Prologue: Shade

There were ghosts everywhere.

She didn't know how she knew they were ghosts, but she knew that somehow, when she finally opened her eyes from the vision, they wouldn't be alive in her world.

Ghosts and creatures.

Horrible, horrible creatures that her brain couldn't recognize. Taller than a human, their skin stretched as if the bones underneath weren't suited to that skin. As if the skin didn't belong to them. Like stretching canvas over too large a frame - and their eyes, too, so dead and lifeless, like they'd been stolen too. Creatures made of patchwork parts of humans.

What kind of future was this?

There was a clicking noise in the background, growing louder, steadily. The great spider shifted it's weight from foot to metal foot, foreboding and like a blot against the dark sky.

The clicking grew louder.

There was something happening between the spider and the creatures, she could sense it. Like a negotiation or an argument.

The clicking grew louder.

There was a bang and a scream, and then black.

"Ella?"