Disclaimer and note: I still don't own any of them. I'm sorry for the long wait - this was incredibly hard to write, and I still don't know if I got it right. I hope those of you who were kind enough to review chapter one notice this is here!

WARNING - the following part contains attempted rape of a small child. It's not very graphic, but still there.

Bare feet pounded the cracked concrete. Cement walls rose around the street, blocking out any light there may have been. The boy ran, faster and faster, a wild grin visible under the curtain of filthy hair concealing his pale body. He darted left, right, and finally into an alleyway beside an ancient apartment building. Some might have hidden inside the building itself, but he knew better. Death, slow and addictive, lay inside that building, running through the veins of creatures that had once been men. They'd kill for a little more death.

/Where I grew up, there weren't many trees/

He slunk carefully to the back of the alley, past the broken glass and needles, past the used condoms, into the shadows of the dumpster. A thin hand reached into the remnants of his shirt, and his face lit up as he revealed his prize - a fresh roll, pocketed from the grocery bag of someone who could afford another one, still warm and soft. It smelled wonderful, but the boy didn't take the time to appreciate it, instead tearing off a huge crusty chunk and stuffing it into his mouth, chewing as fast as he could. He ripped off another piece before he'd even swallowed - and stopped dead still, staring at the puddle at the entrance to the alley. His gaze moved further, to his own wet footprint, and he whimpered. The bread fell forgotten to the floor,and a shadow blocked the streetlamp.

It loomed huge over the boy, and a hand covered in wiry hair reached down and picked up the roll, stuffing it whole into a mouth missing several teeth. The boy cowered in terror, staring up and up and up at the thing he feared more than anything. The shadow swallowed and spoke.

"Haven't seen you in a while, boy. What have you got for me today?" The shadow's voice was dark and low, and the very tone of it made very clear that 'nothing' was not the right answer. A small high-pitched sound came from the prey trying desperately to melt into the ground, and the hunter grinned a ghastly grin. "Come again, boy? I didn't hear you."




"That's what I thought you said. You have to give me something. You know that, boy."

/Where there was we'd tear them down and use them on our enemies/ The shadow tapped something against his hand, long and heavy and solid. The varnish picked up what little light made it past the shadow, making the wood mimick the gleam in the shadow's eyes. "And you know what'll happen if I don't get it". The boy's eyes darted from side to side, searching for something, anything he could use to stop the shadow which now advanced on him, closer and closer, and reached a filthy hand to the piece of string that tied the ragged shorts around the bones of the boy's hips. He found nothing, and resorted to a last, desperate means of defense.

"Bastard. Your mother was a drunken whore and your father threw her out." The boy spat, and the shadow howled and struck the boy across the face.

/They say that what you mock will surely overtake you/

The shadow fondled him with one hand, while the other fiddled with his own zipper. It thrust itself at the boy, prying open his mouth, and the child took him in and bit down hard. Blood spurted into his mouth, and he spat out the piece and grabbed the bat. He brought it down with all his strength, weeping, again and again and again, while his bruised and bloody mouth formed the words 'Forgive me.'

/And you become a monster so the monster will not break you/

"Forgive me."