, as his boot crashed into my ribs relentlessly from my feeble position on the floor.

"You don't deserve to be the daughter of a woman like your mother!"

And those were the words that stung the most. I didn't deserve to be my mother's daughter . . . I was useless, and I would never amount to anything . . .

These were my last thoughts before blackness claimed me.