Chapter 1

"You stupid bitch!" I felt the hand whack across my face, stinging my cheek with pain. I looked up at my "dad" with horror. I could only wait for him to strike again. I had taken so many beatings from my abusive damned father, so many strikes that I was bruised on my body.

Alan George Katherine – my abusive father – prepared to strike, raising his fist above his head. He was a tall man, roughly 6'2. Although he wasn't overly muscled, he still had a slight toned body to him. His dark brown hair split between his forehead, revealing even darker brown eyes (almost black). A short goatee prickled out from his chin, along with a light moustache.

I gulped preparing myself for the next blow, but soon heard the door opening. In the instant that my father looked from behind him to see the door open, I scurried away from my dad and raced upstairs into my room. I breathed a sigh of relief, climbed to my feet, and looked in the mirror.

My name is Nicole Jane Katherine. A normal sixteen-year-old girl. A "freak" to most of the students in my school. A "stupid bitch" to my abusive father. A "wonderful person" according to my Mom, older brother, younger sister, and my good friend Amara.

My hair was shoulder length and an earthy brown. It was especially hard to wash. I had to make sure I got every strand of hair, from scalp to tip. Although it was a pain to wash, brushing it was even more challenging. I always woke up with tangles. Oh, God. They were a nuisance.

My eyes were a tree trunk brown. My mom always said that my eyes were the thing of beauty. I had to agree with her. Something about the eyes – they were so mysterious.

I had fair skin, but a couple of blemishes spotted my face. Darn, I hated those things. Whenever I saw Johnny Depp or Amy Lee, all their beauty did was challenge my own. I doubted my beauty, always having low self-confidence.

I stood at least 5'9" in height. Probably the normal height for a late teen. I mean, I didn't want to be short, but I didn't want to be overly tall (like those basketball players).

My body was slim, but fit. I was able to run a quarter mile of a track, although I had to pace myself when I did such things. I was strong, not enough to lift up a car, mind you. However, I had enough leg muscles to push a fraction of a tree trunk over.

However, I lifted up my shirt and revealed some dark bruises on my breasts and lower belly. Frowning, I began to think about the abuse my father had inflicted on me for the past four months. He went from slapping me in the face to beating me with his fists. Turning around, I glimpsed at the bruises I had taken on my back.

If only I had been stronger, I would have stood up to the pain I was bearing. I would've killed my father, made him scream and beg for his life. I would've inflicted the same agony he'd caused on my own body. I would've yelled in his face for being nothing more than an abusive asshole!

But I wasn't. Whenever my father was alone with just me, he would beat me for no other reason than to hear my groans and screams in mercy begging for me to stop. He would whip me with a belt, punch me in the chest, kick me in the back, and many other forms of physical abuse (although thank God for once he never burned me).

"Nicole?" Mom – Kristine Sirla Katherine (Kristy to my father) – called from down-stairs. She had curly brown hair that reached past her shoulder. Her amber eyes were usually filled with kindness and love. She was also fit, but slim. I loved my mom. She was sweet, kind, understanding, and gentle. I was told when I was an infant (three years old) she would hold me in her arms and with her foot rock Anna in her cradle as well. If my dad was a dragon, then my mom would be a doe.

I walked into the living room and saw my mom, dad, my older brother – Danny Alexander Katherine – and my younger sister – Anna Sylvia Katherine. They were all at the kitchen table, a Del Taco Fiesta pack in the center of them.

Danny was my eighteen-year-old brother. He was a normal, 6'5 tall brother. Dark brown hair reached down to his chin. He had a very light beard and mustache that was slowly growing in. He had a very light tone of muscle to him, but was still stronger than me. Green eyes were his orbs in the middle of his face. He is a pretty cool bro – very smart and persistent. He even helps me out with my homework at times. He also likes to cause a ruckus whenever my parents aren't around (making loud noises, blaring his music so loud that it rocks the house, and playing with the pots and pans as if they were drums). I could handle most of his behavior, just not (some of) his personality. He's just really irritating to my core – usually liking to tease me by playing with my hair and go inside my room and mess with my belongings.

Anna was my twelve-year-old sister. Her hair was long and a shade of light brown. Bright blue eyes shone with innocence and playfulness. She had a slim body, except she hadn't had any muscle to her. Like any other sister, she was a happy-go-lucky little ball of sunshine. Sweet as candy and just as kind as a kitten. She was always found playing with her dolls and staying out of other peoples' business.

I walked up to the table, keeping a cautious eye on my dad. After I sat down, Mom began praying. We were Christians and it was wrong not to pray before a meal. "Bless us thy Lord and these our gifts which are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord amen."

Although I was a Christian, I felt hopeless when I prayed for God. Every time I did so, I felt as if he was ignoring my prayers, mentally telling me to deal with the pain I was receiving. I would always wait for a bright light to shine down on me and having God bless me with his holy light. But it never came.

Soon after our prayer, we began to eat. I had taken a bite out of my taco, smiling at the taste of the greasy meat, lettuce, and cheese. One of the best (although not the healthiest) foods in the world, ranking up there with hot sauce.

Danny picked up a taco and took a bite out of it. He reached over and began tickling my side, causing me to drop my taco onto the table. I struggled to hold back a giggle, and slapped his hand away. "Stop it," I said, already having swallowed my bite.

"Danny," Mom said sternly. "Enough. Stop antagonizing your little sister."

"Alright, Mom," he said, lowering his head. He soon resumed to eat.

