The rain belted down on the muddy gravel road. The wind blew with the anger of the ages. Driving down that lonely twisting road, my vision was clouded with that beating rain. Around the curve ahead was a small country cottage that had been standing since I could remember. Old wooded fences led you through my childhood. The cottage was on a cliff overlooking the endless waters below. My mother would sit on the top of the fence and look at the sea with all of its friendly creatures. My mother loved nature with all its simplicity and beauty. She would always tell me stories of the Children of the Moon and how they lived in peace and wonderment. They ran carefree underneath that glorious orb with their long shimmering hair whipping through the wind. Nightingales would sing their soothing song to calm the beast of the night. My mother was great at telling stories, but that is just what they were, stories.

I was fifteen years old when the crash happened. My parents were driving home from a party at one of their friend's house. My grandmother was babysitting me when we heard a thunderous slam nearby. I was the first to run outside. I turned pure white when I saw their battered car as it rested in the yard. A shadow-like figure darted from the car to the woodland edge in front of the house. What was that? I thought. I had seen a figure like that before, but where? My father died that night on impact, and my mother died about a week after. That bitter night will be three years ago next week my eighteenth birthday.

The name is Lunaya Star O'Riley, my mother's love of nature is shown through my odd name. My father was of an Irish background. Everyday I would run freely through the yard of long swaying wild grass brushing against my fair skin. My fiery red hair would flow passionately through the eternal wind. The calm earth was comforting to the bareness of my tender feet. The scent given off the lavenders growing wild on the edge of the forest seemed to be my mother's perfume. I would feel a watching eye on me coming from that dreadful, haunted place. The forest held a dark vibe that lingered through each day.

"Hey, Star!" exclaimed Penelope. Penelope's shoulder-length ash blond hair bounced as she ran toward me. Everyone called me Star because Lunaya was a little hard to pronounce. Penelope has a heart of a true friend; we have known each other since we were four. Her blissful aura showed for miles around; she never had a bad day. She was a typical teen. She was a cheerleader and just a peppy person. The exact opposite of me. I was a loner, someone who felt like she did not belong in this world. I was not in any clubs or sports.

I went to school the next day, like normal. One thing seemed different; I saw a figure in the corner of my eye. It was shaped somewhat as a human but with animal characteristics. The figure vanished before I could turn around to get a good look at it. Why after all this time do I see it again, at school even? Walking down the hall, a teenage male about 5'11" with short jet black hair approached. His sky blue eyes were so easy to get lost with in. "Hi, Penelope," said Alexander.

"Oh, Alex, how are you today?" asked Penelope.

"Oh, just fine," said Alexander. "Hi, Star. What's wrong?"

"I thought I saw something," I stated. "It was weird. Do you remember me telling you of that thing that ran after the crash?"

"Yes, I remember," said Alexander.

"I think I just saw it again, by the lockers. It was so real. What is that look for?"

"I am just a little worried about you," said Alexander. "It has been three years, and it is almost your eighteenth birthday. I am just concerned about you."

"Yeah, most people already think you are weird," said Penelope.

What is up with Penelope? She is acting really different. She usually acts differently around Alexander. Well, I know why; she has a crush on him, and he does not seem to show the same indications to her. I give up trying to understand her.

The rest of the day went by very slowly. Classes had pop quizzes and lectures, so predictable. After I got home, I had a snack and started on my homework. Once night had fallen, I walk out to the cliff, sit on the stump, and think about the day. This night was different. After about fifteen minutes, I had a sharp pain in my stomach. The pain then rushed into different areas of my body. I stumbled back to the house. The pain got worse and worse. My grandmother helped me up to my room and gave me some kind of pain reliever. The medicine helped after a while. I had the strangest dream. It started as a peaceful woodland area. Animals ran wild without worries. The sky turned a horrifying color of black. The land turned dead-like. There was no wind, no flowing breeze. A painful scream came from the land as if it was crying out in pain. The sound shot through me as an arrow would penetrate a target. I wanted to scream, but the pain was too much. I looked at my hands; they were dripping in blood. The blood was coming from a mark on my wrist. I had a symbol-like mark shaped as a crescent moon connected at the bottom with a star. I woke up, drowning in sweat. I had seen that symbol before in my mother's book. What does that have to do with anything?

Each day the time would pass as if it were a month. Every night the ache would get stronger and more painful. It would feel like my bones were reforming and crawling underneath my flesh. The dreams would be more vivid and more excruciating. After each dream I would look directly at the woodland that surrounded the house. What was happening to me? Why now; why me?