PROLOGUE

A disturbed look flashed across the young girl's pale, muddy, and blood-spattered face. She looked down at the mutilated remains of her parents. Attempting to pull her eyes away, with tears streaming down her face, she reflected better times, when her family had been happy and had enjoyed life. Now, it was a living nightmare.

In the dead of night, she turned her back to the bodies and rubbed her eyes with her knuckles. She was drained, famished, and psychologically and physically damaged. Taking a step farther, she felt a hand land on her shoulder. She jumped with a shriek, and whipped around the baseball bat that she had been holding. The girl felt the collision of metal on bone. A loud yelp came from a man, a tall, skinny one at that. He collapsed onto the ground and his dagger slid across the floor, past her foot. She kicked it farther back, looking at the curled up body of the man. Her eyes widened, and she turned to run, hesitated, but then set off again. She knew the guy hadn't been the creature out for her, but it was safer to get away from her home.

Sprinting, she looked back at the run down and caving-in building. What had happened? The girl didn't know a thing. All she knew was that someone, or something, was out to get her, and the rest of the world.

CHAPTER 1

Sparrow's grey eyes surveyed the apocalyptic street from the rooftops. In fact, the whole city, and the whole globe had recently, only last month, become like this. A formerly unknown cause had wiped out entire cities, countries, and even continents. The man held his rifle up, scanning the ground for a creature. All Sparrow had seen of these beasts was a silhouette when he had been in Europe. Now, he had traveled on a small Cessna training airplane to America to escape the atrocity in London. Another young man, who stood behind Sparrow, spoke aloud.

"Jeez, and you would think you could find this creep by now."

"It would be easier if they came out in the daytime." Sparrow replied simply.

"Ya, I know." The man replied, combing back his blonde hair with his hand. The guy's Texan accent differed very much from Sparrow's seemingly formal British one.

"Just shoot up the buildings and hope to hit it." He suggested.

"No, Alaster. That's a terrible idea. It would be a waste of bullets."

"Fine, it's your stupid choice." He said, crossing his arms haughtily, watching Sparrow aim at a moving outline.

"Shush." Sparrow silenced Alaster. A bang echoed across the muted city as Sparrow snapped the trigger.

"Did you hit it?" Alaster asked, as Sparrow's heart thundered.

"Nope." He said as the monstrous figure turned to face where the shot had come from. The shadow moved around a little, then looked up to the rooftops. Sparrow took another shot. It looked as if he had grazed its shoulder as it yowled a piercing wail.

"You hit it?" Alaster repeated.

"Yes, but we've got to run." Sparrow said backing up as the monster began to stride towards them, dragging its long arms along the ground. It looked up at them again, and let out a loud hiss, as if it were part snake.

"RUN NOW!"

Sparrow scampered, trailing Alaster, the track star at his university, who had already sprinted to the edge of the roof, and jumped to the next building with a backpack on his back.

"Wait up!"

"I can't! You're too slow!" Alaster shouted back at Sparrow. He ran along the rooftop, glancing back at Sparrow who had just begun to jump down to the same roof.

"Please!"shouted Sparrow, and just as he sailed through the air, an enormous, clawed hand swung up and grabbed him.

"SPARROW!"

Alaster whipped around and sprinted back to where Sparrow had been assaulted. He slowed to a jerky impede and looked over to see Sparrow, collapsed on the ground, but still whipping his gun around at the gigantic creature that was buzzing in a serpent-like way.

The monster looked even bigger closer up. It probably was more than half the size of the building beside it. Black, metallic scales lined its flesh. Two pointed horns protruded from its large head. The beast's glistening green eyes followed every single one of Sparrow's moves and its sharp, bared teeth dripped disgusting saliva.

"DON'T MOVE ANY FARTHER BACKWARDS! YOU'LL CORNER YOURSELF!" Alaster yelled down to his friend. Sparrow couldn't hear over the beast's heavy breathing. He pushed back against the wall, flailing the weapon at the creature's talons. Alaster had to do something.

He dropped his sack, and then began to dig through the items Sparrow had collected. Alaster found the flare gun and the last flare the pair had. He loaded it and shot. The ruby glow shot the beast's side. It howled and whipped its massive head to stare at Alaster. It traced him with its enormous eyes, and then brought its claws up to grasp the side of the building. It pushed off the ground and flung its self far above the ground with its extremely muscular arms. It was a shocker to Alaster how it could jump such a distance, but he didn't stand there stunned. He ran off, dropping the gun and leaving the bag behind. He rapidly jumped to another building's top just as the monster crashed down with an immense rumble that shook the ground. It claws dug into the concrete as the building's ceiling began to crack. It pushed off, creating a hole in the roof, and bounded a great distance towards Alaster who was slipping down to another part of the top of the structure along a bulky drain pipe.

The brute fell just behind the young athlete, whom had halted at the edge of the building. The gap between the two builds was too far to leap. Alaster could hear the beast's huff over his intense gasps for air. His only hope was to fling himself over and hope for the best, as the monster was creeping up behind him. Alaster peered over the side of the building, to make sure it was worth it. If the building was too tall, he would die. If he were to stay in one place, he would die too. Luckily, this tower didn't seem as if it was the largest around. He estimated around seven or eight stories high. Taking a wheezing breath, he jumped. The air beating against Alaster reminded him of his childhood, when he would dive off the diving boards at the public pool and pretend he was Super Man. Alaster's screams echoed through the empty city. The ground approached at an extremely high-speed. He squeezed his eyes shut and hit the earth. A snap reverberated and Alaster yelped. The scaly creature peered over the edge at him. Alaster had shattered a bone. He couldn't tell which one, but it was obviously in his arm, as a throbbing pain bounced around his nerves in that area. He pushed off the ground and his left arm went limp. Standing up, he ran for cover in an abandoned 7 Eleven with shattered windows and ducked behind the counter. He heard the monster thud to the ground and an explosion of rocks and dust whizzed past the store. Alaster curled into a ball at the base of the desk, still panting. He hoped Sparrow would be safe now. Alaster would do anything for his friends, but this often go himself into trouble.

The scaly beast began to tear at the wall of the corner store, and Alaster's heart began to race even faster to the point where it felt as if he were going to explode. He shook his head to brush his messy blond hair out of his eyes and jumped up hesitantly. Alaster dashed through the door behind the counter and into the storage room. The many metal shelves reached the ceiling, as if they were walls themselves. He ran down an aisle in the bitter darkness. Secreting himself from the monster, Alaster knew he was in an extremely bad situation.

Wrapping his arms around his knees, he waited through the rumbling and crushing. The beast was ripping apart the whole building. That was when the young man realized that the building could cave in at any moment. He had to escape.