My lips curled up to reveal teeth, a smile that strikes fear in death himself. My dark brown eyes reflected the full white moon. I let my hard shell fall and a wave of emotion hit me. The quiet Lancaster forest hugged me with cold, lonely arms. Sighing heavily, I curled up against a tree, knowing that those images, those dark manifestations who created me, created her will tantalize me to the depths of my soul.

I woke up in a cold sweat. The dream came back, the blood, the awful death and me losing control. Mostly me losing control. I rubbed my damp cheek, wet with sweat or the fruits of my depression. My watch read 12:34, although I was wide awake due to the fear rushing though my veins.

Heavy rustling interrupted my thoughts. Oh God, it's a bear! My panicked mind yelled. I scurried up the tall pine tree next to me. A bright shot of pain erupted from my arm, the branch next to me grinned evilly as if it was his intention all along. Breathing heavily, I stared at the land underneath me. Salty blood dripped from where the branch scraped me. I covered the gash with my mouth, hopping that I'll stop the thin flow. As soon as my blood hugged my tongue, I was grateful that the cut was not deep.

A loud crack underneath the dense foliage sent shock waves though my spine, paralyzing me into silence. Another crack, and I curled my head into the tree, the bark scratching my bloody lips. I dared not look, but I knew the beast was beneath me. Fear has heightened my awareness and lowered my sense of reason. My racing heart was nailing into the pine yet I stayed completely still. Every nerve in my body was on full alert, and my thick auburn hair, my scratchy clothing and the blood running down my upper arm sent me into stilled, horrifying, fear.

Deep panting chilled my spine. My neck prickled, waiting for a deadly blow. A drop moisture rolled to the bottom of my arm. Blood, my blood. My hand shot out to catch it, and my life snarled at me while I fell though the bleak darkness.