That night was literally one big nightmare. Once again I was haunted by the red eyed demons of my mind, the dark shadows that , as hard as I tried, I could never outrun. I woke up a little after dawn, unable to gio back to sleep. When I closed my eyes, I couldn't rid my mind if all those horrific images. I gave up trying to sleep and got out of bed, laying my visions to rest. I was deytermined not to think of them for the rest of the day.
I spent a good part of the morning locked up in my room trying desperatly to decide what to wear and wondering why now it seemed so important. I had never cared about what I wore with Griffin before. I groaned in frustration, throwing yet another blouse onto my bed and diving back into my closet. It was going to be a long day.
Around noon the postman came and with him the happiest news of my life. Marie came to my room and banged on the door
"Rena open up, Hurry!" Her voice glowed with excitement and I knew only one reason why that would be. I threw it open and jumped into her embrace. She hugged me fiercely and with a start I realized she was crying, and I was too.
"Oh My God!" She repeated over and over, "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! I have a daughter!"
"I have a MOTHER!" I yelled, happiness flooding threw me, all nerves over Griffin forgotten. We danced around n the hallway like lunatics for what felt like forever, finally when the laughing and yelling subsided Marie took my hands in her and said, with a very straight face, "Now Rena. As your mother I feel I must give you some sort of guidance." I could feel my face reddening the nerves rushing back to me in twice the force.
"Oh mom." I said and even though I was protesting I could feel my insides glow at the Marie- Mom's- face split into a grin "I'm sorry, your face..." She subsided into laughter, "your face was priceless."
"Oh WOW!" I said twisting away from her.
"Oh but really honey I would like to give you some advice, if you would like it…" Her face was truly serious now, but there was still a hint of a smile around her lips. I nodded, unable to speak.
"Don't worry so much about tonight; I believe Griffin will like you no matter what you wear."
I finally settled on an outfit. A vibrant red blouse and flowing red skirt that complemented my figure nicely. I paced in front of the mirror, adjusting my unruly hair. I checked my clock. I had three hours before Griffin came. I could not rid myself of my restless feelings. I had tried reading but I couldn't keep my mind from wondering back to tonight.
As I paced, I started getting a queasy feeling in my stomach, despite my intgensions, I started thinking about my dreams. Why was I having such horrid nightmares? Who was the demon woman who beckond to me every night, that jknowing sneer on her lips? What was going on? I chalked it up to nerves, but deep down I new it had to be more then that. My nightterrors had begun long before Griffin had asked me out.
I slumped to the floor, back resting against my bed, and pulled my worn copy of Legend of the Seeker off of my nightstand where I had deposited it before. I opened it to the first page and tried to concentrate on the words again. They swam on the page before me. I tried harder and was rewarded with a splitting pain in the back of my head. I almost screamed in agony, clutching my head in my hands. I tossed the book on the floor and got up, intending to take some Tylenol. Before I could go more then a few feet, the pain subsided to a dull throbbing at the back of my skull. Nerves, I thought it's just my nerves. I lay down on my bed and closed my eyes, resigning myself to three hours of utter boredom.
The light coming through my window faded. As it got darker, the sinking feeling in my stomach worsened. I got up once and popped a few pain meds. Then I laid back down.
"Rena!" Marie's voice called up the stairs, "You have a visitor!"
Breathless, I jumped off my bed and was dismayed to find that I had crumpled my blouse, quickly I flattened it with my hands and looked at the effect I had in the mirror. It wasn't much better. I tugged the blouse this way and that, trying to straighten out the creases and failing miserably.
"Rena!" Marie's voice called, louder this time. I nearly jumped out of my skin. Okay this is it. I thought. I took a deep breath, plastered a smile on my face and proceeded out my door and down the stairs. Every step I took I worried that I would fall down flat on my face.
