Chapter 1: The Prologue

Alina pulled the light pink ribbon out of her long, auburn hair and let it fall down her back in silky waves. The feel of the ocean breeze on her face was calming as she walked down the beach with the waves lapping at her bare feet.

She sighed as the lighthouse came into view on the horizon. It sat forlornly on the cliff top and Alina could just barely see the faint automated light. She smiled as she remembered how mad her father had gotten when they automated it.

She continued walking down the beach towards the cliff and climbed the path to the lighthouse. It was the only home she had ever known, and yet she dreaded going back to it every night. Her father had become over protective since her mother's death over a year ago.

Alina had tried to reason with him by reminding him that she was almost 17, but he was relentless. He refused to let her go swimming or leave the house more than necessary. She didn't know what happened, but her mother's death had changed him and she didn't like it.

Alina walked into the house connected to the light and looked around. She looked in the living room to see her father reading the evening paper and headed into the kitchen. There wasn't much for supper, but she would manage.

She finished dinner and brought it out to her dad in the living room who smiled gratefully at his daughter. Alina gave her dad a small smile and sat down in the chair next to him.

They ate in silence for a few moments until Alina couldn't stand it anymore. She placed her silverware loudly on her plate and her father looked at her curiously.

"Are you alright, Alina?" her father asked, concerned etched into his voice.

Alina looked at her father for a few moments before answering. "I was just wondering what happened to you." she said seriously. "You know, after mom died."

"What do you mean?"

"You've changed, dad."

"I have not!"

"Yes you have! I can't believe you can't see it!"

Alina stood up fast knocking her plate to the floor where it shattered spraying shards across the floor. Her dad calmly looked at his daughter who was seething in anger over him.

"Go to your room." he said calmly. Alina started to protest, "NOW!"

Alina glared at her father before walking towards the stairs. Her father got up to clean the floor and looked at his daughter. She turned back to him and stared for a moment.

"I wish you could see yourself." she said with sadness. Her father watched her walk up the stairs before he turned back to cleaning up the floor.

Alina slammed her door and fell onto her bed. Sometimes she really hated her father. She went over to her window seat and stared longingly at the clear, blue ocean. The moon was rising over the ocean and the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks below was soothing.

"I need to get out." she said after a moment. "I'll take a walk along the beach and then come back." She smiled at the prospect of getting out of the house and went to her door. The faint sound of music could be heard from downstairs and she quickly closed her door.

"I'm not going to get out that way…" she thought to herself looking around the room. Her eyes stopped on her closet. She smiled to herself and pulled out a wad of sheets.

She sat on her bed and began tying them together when she paused. She looked at the knots she had been tying, "I can't believe I'm going to climb out of a window using bed sheets." she thought to herself. She continued tying until all the sheets were tied together. Then she double checked her knots and tied one end to her bed post and shoved the rest out of the window. She looked down at the two story drop and gulped before easing herself out of the window and down the wall.

When she finally made it to the ground she breathed a sigh of relief and headed down the cliff to the beach. She left her shoes at the end of the path and walked barefoot in the shallow water. The feel of the waves had a mesmerizing affect on her, as if the sea was beckoning her to it.

She looked around to see if anyone had followed her before taking off her shirt and pants until she was left standing in only her bra and underwear. She waded further and further into the water until she was waist deep and then she dove in.

The icy chill of the water was invigorating and she gasped for air as her head resurfaced. She looked around at the calm surface before diving in again.

Alina swam around for what seemed like hours until the moon was directly overhead. She knew she had to get back soon before her dad realized that she was out, and swimming at that! She looked around and dove under the water one more time.

She opened her eyes and looked at the murky depths of the sea. Suddenly she noticed a movement out of the corner of her eye. She turned quickly but didn't notice anything. She started swimming for the surface when a hand grabbed her around the neck and waist and dragged her down into the murky depths.