I do not own any part of the Beautiful Dead book series.

Prologue

Hunter closed his eyes and tilted his head back, struggling to regain control. When he looked at me again the eyes were fired up with anger. "What's the use?" he demanded. "I try to explain, I lay out the boundaries as clear as day and you still overstep the mark."

"I'm sorry. Forget I said it."

"You don't talk about Marie – not ever! Not to others and especially not to me. I won't listen to you dirty her name!"

"I said I'm sorry."

"Darina – one more move like this and I'm through with you. You sit there and listen, you hear? If I had the power to wipe just part of your memory I'd do it. I'd take out all your knowledge of my wife. You wouldn't even know her name."

I felt the blade of his anger scythe me down, leave me lying flat on the ground. I held on to the sides of my seat and sat in dread.

"But that's fine tuning and it's not possible," he went on. "I can zap the whole of your Beautiful Dead memory or none of it. Which is it going to be?"

"Please, Hunter..." I knew that once again he was a millimetre away from tossing me out of their lives like garbage. Those eyes – they were burning into me.

"You've had enough chances, Darina. Summer's running out of time, and you can't allow yourself to be distracted like this!"

I wanted to answer that he was the overlord, and it was initially his job to help the others over, but I knew that I'd just sound like a whiny little kid. I should be grateful for the extra time that I had with them.

But of course, thanks to his mind reading abilities, Hunter heard it anyway. "That's enough, Darina! I've given you the chance to see your friends again, to help them. I've given you the chance to see Phoenix again, and every time you've complained that it wasn't enough, like a spoiled child!" He drew in a great breath like he was building up and releasing all his pent-up anger. He looked like some kind of enraged god, about to unleash a hurricane on the world.

"You've barely made an effort with trying to help Summer and the others. It was easier for Jonas and Arizona, but this time you had to do a little bit of work, and you all but quit. I didn't think you were one to give up easy, Darina. When we tried to keep you away from our world you were stubborn, persistent. I thought you could help us, but apparently I made the wrong decision. It's all over, Darina. Go home."

He looked me directly in the eye then, and I didn't even have time to panic about all the memories I'd lose – what had happened to Jonas, Arizona. I wouldn't remember Phoenix. He couldn't do this to me – I needed them! I tried to beg him with my eyes and my mind not to take my memories away, but my time was already up.

I suddenly felt a huge wind whipping around me. Again, I thought of a hurricane. But I knew that it wasn't, because in the next second I heard the sound of a thousand beating wings pounding on my eardrums, louder than I'd ever heard it. And it felt as strong as any hurricane – it brought me down to my knees with the sheer power and force behind it. My hands were clutching at my ears and I was screaming, but this time, Hunter wouldn't stop. I felt like there was an electric current running through my head, and it was slowly pulsing its way through the rest of my body, burning and crackling as it went. I just wanted it to stop. I'd already lost my grip on my surroundings and all I could think about was the pain.

As quickly as it started, the pounding stopped. But there was still echoes of it my head.

They rang through a thick fog, like a church clock rings through a graveyard. There was no room for anything else to register in my brain.

My head felt heavy... and dizzy. I felt someone catch me before I fell face-forward onto the ground, but I didn't even have the chance to wonder who it was before the world went black.


A/N: The stuff in bold text is taken directly from Book 3: Summer. Please R&R if you're actually interested in reading a story like this, cos I don't know whether or not to actually continue it, and I probably won't if you don't like it, or no one's going to read it.