My shoes, red sandals that were a little higher then I was comfortable wearing, seemed to make me wobble with every step. I got it to the bottom of the stair case, I had made it! I let out the breath I wasn't aware I had been holding and glanced up to meet Griffin 's eyes. One look at his smile, his warm, friendly, normal smile, made my nerves melt away. The queasy feeling left my stomach. Everything was going to be fine I decided. Just like a normal day out.
"Hi" I said smiling tentatively... I knew there was a big stupid grin on my face.
"Hello" he answered, mock bowing. "You look lovely."
"Thanks" I said, suddenly self-conscious once more.
"You too. I mean, you too, look good, lovely, ahhh-" Griffin burst out laughing. Queue his habit of laughing at inappropriate moments. But his laughter was contagious and I was soon giggling as well.
"Well have a good evening you two," Marie chuckled "Don't stay out too late ya hear?"
"No ma'am" Griffin said, his face suddenly serious. The quick change of his expression sent me and Marie into more laughter.
"Well you two have fun." Marie chuckled as she climbed the stairs. Once we heard the door to her room close, Griffin turned to me
"Shall we go?" Griffin asked me holding out his arm in a very stately manner.
"Sure kind sir" I replied, playing along. Uncomfortable shoes totally forgotten, I stepped out fluidly, as I had seen women in ball gowns do in 17th century remakes. I put so much effort into making the move regale and elegant that I forgot my balance wasn't too good on my new shoes. My graceful maneuver transformed into a resounding splat on my face. Literally. I pushed myself up from the floor, refusing Griffin 's offered hand. This time he did not laugh. He just started at me, completely straight faced. Too straight faced.
I glanced away from his steady gaze. "I think I should go change my shoes.." I mumbled, shifting my gaze to my feet."
"That might be a good idea" he said, his voice as neutral as his face. Something in his tone made me look at him suspiciously.
"Go on, go get some more shoes.".
"Maybe I'd like to just go barefoot." I challenged.
"Well maybe you should." He replied. We started at each-other, not blinking. He was the first to crack. First his mouth started to twitch, and then his body started to tremble with suppressed laughter. Watching him trying so hard to hold it in was too much for me to bear.
I collapsed on the staircase, laughing hysterically, Griffin plopped down next to me. Eventually our laughter subsided. Griffin turned to me, this time I could tell he wasn't feigning seriousness."Rena" his said tentatively.
"What?" I asked turning to him. His face was half in shadow. He paused and seemed to be thinking.
"How do you suppose your going to climb into a canoe with tat skirt?'
I glanced down at myself. I hadn't thought about that. I was being impractical.
"I guess I didn't think of that" I said shyly, "I just wanted-"
"Rena" Griffin interrupted quietly. "It's me ... Griffin , your best friend.."
Hands took my hands in his.
"I like you me then I've ever liked anyone, you Rena, not anyone else.. You don't have to make yourself up, change yourself to go out with me. I lov-like your individuality, your soul is what sets you apart from everyone else I have ever met."
"I like you a lot too Griffin ." I said, eyes downcast, "Forgive me for being so foolish. It's just... well.... you know I have very little experience around people, and even less around people who I enjoy being with and who like me back. Actually, you're the only other person who's accepted me for me other then Marie..." I met his kind gaze as he smiled gently at me.
"You're a good person Rena." He whispered. "People should be ashamed for not liking you."
"Oh" I said, jumping up in my seat. "I almost forgot to tell you…this is the best news I've had in my entire life!" I could feel my face glowing with excitement.
"Well, lets here it." Griffin said, face interested.
I turned to him and grabbed his hands in mine. "Marie is going to adopt me!" I crowed. "I'm actually going to have a family, a home!" I could feel tears of joy welling up in my eyes.
"Wow!" Griffin exclaimed a huge grin on his face. Without thinking I lunged and hugged him around the neck. Griffin wrapped his arms around me as I cried on his shoulder. "Rena I am so happy for you." He whispered in my ear.
"Thanks" I said pulling away, and letting him meet my watery eyes.
"I'll go get changed now." I pulled away from him and ran up the stairs.
