Author's note: Prologue to Through the Trees, although it can also work as a stand alone. Italics are the characters thoughts.

WARNING: This is somewhat of a horror/suspense story. I tried to tame down the story to not make it too scary and within the "Teen" rating.

Rating: PG-13

Chapter 1 – Darkness Falls

"Another day, another night. What do you think, Dermott?"

Chirp.

Bryn smiled and spread out the blanket over her bed. She tried to not let it bother her, but what Scratch said, that it was a shame that a girl of such pedigree would team up with such do-gooders, couldn't leave her mind. What did he mean by that? Does he know me? Of course he does; he's the devil. Is he trying to tell me something about my past? Maybe I should ask him. I'm sure he will be glad to help me. She chuckled at her sarcastic thought. Yeah right, the devil would love to help me. She shook her head playfully and lied down in bed. "Goodnight, Dermott."

Chirp. Chirp.

She smiled and closed her eyes.

Up on deck, Sinbad steered the Nomad through the depth of night. Thick fog wrapped itself around the ship. The full moon shined brightly overhead. The clouds moved quickly in the wind. In the distance a faint howl made its way through the blackness of the night.