I had already finished my tacos and walked into the bathroom to brush my teeth. I grabbed my toothbrush and poured a little glob of toothpaste on the bristles of my brush, putting it up to my mouth and brushing my teeth. A couple of seconds later I cupped a mouthful of water, pouring it into my mouth and swishing it around. I soon spat out the water-tooth paste mix and wiped my mouth on the towel.

I walked into my room and slipped on my pajamas. They were sky blue with white fluffy clouds on them. A little immature for a late teen, but there's some things you can't grow out of. I finally climbed into bed and waited for my mom to come in and pray with me.

Mom entered my room and began to pray. "Jesus tender shepherd hear me. Bless us the little lambs tonight. Though the darkness be not with them. Keep her safe till morning light."

As soon as Mom finished the prayer, she walked out of my room and closed the door behind me. The moonlight straining from the moon was blocked by thick layers of curtain sheets. Little bright stars covered the ceiling above me. Aside from that my room was covered in complete darkness, just the way I liked it.

I woke up in the middle of the night, glancing at the clock. 11:30 was the time. Great, just about five more hours before I had to get ready for school. But those five hours were a blessing.

However, the ache in my throat wasn't. Of all the times to get up and it was in the middle of the night. I climbed out of bed, glancing down at my feet. I looked back up at my door, silently walking over to it. I peered out the door, making sure that my mother, father, little sister, and older brother weren't disturbed. After sighing, I continued down the stairs and walked into the kitchen, desperately dying for a drink of cool water. I turned on the light to the kitchen, bringing clarity to the room.

I began to imagine a strange scene. Vampires stood in the kitchen. They were tall and handsome, their eye and hair color ranging in only a few colors. Black completely covered (almost) every part of their body (aside from their faces). They bared their fangs and grinned.

Oh vampires! How I loved them. How I wanted to be one! Their speed, strength and power. If I was turned into one, I would have fled from the horrible life that I have now. No more of being weak. No more abusive "dad". No more of me being teased and mocked by the other students in my school.

Imagination had always helped me out through my painful times. It was possibly the only escape I had when dealing with my stupid father aside from reading books, drawing, and watching movies. I usually imagined my dad being killed in so many brutal and gruesome ways – impaled on a spike, having his head decapitated, burned alive in fire, drowning, and suffocation by smoke. What I would give to have my imagination to actually be a power that I could use!

Opening up the cabinet, I grabbed a glass cup and held it against the refrigerator door, pressing water. Water poured silently out of the tube and filled my cup half way. I brought the cup to my lips, sipping the water. Sighing in pleasure, I placed my cup down on the counter.

I looked away from the counter and stopped instantly.

A shadow stood at the other side of the window. I approached the window, cautiously. Who was it? It didn't look like my friend Amara. The shadow was too tall. It couldn't have been my brother Danny or even my dad. After all, they were still asleep. My cousins lived twenty-five miles away and unless they were planning a surprise for me I'd doubt they'd be at the kitchen window waiting for me.

What did he want? If he was a burglar, he would have just broken through the glass and taken whatever he wanted. This guy didn't seem to be doing that. It seemed like he was waiting for me to come out.

Like hell! I might be naïve, but I wasn't stupid. I know better than to go off into a stranger's hands just because they told me so! The guy might be a pervert or a rapist. He probably hunted women down and wanted to target whoever he was staring at their windows at night!

I saw the shadow approach closer, no longer interested in knowing who or what the figure was.

"Oh God," I whimpered, backing into the counter. The cup toppled over and crashed to the floor. "Snap!" I hissed, immediately picking up the glass.

"Nicole, honey!" Mom called from the room. "Are you okay?"

I stood up and, my hands full of glass, dropped the shards in the trashcan. "Yeah," I responded.

"Are you sure?" Mom asked.

Dad demanded, "What broke?"

"It was one of the plain glass cups," I responded. Then, I remembered the shadow. "Mom, there's someone at the window!"

"Where?" Mom looked at the window. "Nicole, I don't see anything."

"You better not be screwing with us," Dad hissed.

"Alan!" Mom said shocked.

"Why would I do that?" I cried out, pointing towards the window. "Look!"

"Nicole," Mom said. "I told you I don't see anything."

"You mean you-" I was cut off by my dad.

"That's it," he snapped. "If you can't stop it with your imaginations, you're going to spend a whole week in your room. We walked out here because we thought someone had broken in!"

"Alan," Mom said. "Please. Maybe she just had a bad dream."

"No I–" I paused, seeing that there was no use in arguing. I held my head low and walked back up into my room, only to get the shock of my life. The figure – although as dark as a shadow itself – that was at the kitchen window was sitting on my bed.

"You!" I gasped. "Who are you?"

The figure didn't respond, but stood up. I held my ground, my voice louder as I asked, "Who are you?"

You'll have to find out, a male voice in my – Wait! In my head? – in my thoughts responded. It came from the figure.

The figure stood up and walked over to me. I thought about calling my parents, but scowled. There was no way they'd believe me. I had to deal with this on my own.

I walked right up to the figure, staring him straight in the eyes. "Get out of my house," I growled at him.

He snickered. Alright, I'll get out. Keep in mind that we'll meet again. I watched as he phased through the window and exited my house.

I was confused. What did he mean "meet again"? I kept a watch on my window, fearfully waiting for him to come back. As hours passed, I didn't see him return. Breathing a sigh of relief, I lied down on my bed, my head against the pillow. I finally closed my eyes and slept.