We left the house in companionable silence, not needing words to express our mutual affections. I had changed into something more comfortable, and at the last second grabbed my jacket, as there was a chill in the night air. Griffin 's bike was sitting in front of the house, his Canoe resting on a rolling platform attacked to the back of the bike. Inside there was a basket.
"Are we going to have a picnic?!" I asked my voice rising with excitement.
"We sure are." he replied "Handle bars or canoe?" He asked me.
"Handle bars as usual" I sniffed, looking haughty. "Someone has to watch the road." He mounted the bike, and I climbed on the front, purposefully getting in his way.
"Come on!" He laughed, move over a bit." I laughed and complied as we stole away into the night.
* * * * * * * * * *
The park was crowded with tons of people. It seemed like the whole town had come out to watch the eclipse. Griffin rode his bike through the crowd and rested it along the shore quickly slipped the canoe into the water and pulled me aboard.
There were others out on the lake, but no too many. Griffin picked up the oars and began making his way across the lagoon, back to where we had first met.. I couldn't help but marvel at that I was there. I really was in that boat with Griffin , with a boy who I really like and who returns those affections. If someone had asked me a year earlier if I ever thought I would find love and happiness I would've looked at them like they were crazy. If they even spoke to me in the first place.
We sat in peace under the hanging branches of my tree and watched as the moon rose. It was large, bright and clear, sending its sparking light across the ripples of the water. Griffin and I enjoyed eating some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips and soda, which he had made and stuck in the basket. He apologized for the simple fare, but admitted he could make little else. I laughed and told him it was alright, and that if, he wanted, I would teach him to cook properly. He asked why he would want to do that and I replied that "Every respectable man should be able to cook his girl a lavish feast." Laughing good naturedly, he complied.
I was having such a good time that, at first; I didn't realize that my pain meds had started to wear off. I had forgotten I had been in pain at all. Why does it still hurt? I wondered. I thought it was my nerves, I'm not nervous anymore!
Nonetheless, the sinking feeling in my stomach returned, as did the dull throbbing in the back of my skull. I rested my head against Griffins shoulder and as the moon made its way across the sky. He wrapped his arms around me and we sat staring up at the moon. The silence wasn't awkward; it was as if nothing really had to be said.
As the moon tracked its way across the sky the air grew chilled. I snuggled closer to Griffin . He gazed down at me and smiled his handsome smile. Our eyes seemed glued together. My heart started to pound, I thought Griffin must hear it. He leaned closer, never taking his eyes off mine. Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod I thought. This is it! He bent down and his lips touched mine. The kiss was better then I ever could have imagined. I was lost in happiness. For once, my life seemed to be going right. For once I was one of the girls at the end of every story that lived happily ever after. I began to hope that I would indeed have a happy ending.
I ignored the pain in my head as I leaned deeper into the kiss. Griffin laughed and pulled away. I made a face at him wrinkling my nose in displeasure. He laughed at my pouting face and rested his chin on top of my head. I leaned back and closed my eyes. I must have fallen asleep, it felt like hours but it couldn't have been but mere seconds. The pain exploded in my body, starting me awake. My breathing came in gasps as I looked around wildly.
"Hey" Griffin said, startled. "What's wrong? Oh Look!" He pointed up into the sky. "Look at that, isn't that amazing?" Through the pain I gazed up into the sky, at the black abyss surrounded by writhing flame. Writhing flame? How could I see that? How was I able to see the swirling fire that made up the sun? I shook my head to clear my mind.
That was a mistake. White light seemed to sear through my mind but I couldn't help myself from staring at the flaming red moon. I didn't understand, it felt as if I were dying! I crumpled on the edge of the canoe, there was blood rushing in my ears and the dizziness was almost unbearable, Griffin looked over at me when he heard me retch.
"Whoa!" Griffin choked "are you okay?' I didn't trust myself to answer so I just nodded my head. I didn't know what was wrong with me but I wasn't going to let it ruin our evening.
