Prologue.

The shadows swelled around her. They seemed to fight to encase her as she tried to hide from the terror that followed her. She pressed herself deeper into the trees, feeling the rough bark of the tree against her bare skin, the pounding of her blood in her head and the rustle of the leaves on the earth path were the only sounds. She let out a small gasp of relief, and then she heard the footsteps. She panicked but just had enough presence of mind to stay stock still so that he didn't see her. If she moved a muscle or made a single, minuscule sound he would find her, she had no doubt about that. Nor did she have any doubts about what he would do to her when he did find her. "Not when" she mentally berated herself "if" there was always a small sliver of hope. It flashed through her mind whether or not she should let him find her now rather than later when he would be angrier. If she went back now he might be more lenient, but she doubted it. He never was. But then again she'd never got this far away from him before, she'd never been gone so long before he had realised she was missing before, she hadn't been able to remember a time when she had felt that free. She heard him swear under his breath and run on.

She sank to the ground quietly scraping her back against the tree as she went. She hit the ground, the thud muffled amongst the fallen autumn leaves and she curled up sobbing silently. He might still be near by and if he heard her. "Ugh", she shuddered and pushed the thought from her mind; if she wanted any sleep she couldn't dwell on the thoughts that he'd find her, nor what he'd do to her once he caught up with her. The darkness consumed her as she drifted into an uneasy sleep on the uncomfortable forest floor, her mind reeling and blood, trickling slowly, soaking into the thin, ragged vest top she wore staining it scarlet.