Prologue

A deep fog blanketed the ground, thickening as the sun began to slowly rise, random rays managing to cut through the thick needle canopy of the sleepy pine forest. Slowly the fog rose, stopping at the tops of the many trees, completely shielding any warm rays from before. Birds chirped quietly as forest animals scurried about.

The fog dampened the air considerably. The morning cool front was dropping the temperature winter air to about 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Moisture dripped from the tips of the pines, their limbs stretched out far, colliding with other nearby trees. It almost looked like they were reaching for warmth.

A woman was running through the trees at full speed, just able to keep from hitting them and fallen limbs, her hair snagging occasionally in the needles. As she took a right to avoid one tree, she tripped over a raised root she hadn't noticed.

She flew forward into a small clearing, the momentum of her speed launching her through the air before colliding with the moist forest floor, barely missing a large tree.

She scrambled up from the ground as soon as she fell, dirt, pine needles, and other manner of forestry now covering her wet and sweaty face.

Mud had splashed against her cheek and her brown hair was a tangled mess, sticks and needles protruding everywhere, her hair band knotted in the strands. Her crazed brown eyes scanned the forest around her, searching for her invisible enemy.

She was sweating despite the cold air, though you could hardly tell the difference between perspiration and the condensation. She was shaking, teeth chattering as she gasped for air, absolute terror gripping her tightly in it's shadowed claws.

Her heart was pounding in her chest. Her black long sleeve shirt was missing one sleeve and had tears everywhere. Her pants were no better and she had a long cut in one leg. She was missing one tennis shoe, the foot covered completely in mud, a few thorns stabbing her.

She had been jogging on the trail earlier but something had come. It had let out an earth-shattering roar before it tried to get her. She had run. It was the first thing that came to her panic-stricken mind.

And now here she was in the middle of the forest with something chasing her. It was probably getting ready for breakfast. Unfortunately, she was the main course. She spun around when a twig cracked behind her, heart skipping another beat. She now realized that running off into the forest was the worse idea she ever had

She spun around when a twig cracked behind her, heart skipping another beat. She now realized that running off into the forest was the worst idea she ever had.

A small whimper escaped through her chapped, shuddering lips. She scanned as far as three feet before the fog completely swallowed everything else in a gray cocoon. Her eyes darted back and forth as she began to take unsteady steps back, moving away from the area, watching every little shadow.

Her breath caught when she hit something. She immediately spun around, tripping over her own feet and falling back to the ground. She let out a sigh of relief as her eyes rested on the figure.

"You have no idea how great it is running into you.