"I'm fine" I lied miserably.
"No you're not fine!" Griffin said, voice panicked. "What's wrong, where does it hurt?'
"Everywhere." I replied weakly, I couldn't even lift my head up. I don't remember my eyes closing, all I remember was staring into Griffin frantic eyes as he held my head, whispering, praying, for me to hold on. Telling me everything would be okay...
* * * * * * * * *
I felt myself fall onto the bed and heard Maries worried voice as she told me she was going to get some medicine, I also heard Griffins worried voice asking her if there was anything he could do, and I heard Marie replay that he should just go home, she apologized and said that she would've driven him home, but she preferred to stay with me seeing as she didn't know what was wrong.
This all came to me in a haze as the world around me seemed to go fuzzy and gray, after Griffin left, I felt Marie lift my head up and pour some thick sticky liquid down my throat, but the process of swallowing was beyond me and I coughed it back up. Marie said something about taking me to the hospital when the floor seemed to shake; at first I thought it was only my imagination. But I heard Marie gasp in shock and felt her leave my side and run to a window, I realized that something bad must be happening because I heard Marie Scream Holy-"
The last part of her scream was cut off by a tremendous BANG! Once again the house shook. Marie ran to me and lifted me up. This is another reason I was concerned, Marie wasn't as strong as she used to be and usually the effort of lifting me would tire her tremendously, the way she scooped me up and ran, like I weighed nothing made me realize that she was driven by pure adrenaline, adrenaline that could only be inspired by the worst sort of fear. I lay limp in her arms and tried to make my throat muscles to work, tried to ask what was going on, my heart was beating a mile a minute and the pain in my body continued to spread, although now I seemed to myself somewhat detached. I was aware that I had a heart beat other than my own and it was beating ten times as fast, but how could I hear Marie's heart? It was only as I opened my eyes that I realized that they had been closed.
My head was tilted back and I saw, only a flash because we were traveling down the hall quickly, the mayhem that lay outside. It was only a glimpse, but it was enough to strike fear like nothing I ever felt into my heart. The sky had turned black, not like the dark navy blue of night, but pitch black, like the world had been swallowed in a vortex. The sun was almost completely blotted out from the moon, leaving a small red ring of fire standing in the sky, casting bloody red haze to the world under it. Things were falling from the sky, they hit the earth, leaving craters, but then they would move, fast as, lightning and be gone before you could really focus. Marie hurried me down the stone steps into our basement, it was the most secure part of the house, she closed the heavy wooden door and barricaded it with spare racks, shovels, etcetera.
All the time I lay groaning in the corner, not completely in control of my body, feeling muscles spasm and stretch when I was not aware of moving them.
"My God.' Marie whispered and sat next to me pulling my close t her. "Oh my god. I wonder if Griffin made it home."
This seemed like a stupid comment to me, not seeing how Griffin being outside or in a house making a difference when it seemed like the beginning of the apocalypse. I thought back to when Griffin had kissed me.... was it only an hour ago, on the calm peaceful lake. How could this have happened? What, indeed had happened? Question after question raced through my feverish mind. Marie hugged me close and whispered in my ear saying how every thing was going to be okay and how much she loved me. I once again tried to make my voice work, so I could tell her how much she meant to me also, but all that I could manage was a faint groan. This made Marie sob louder.
Suddenly the door to the basement bucked and creaked... something was trying to get in! Marie jumped up, and pulled me into a corner, she covered me with junk, boxes, and bags, whatever she could find and with a hurried, "Whatever happens, stay hidden. I will always love you!" She turned to the rattling door and armed herself with a shovel.. She stood tensely, shovel held above her head, strong, defiant. And it all seemed suddenly humorous to me, not funny, but absolutely absurd, on the other side of the door lay what seemed to be beings from hell, if not worse, and there Marie stood, with a shovel in her had, as if she had a chance in the world of winning.
