My dad asked me to write this for him. He gave me a title, and I gave him a story. It was only supposed to be three pages, but I think it'll end up being more than that. I hope you guys like this. Tell me what you think, and if you flame it, then that's okay. But don't come back to flame it again. Please Review.

*Abby

I don't know why this is mine. My curse, mine to bare, mine to keep. And only mine to know. The hardest part is not speaking. Not telling anyone why they have to stay away. They don't know how many have been lost to this thing they would call a gift.

I don't understand why I have to talk to anyone anymore. You would think people would be wary of wandering stranger. But all I get is acceptance, and thanks, for things I haven't even done.

My name is Anita Rain. And I am the Giftener.

It's okay, I didn't know what it was either. Not until a few days ago that is, I went to the library, wonderful place, filled with books. Ever heard of it?

Anyway, there it was, leather bound with yellow pages, the same book I had seen 3 years before. The book that had disappeared right after starting this mess, the book that I hoped could clean it up.

When I opened it the first time, it was like everything I had ever wanted. Something outside the ordinary, something outside the mundane rut of my life. The passage on the first page read;

You have found it, you have found us. Now you must keep us, and learn to use us. For we are the gift, the light which the world has been searching for, the light which you must release. Not everyone can do everything, but this, this is something you must do, even if you are incapable.

Here lies Phaeton, who tried to be the sun,

Greatly he failed, but greatly he dared.

I recognized that last bit from a Roman mythology story, and I didn't think much of it. Just something to pull the reader in, you know. But, then I noticed that there was no bar code on the book, no little stamp telling me that this belonged to the library and had to be checked out. So I took it.

I really shouldn't have.

One night, that's all I had it for. No longer, no less, one night of reading. Only got a quarter of the way threw it. I remember that night, all black and stars, warm and soft with the summer heat.

I fell asleep just as the sun was rising.

When I woke up, the book was gone. I knew it was, I didn't even have to look for it, I just knew that it was gone. It was something strange, and I couldn't quite put a finger on it, but I knew that things were about to change.

I looked in the mirror, and I could see. I could see everything. Not the stupid dull visions your dumb eyes put it front of you. But really seeing, everything was sharper, clearer, and brighter. I could see that I was filled with light, all just bursting to come out. It was amazing, beautiful, and terrifying all at the same time.

I could see sound, I could see the birdsong, I could see the wind, I could see the chimes outside my front door. And then I saw the thing.

It was dark, and everywhere it went, things turned gray. They lost their color, they lost the brightness that I just knew should be there. And then it was in my house. It took my mom, and it took my dad, and it took my baby brother. And somehow I just knew, that it was after me. And even though they were still there, they weren't, not really. Because my new eyes told me that all their color was gone.

And so I ran, and I'm still running. There really isn't anything I can do about it. I've been everywhere. Looking for the book, looking for answers. And now that I've found them, nothing is getting in my way.

You have been through so much, the fact that you see these words are evidence of your struggle. Things seem bleak, hopeless, and terrible. And they are! It's the reason you're here, it's the reason you can do what you can do. You are the Giftener. You are the person who will restore the light to the world, the one who will help to save us from a fate worse than death. Sacrifices are called for, both small and great. Do not hesitate, for there is always a balance.

I'm stopping there, that's basically what the entire thing says. That's all it says. Just a bunch about how I have to save the world.

HA! Me, a fifteen year old girl who can't get outside of her head enough to spend some time with people who actually exist. Who on earth, no, who in the universe decide that it would be a good idea to make me an assistant to whoever the heck is gonna stop the apocalypse?!

Let me tell you, that guy should go get some help.

Because I can't. I can't stop this thing that's just sucking the juice out of everyone. I can't stop it from stealing the color. I can't stop it.

But the book says I have to. And what the heck does the stupid book know? It's just a book after all. But it's a book filled with power, and light, and so far, it's the only thing I have.

So, I'm gonna go back to the barn I've been hiding in. It seems that the closer I am to the earth, the closer to all things natural in this world, the safer I am.

It's crazy, how something so small can make such a big difference. How something so cliché can sound so appropriate.

And then I don't get to rest. Because the grey is coming. I can feel it, I can see it, rippling in the edges of me peripheral vision, but disappearing every time I try to look.

"Come out! I'm so sick and tired of what you've done to my life! I sick of losing everything I love! I'm tired of running! And I won't let you take anymore of the color!"

"You think you can stop me?" the voice was deep, and gravelly. Like someone couldn't quite get rid of cold. "Think hard little one. You know what I am. I stole the waves from the ocean, and the blue from the sky. I stole the dreams of the old, and the imagination of the children. I steal the souls of those I touch, and you, better than anyone know that. So tell me something child, are you afraid?"

I could see the shape now, a man made of smoke and hatred and darkness. His eyes were black as the abyss. And when he spoke, there was something there that made my heart beat faster, it made my heart run cold. The darkness rekindling fears of old. I couldn't run, but I couldn't turn away. For fear of this monster unseen wrath.

"I am afraid of you. So afraid that I can't think straight, much less fight you. But there's something I remember reading, 'Here lies Phaeton, who tried to be the sun, greatly he failed, but greatly he dared'.

"I will be the sun. Because that's what I am, isn't it, that's why all this light is leaking from underneath my skin. I'm the opposite of you. That's why people are drawn to me. What you take I give, and you're afraid of me."

He laughed; a cold hard sound. Like the sound of cracking trees, and rocks being split. "You, you're just a child! And you know it!" but now I could see, the flicks of bright red at the corners of his eyes. He was afraid.

But what could I do? The gray was coming towards me and something in my mind said not to let it touch me. So I floated off the ground.

Not like I knew I could do that before, but as I did I saw the red at the man of smokes eyes grow, and I raised my hands in mock triumph.

"I know more than you think I do. Don't underestimate you opponent."

"But you can't stop me." And then I was surrounded by black. Endless, unforgiving, black. "There's nothing you can do. Not anything you're willing to do at least."

"You're out of control. This isn't how it's supposed to be. There is always a balance. You shouldn't be this strong-" and neither should I. Sacrifices small and great. That was it.

The light was still leaking, from my hands, my arms, my legs. My whole body shimmered slightly. I could feel the tug at the back of mind, the slight effort I always felt to keep the light inside.

I let go.

I didn't slip away. My smile fading with the echoes of the smoke man's screams. It was the most painful thing you could ever imagine. My essence, which had weaved it's small self into the abundance of light inside my body, was literally being ripped apart.

So when I went, when my essence pulled the broken pieces of my soul back together. My screams, as well as his, were there to see me off.

"You forgot Anita." Something caught me. Something strong was holding on to my tattered remnants. "There is always a balance." And then there was something even brighter than my light, and now…