Here's the thing. I'm re-writing this story. Dana's going to be a little different, a little older to better match her personality. The story isn't going to start right off with the Gaang or anything.

This? This is... sort of an "I'm sorry I deleted everything, but here's a better written first chapter/prologue!" thing?

x X x

Shadows, deep as pitch beyond the glow of a penlight. Sounds of scratching things in the dark, the moan of an old house. Carpets, threadbare and crusted with decades of grime, quietly crunching beneath her shoes. The walls were peeled in places and cracked, the stains of time and messy people covering many areas, and somehow it appeared as though the creaky house slanted in tune with the howling wind outside.

Terror more potent than what any horror has inspired dogged her steps, kept her heart pounding and her breath fast.

The multitool in her hand, a for-protection loan from Nelly, was hardly a comfort, but she hoped it would let her save herself if there was some weirdo in the place. Her friends had promised her it was safe, and she was still certain she was pulling a move worthy of getting her a Darwin Award, and all for fifty bucks! Collect five items, they said, and a coin or two from an old box up in the damned attic. This was how horror stories started, what was she thinking? And all for buying more of her favorite things? Ha, she was so damn stupid.

In the attic now, she swept her penlight in a shaky arch, taking in the sharp, curved, and nearly alive looking shadows created by covers shielding old furniture from dust, boxes, and leaning mattresses and rolled carpets. The shadows looked like claws and mouths in her morbid, fear warped mind, and as she approached a small table in the middle of a cleared area, she felt a chill breeze blow through the room. Freezing in place, she took a precious half-minute to berate herself for acting like a rabbit and forced now leaden-feeling legs to take one shuffling step forward at a time.

She heard a skitter, of what may have been a rat, race across the clear path behind her and she yelped. Several curses left her mouth as her face twisted in frustration at herself and she stomped forward, grabbed the medium sized box, and decided to take it all. Let one of her friends take the scary trip through the building to return the coins for someone else's Hallowe'en Horror Hunt. Passive-Aggressive revenge is still revenge after-all, and nothing short of a gun or a needle of cyanide would make her do it herself.

Now more amused than scared, she slipped off her backpack, a lovely dark blue gift that was designed to look vaguely like the TARDIS from Doctor Who, and dumped all the coins into a small pocket with a smile that she knew was more than a bit vindictive. She was never one to lie unless forced to, and so she only ever said, rather agreed, that she was nice was when her two best friends strong-armed her into doing so.

Which is to say, of course, that she never felt like a good person.

Still sporting a mildly vindictive smile on her lips, one hiding fear knowing she was about to make the trip out again, she turned and immediately threw herself backwards, with a true and ringing scream, at a terrifying sight floating several feet back in the dark gloom. They were large glowing eyes, bright as the pale full moon she had admired on the walk over to the House of Scary Shadows. That small table collided with her side, breaking and providing a terrible landing. Pain, sharp and almost breathtaking, burst along her side and hip as the old thing gave way and splintered. Pieces jabbed into her, pricking only deeper as she began scrambling back to get away from the eyes trailing after her lazily.

They blinked out of existence and she had several seconds to try and calm down, precious seconds to worry whether she had actually lost her mind, or whether there was something wrong in her wiring and she was suddenly schizophrenic, when they reappeared a foot away from her face. Strange laughter battered her ears, sounding as though three voices were laughing just a little off center of synchronized, and then she was falling.

Wind rushed past her ears in a roar that drowned out all thought, leaving only primal terror raking through her like the claws of a bear.