The pain in my body reached fever pitch and something inside my head seemed to explode. White hot rage swept over me, though I didn't know where it was from or what it was about, I felt myself convulse as my muscles spasmed and contorted around me, my breathing was ragged in my own ears, then unbelievably, I seemed to rise. Part of me still wanted to remain hidden as Marie had wished, but the new, bigger part of me thirsted for blood, silently and hidden in the shadows, I giggled insanely to myself, I was following Marie's wishes after all, I snuck up behind Marie. The love I felt for this woman who had become my mother was gone, all that was left in my mind was a sick craving for death.... hers. The door shuddered, almost breaking, but holding on just barely. I could hear Marie's breathing, and her heart beat, and the blood rushing through her veins, and I grinned, bearing my teeth in a menacing grin. I was standing right behind her when I paused, then, in a small quivering voice, filled with doubt and fear that contrasted sharply with the eagerness in my eyes and grin I whispered "Mother..."
Marie turned sharply, lowering her weapon, probably going to comfort and hide me once more when she froze. Her gaze had met mine, and flicked to where I had previously been hidden.
"What have you done with Rena!?" She screamed frantically glancing around. "I am Rena!" My voice now however was rough and cold; my words seemed to echo around the room.. Marie's eyes filled with astonished recognition, then absolute terror, her mouth opened to scream. No sound ever left her lips."Mother..." Marie turned sharply, lowering her weapon, probably going to comfort and hide me once more when she froze. Her gaze had met mine, and flicked to where I had previously been hidden. "What have you done with Rena!?" She screamed frantically glancing around. "I am Rena!" My voice now however was rough and cold, my words seemed to echo around the room. Marie's eyes filled with astonished recognition, then absolute terror, her mouth opened to scream. No sound ever left her lips.
I turned from the mangled corpse, blood soaking my pajamas, my mind twisted and I laughed at that. I was still wearing pjs! [I think everything in the brackets should be deleted, she shouldn't care what happened to Marie, Rena was gone, a faint whisper in the back of the monster's head. "No! " My mind shrieked.. I stared at Maries body franticvsals. "No!" I screamed again.. What had I done? What had I done?! I backed away slowly, my eyes fixed on her, but seeing only the expression she had worn mere momenyts before her death. It was what had awakened me friom my rampage, it had been fear, but mingled within it had ben releaf and unbealivably love! It was as ifshe didn';'t mind being killed so long as I was safe, not okay, for what was happening to me wasn't okay, but alive. She was glade to trade her ife for me. Unable to cope I turneed and ran to the door, still blocked with all the junk the basement pounding at the door had stopped as soon as Maries heart had stopped I approched it cautiously .Fear, and panic was welling up inside me. I had killed Marie, and I had enjoyed it it was the recless fear that made me do it, all of a sudden I jerked my hand out, at my blocked exit, wishing for nothing more then escaope from this nightmare, and a surge of enery met my call, the door and the stuff surrounding it exploded into flames.
I turned once more to the corpse of my Marie... my mother. I could feel the blood soaking my pajamas, my mind twisted and I laughed at that. I was still wearing pjs! Sickned by my amusement, I ran blindly away from the blood, through my house and out the front door. I wanted nothing morer then to leave the house. The bloody massacre that met my eyes upon opening my front door drerw me to a halt. I stood, staring out into my nightmares, my nightmares made real, and loosed upon the world.
Strange creatures were everywhere, making the ground itself seem to ripple and sway with their sheer numbers. They looked partly human, the shapes of their heads, the slope of there shoulders, but that's where the resemblance ended. Their bodies were covered in dark, shiny scales, like armor, the shape was stooped and monkey-like, long arms ending in glossy black talon claws, four on each hand. Leathery wings, like a bats, extended from their backs, and each being had a long whip like tail ended in a single deadly spike. They moved with an odd, disjointed grace that although grotesque to watch, allowed them to move quickly and fluidly.
