P R O L O G U E

I watch Angela as the van door closes.

She's staring at me. Eyes wide. Mouth open. She's known what it takes this long to conceptualize. I won't be seeing much more of Angela.

I commit this girl to memory, she's the only person that understands me anymore. A floral cami covers a long sleeve thermal shirt. Jeans that are much more practical than my short skirt and patterned tights hang low on her body.

She runs a hand through her frizzy mop of hair.

I stare at the door, wishing the windows weren't painted black so that I could watch Angela as we pull away.

..

The lead singer who looked so much more appealing on Facebook is twirling a knife between his fingers. I tell him I'm a virgin, I tell him he wants someone with more experience, I tell him that he doesn't want me. He tells me I'm perfect.

..

I'm feeling more than a little inebriated by the time the van stops. The lead singer tucks his knife away long enough to drag me from the van. I can barely see the ground beneath me, let alone navigate the barren pathway. I thrash and shout. Edward tells me it's not enough, I need to kick harder, yell louder. Edward tells me I'm not enough.

The lead singer dislocates my left shoulder dragging me down the trail. My patterned tights are frayed and ripped. There is a huge tear up the side of my skirt. My ears strain to hear the sound of running water. It isn't until we reach a round circular clearing that I am free to move on my own.

The lead singer tells me his name is Nikolai Wolfe. I know this. He is so much hotter on Facebook.

The keyboardist tells me his name is Colin. The drummer, guitarist, and base introduce themselves as Chas, Dirk, and Mick.

My new friends tell me I'm their virgin sacrifice. They tell me I will make them famous. They start singing.

I try to tell them this is all a big mistake. I'm not even an anal virgin anymore thanks to Roman. They can't hear me over the sound of their singing.

The lead singer takes his lucky knife and plunges it into my stomach.

I can't hear their singing over the sound of my screams.

..

When I wake up, I can see stars. The shinning masses gleam. What little we see of stars is fiction. A death star is still visible days, years, decades after its demise. Even after its collapsed into a red dwarf or giant, formed into a black hole of energy, evolved into a degenerate form. Visible to us still even in its death. Immortal. Until the days, years, decades catch up and we are finally able to see the truth hidden by time and space. The star that we have longed to grasp has dissolved into something else entirely and is forever out of reach.

I wonder if this is heaven. If stars are heaven.

My skin crawls.

There are hands on my body. Pulling, dragging me. The sound of running water draws nearer. I am thrown haphazardly into the swells and sucked into Charybdis' eternal boughs.

..

When I wake up, I am wet. My once beautiful patterned tights are caked with blood and torn. My shirt is worse off than the tights. I can stick my fingers through the places the knife penetrated my skin and my shirt by default. If it wasn't for the smeared blood, it could almost pass as vintage. I lift up the shirt, smoothing my hands over my stomach. I pull the shirt back down, shoving my fingers through the cuts. Where evidence of my assault should be there is only tanned, smooth skin. I glance at my fingers, my arms, what little of my legs can be seen through my patterned tights. My ivory foundation isn't going to cut it anymore.

And neither were my clothes for that matter. My size six skirt was sliding off my body and the only place my shirt fit right was in the bust.

I glanced at the face reflected in the puddle I was lying in. The face staring back at me was alien. My lips were fuller and red without the aid of gloss or lipstick, my face was pore less even in the poor reflection, cheekbones that were only visible when Alice played Bella Barbie were prominent.

It's during this brief moment that I allow myself to hope. I glance at my eyes for conformation and the misery I feel at this strange conformation is staggering. My eyes are no longer the color I associate with dirt, they are lively and have specks of gold and green in them.

The hair that had previously been a haystack is now smooth and full of life. The body that Alice coaxed out of my hair is prominent despite the twigs, leaves, and blood matted into my tresses. They are as silky as they look. I begin to pick out the offending materials, combing my hair with my fingers as I go along.

Its during that moment that someone creeps upon me. Placing a gentle hand on my shoulder. I look at his reflection, mirrored next to mine.

Tyler Crowley.

The African exchange student seemed as surprised to see me as I was to see him.

And suddenly there only seems one thing sensible to ask him.

"Does anybody know you're alive?"

He looks into my eyes, and backs away frightened. The beautiful brown eyes I had grown so accustomed to are gone, replaced by silver irises.

I look up from the puddle, stalking towards him.

He's afraid. I know this fear, I have felt this fear. I tell him it's going to be OK. I tell him it will all be over soon. I tell him the lies I wanted to hear.

I stalk closer, swinging my hips. He is petrified. He is immobile. He is responsive. When I shove my tongue down his throat he thrashes about, fights. I bite down. Hard. Suckling the blood he offers, thinking it's not enough, it will never be enough. My lips sink into the flesh near his neck. My hands tear the flesh from his back, and release him when he is cold and drained. Feeling well fed and powerful. I glance back at the puddle, which has been diluted by blood. Tainted. I have never seen someone as beautiful as the person who stares back.

..

I play with Angela to distract myself. Her blood is especially attractive to me. I have opened up Pandora's box. I search through her fridge trying to find something more appealing to me than her blood. I shove the chicken down my throat. Do not eat Angela Webber.

Suddenly I can't breathe, a stream of black ferromagnetic fluid shoots out of my mouth. I wonder if my head is secure in its location on my shoulders.

The look on Angela's face is one I can't describe. She is siphoning through a multitude of facial expressions. Guilt. Remorse. Shock. Despair. Disgust.

I can't look at her anymore.

She calls out after me.

I don't turn around.

I don't pass go.

I don't collect $200.

I run.

I run to the place that used to be so symbolic of my love for him and I collapse in a heap on the forest floor. My ears watery, but not overflowing. I dry sob.

And when the sun sets over the horizon, I run some more.