When Elena walked into the cafeteria, the room grew silent. Normally unruly, the 7th grade at Miller Middle could have been a group of dead corpses. Elena's appearance, usually temperate, was now shockingly divulging. She wore a hot pink tank top and a far-too-short blue jean mini-skirt with a surfeit of rhinestones. Not to mention that her long, straight brown hair had been cut up to the middle of her neck.

Everyone, especially the boys, stared at Elena as she walked down the aisle. Her face was lined with dignity and experience, despite her state of appearance. Elena had augmented her wardrobe over the summer and consorted with a boy from Astoria, Oregon. She had not had much time to repose for long.

On the last day of school before summer vacation, Elena Reed had gone home to find her house empty. Well, almost empty. She heard a slight rustle behind her and spun around quickly, but nervously. She wasn't sure what she had caught a glimpse of before the person disappeared into the corner of the room.

Elena spun around, fraught with nervousness. She gasped in shock when she noticed a perturbation in what she had first thought to be an empty room.

"Mom? Dad?" she called, her voice tainted with worry.

"Your parents are not here," a voice said softly from the shadows.

Elena recoiled, now frightened. "Who are you? How did you get in?" she asked the mysterious figure.

The person stepped into the light so she could see him more clearly. His expression was wary, and in no way laudable. He seemed to be extremely guilty about something.

He offered her an explanation. "I must apologize. I did not wish to hurt you, but I was ravenous and I absolutely abhor the taste of animals..."

"Stop!" Elena broke in. "Stop this meaningless banter. I have no idea...what do you mean, you abhor animals?"

"Elena." He said, deadly serious now. "I am a vampire."

Elena was speechless. The boy continued on.

"I would stay to explain, but I am afraid I cannot tarry. You see, there is a great tyranny where I come from, and my family and I wish to overthrow the government."

Elena was silent for a moment, and then asked, "But where are my parents?"

"Ah. Well, you see, about that..." he trailed off, looking miserable and ashamed once more.

"You didn't...you couldn't...." Elena realized what he had done.

"I am truly sorry."

Elena was frozen with shock and horror. She was incredulous at the idea of her parents being-- but she couldn't think it. She shuddered and stared at the boy, wide-eyed; just now realizing what danger she was in.

The boy exclaimed, "I have an idea! You can stay with my sister, Allie!"

Elena jumped, startled. She didn't expect him to care about her personal life...unless he had some ulterior motive. She just sighed miserably. "Okay."

The boy now had a brilliant smile on his face. "I suppose I don't have to tell you that you must keep your knowledge of my existence a secret–to humans, anyway."

She shook her head. Obviously not, she thought, annoyed. She disliked his superior visage.

"Then goodbye for now. Oh, and by the way, my name is Eli." He flashed his wide grin again, and quickly departed.

Elena slumped to the ground and held her face in her hands, shaking with the impact of her silent sobbing.