These beings were chasing the rest of the townsfolk, who were fleeing in small groups to the church in the middle of the town square, I watched, frozen with my hand still on the doorknob, as one small band made it to the church, the demon, for that is what they thought these creatures most closely resembled, seemed to hit an invisible barrier, as they pounded against it they jumped back, shrieking in agony.
Apparently, they weren't allowed on holy ground, I found this vaguely reassuring, if I could just make it to the church, I would be safe! Maybe Griffin was inside! My broken heart seemed to quiver with hesitant hope... If I could reach the church... I decided I would only attract attention to myself if I ran, these demons were obviously predatory and the people running were acting as prey by running away. A sudden calm washed over me, I would not be prey.
Deliberately I stepped off my porch and walked slowly and purposely toward the church... The demon things ran passed me without even a glance, passing within touching distance and swarming after the fleeing villagers. The blood pounded in my veins. I heard a scream to my right, and against my better judgment whipped around, startled, the scream had been extremely close and it sounded familiar. Passed the rush of bodies I saw a woman standing on top of a dumpster pushed against a tall fence, she was surrounding by prowling demons, waving a rake to drive the creatures back, but even as I watched, her resolve seemed to falter. Then I let out a gasp of horror, a small girl had stepped out from behind her legs, the girl was little, maybe 5 or 6 with bright red hair... I knew that girl, she was Griffin's little sister Ellen! I turned my gaze frantically to the woman once more, I had never met Griffin 's mother, but when I looked closely I thought I could see a resemblance.
Panic coursed through me and my resolved calm was shaken, if they hadn't made it to the church, it was likely Griffin hadn't either! I had to help them; I started forward, quickening my pace with out breaking into a run. When I was less then ten feet away, Griffin 's mother collapsed, blood pouring from the multiple wounds on her body, the demons pounced on her with savage glee. Ellen screamed in fear as she watched her mother fall to the ground, and scrambled to the back of the dumpster, sobbing. Her cries caught one of the demons attentions and it turned its blood soaked muzzle in her direction and started to crouch, ready to kill her.
"No!" I screamed and jumping forward, somehow I covering the distance to her with that single leap. At the sound of my voice the demon seemed to hesitate. It turned and watched as I launched myself at the girl, then hurriedly scrambled aside as I grabbed her. My fast movement had alerted the other creatures. They all looked up from the mother's body, eyes trained unreadably on me. I didn't pause or stop to think, I lifted Ellen and ran with her tucked under my arm. The little girl screamed when I picked her up and began to kick and thrash in my grip, but I didnb't let go.
"Shhh....calm down!" I tried to whisper but my voice came out in a harsh hiss. Then Ellen's already wide blue eyes got even bigger and she screamed and kicked harder then ever, but I no longer cared. Throwing caution to the wind I jumped from the dumpster and began to run. It was my only thought, feeling a wish, to run, to get away to safety. And the demons followed, they ran after me with lightning speed, but I somehow ran faster, my feet barley seemed to touch the ground, I was getting near the church, I was gong to make it! Then a sharp pain raked through me and my side went numb.. I was caught off balance and my speed made me cartwheel through the air, landing heavily and shaking Ellen from my grasp. The girl cried and ran away, toward a human figure waving an axe at the approaching demons. Gasping I jumped up and started toward them, knowing that with my injury, I hadn't a hope of reaching the Church in time on my own. I half ran, half hobbled toward them, gasping for breath, the demons were still some distance away, I had really run fast. But the man seemed to sense my approach and he turned the axe in the air, placing the glistening blade between, me and himself and Ellen. I paused, confused.
