Dear Sir or Madam,

You are invited to the annual Candle Light Festival. Please come well dressed and with you invite in hand. We shall all meet in the town square at 5:30PM sharp. I dearly hope to see you there.

From your caring friend,
LASE

I wish I had never gotten such an invite. The print so plain in pronounced in a way that was fancy. There perfect pronunciation in every word as my darling mother read it out loud to all of us. And the sudden chill of the quiet room as the name Lase was uttered. Yet a person like me can only wish and beg for such things. So it is here that I tell you my so, charming, and devious story. Let me begin with a simple subject, my name. Alexander Cross.

"Alexander! Come down stairs already, we can't be late!" This would be my mother's cry that bickers for me. Strained a bit, I know this; she's probably helping my two little sisters.

"Yes mother." Presenting myself to my small family. Mother, gasping in joy, rushed to kiss my forehead," Oh darling, you look wonderful. Grab the invitation, will you? I'm having some trouble with your sisters…" And as if on cue, the two girls rushed past me.

"Ellie! Wait!"

"No, you have to catch me Alana!"

Their darling voices ran in the rather large house of ours, their brightness seeming to clam every unsettled nerve I had. Ellie and Alana were very much twins, they even thought alike in practically every way. However simple it was to tell them apart, it was nearly impossible to make them walk apart. They were attached at the hip of course, inseparable.

Now, this is only the beginning you see. For form here on out, I am not going to bother myself with being proper. I am here to tell a story, am I not? Okay then, keep listening.

"Thank you so much for coming!" The sharp voice of the one and only Lase. Beautiful in all worlds, ruler of most too. She's nothing but a simple ruler to most of us, never paying attention to the actual mayor or president at the time. Everything revolved around Lase. No matter how vile that name was on all of our tongues, "Please! Grab a candle and keep your family members close, "This was not much of a threat at all, no matter how much you think it might be, " The games are about to begin!" Yes, cliché? You think right my dear friend, but let me tell you it's very affective.

So here we are, scattering around like hungry bees about to sting the man (or in this case woman) who is about to steal our shares worth of honey. My sisters crammed into my mother's dress, trying desperately not to get whisked away by some stranger by mistake," Alexander, carry that candle high, and make sure Ellie doesn't get lost." Another round of rules for me at this time, this party seeming to go down by the mere second.

"Of course Mother." I hold the candle high, and make sure Ellie doesn't get lost. We turn our attention back to Lase. Perhaps too much attention, for I find myself foolish now.

"My dear friends, I am so glad that you have all shown up! Let us celebrate the night of our loved ones! Hold your candles high my friends! Hold them high!" Yes, we all held them high. Perhaps as if we were all going on a death march, not really noticing the sly look on the beautiful Laces face. I see now that we were all quite foolish that night, raising those little flickering lights high above our heads. I might have been better off faking that I was sick and sitting at home alone for the rest of eternity. For out of the surrounding forest, we did not notice those steady beating eyes. Those red hungry eyes that stare into your soul as if trying to set you on fire. It was not the eyes that caught our attention, or the sudden silence of the forest around us. It was the screaming of a small child, not far off from my family and I. Or maybe it was the desperate plea of a mother shortly after the scream, perhaps even the loud howling that racked your brain.

Not for me though, it was the soft squeal of my baby sister that startled me into reality. That made me cling to both of them as our crowd dispersed into rowdy single people searching for their loved ones, the loved ones Lase herself told us to keep near. It was bitter irony that we did not do so that rang in our screams; I detected it as the baker was suddenly ripped away and thrown into the beady forest. "Alexander! Alexander!" It was now the hearty scream of my mother that echoed in my ears for eternity as she too was carried off in an un-holy fashion. I turn to my sisters, hands shaky, eyes wide, even a bit of sweat trickling down my brow. People were being picked off one by one, their loved ones too shocked to go and try to save them. To pick up a broken branch beside them and beat the snarling figures that whisked them away. By now candles had dropped on the ground, their flames lighting up what they could of the death defying forest. The flames lapped at your feet, bit at your ankles, nipped at your hips and thighs. My two darling sisters screaming for a mother that would never again come rushing towards them to comfort them. Hiding their faces from the thickening smoke I ran to the nearest place I could think of. The forest. Now, seeing what I had thought of, the others followed me too. As if I was the sun and they the circling planets of our now utterly dark solar system. I was not afraid of them following me, yes, a bit petrified at the fact that the evil monsters coming from the forest would be there, waiting for us. Yet it was not an option to turn back as the first wave of thickets and brambles whisked at our hair, bit at our exposed flesh. Some searched for Lase, as if she would help us out of this mess. No, she was not here, I could tell this by just looking around. She was not going to save us this time, no one was going to save us. Or perhaps the beats were saving us in a way, plucking us off one by one, saving us from watching our surviving loved ones die.

I sit here now, on a rotting piece of wood, with paper in my hand. My hands shaking and dirty from clawing around in the ground for eatable food. My sisters I have lost, in the crowd that had escaped just a few nights back. I still can spot the lingering smoke in the sky from the candles that burned themselves out in the browning grass. I see now that this was clearly Lases plan. I have yet to figure out what this creature was, but I soon will find out. For its waiting now, watching me closely, perhaps the only survivor of the Candle Festival. I will come face to face with its gawking mouth, close to enough to smell the reek of rotting flesh stuck between its gleaming teeth. The thick scratchy fur on its body matted and filled with drying blood from the feast of human skin. It will be my blood that splatters the ground, that stains this paper if I do not finish it in time. I am scared, I admit to that. I have not shed so many tears in my life before, now that I know death its self is waiting for me. So I thank you dear reader, for taking your time to actually listen to my story. Please, hear my warning. Keep your dear ones clo