"Help me!" I cried out, throwing my hands in the air to show I was unarmed, but this only made the man's face pale with fear. He yelled a fierce battle cry and came at me with the ax. I shouted in fear. The man was nearly on me when my instincts took over. Suddenly the white hot anger I had felt when I was in the basement with Marie flared in me again. This stupid, crazy man was attacking me! I had done nothing to provoke him and yet he insisted on treating me as an enemy. I dodged his first blow with ease, the pain in my side had vanished, and I now had a good guess as to who was the cause of it in the first place. Dancing out of the reach of his blade once more I glanced over at Ellen, who now stood alone and unprotected in the street, nothing between her and oncoming demons. The man continued to lung at me, ax swinging savagely. There was no more time for games, now thoroughly pissed, I quickly ducked his blow again, then kicked him hard in the side, sending him flying through the air, where he landed sprawled on the pavement a good distance away. I wondered vaguely that I must have been having a real adrenaline rush to be having all this power.
The demons were almost upon us. I dashed to Ellen and scooped her up I had hoped that she would stop screaming and kicking me but to no avail. As my arms closed around her she pounded me with her tiny fists and wailed uncontrollably. We were now half way through the town square and the Church was very close. We were nearly there when something caught my attention, I was running past a series of shops, there insides dark and undisturbed, and the glass front windows reflecting the terror taking place on the square. But it wasn't the shops that had caught my attention, it was my reflection! I came to a complete stop, starting in horror at what had once been my face. Rena as I had been was no more, in her place was the creature from my nightmares, exact in every detail, other then the fact that I was still clad in my pajamas.
I met my own glowing red eyes in the glass and let out a cry of despair that came out as a roar of the demon I had become. Now I realized why Ellen had run from me and continued to try to do so. Tearing my gaze away from the shop window I ran blindly toward the church, then, remembering that I had wings, I flexed my shoulder blades experimentally, I felt them open with a snap, I flapped them clumsily, still running at full tilt. I felt myself leave the ground and clumsily, yet quickly soar toward forward. My mind raced frantically as I thought of the impossibility of it all.
I reached the gate of the church and expected to hit the invisible barrier like all the other demons, but to my surprise, and that of the humans still scrambling through the open front doors, I passed right threw. Shouts of surprise issued from the stunned crowds mouths and they pushed toward the doors with more force. I wondered how may could fit inside the small building. I reached the doors just as the last people raced inside, I flung my wings out trying to figure out how to land and not kill myself or Ellen, in the process. I managed to land on the step, rather neatly, but my momentum carried me forward, which turned out to be a good thing. The people closest to the doors see me coming and were already trying to close the large, heavy doors. Just as the doors were about to snap shut in my face, I quickly grabbed the outer handle and pulled with all my might. The door swung open like it weighed no more then a feather under my touch. Those closest to the door screamed in despair and crowded closer into the already packed pews. For a moment I paused and stared at them. Something about their appearance was bothering me, something odd, not quite right. I quickly scanned the faces in the crowd all terrified, bloody and tired.
My gaze stopped on a particular face in the crowd. Griffin . His face was filled with terror like the rest of the crowd, but his brow was furrowed in confusion, I saw his lips move silently. In a question only I could hear.
"Rena?" My name pounded in my head. He thought he recognized me, but wasn't sure. Before he could get a better look I shoved his sister inside with them and snapped the door shut behind me. I crumpled on the steps of the church, in front of the closed doors. Feeling lost, a sick part of me had been hoping Griffin was a monster too... He had been my last hope, my last tie to what had been starting out as a happy chapter to my abismal life. Now I was lost to myself to my inner demons and Marie was- now I had killed Marie. I had nothing. I was nothing. Now that I knew he hadn't been twisted so cruelly, I was ashamed that I was, and terrified. I didn't want anyone to know what I had become. Why was I this way, why did I turn into a monster, with all these others, why even now was part of me, the new part demanding me crash through the door I just closed and attack those innocent people? Why all of a sudden was I craving Blood? I finally gained the courage to leave the Church grounds, as I stepped through the gate I felt as if I was leaving a part of myself behind, I felt curiously empty of feeling.
The dead and dying lay on the street, countless monsters circled overhead and on the ground, they ignored me, I was one of them. I heard bloodcurdling screams, cut off by the angry cries of the damned, the beast within me answered, this time Rena didn't resurface.....