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I wandered down the streets in the dark. It had been four years since I'd heard my feet clack on the pavement. I'd been in prison the whole time, ever since I was 13. I'd been charged with arson. I'd sort of burnt my house down. With my parents inside. They'd died in the blaze.
But now I was out, with no idea what to do with my life. Age 17, I had no life. At all. I'd never had any friends. I was the freak who's hair was bright red and who's eyes looked like fire. I was a Phoenix, like my brother. My mum had been human but my dad was Phoenix too. Our blood dilutes any kind of other blood.
I'd once had a friend, other than my brother. Her name was Lacey. She was beautiful. She wasn't human, like me. We spent almost every day together. It was only then that I realised I had loved her. She'd visited me a few times but after a while, the visits became less frequent until they stopped all together.
But anyway, walking down the empty streets, I thought about what I was supposed to do with my life now. 17 years old and no qualifications to get a job, no experience in life in the real world. That is, if you don't count prison as real life. It's probably the most real thing in this world. It opens your eyes to little you've accomplished in your life, and makes you suffer for it.
The bruises still marked my skin. They'd beaten me up in there, a lot to be honest. Their brutal fists, pounding against my skin... The mere memory of it still made me flinch.
I thought I saw something on top of the building to my right. I looked, but there was nothing there. Odd, I thought, my eyes never play tricks on me. I thought about what it was I'd seen. I could have sworn it was a figure of a man, crouching low. But obviously there wasn't.
I carried on walking through the darkness. I wanted to have a bed to sleep in. At least I'd had that during my sentence. Now all I had was the guilt, and the clothes I'd bought with some money I still had from before, there were the bruises too. They were still there, reminding me of my torture.
I shook my head; it was no use dwelling on any of that anymore. I wasn't there, I was here, out in the world with a hood up to cover my red hair. Though I was sure my eyes still pierced the blackness around me. Only the occasional street light lit the road I was walking down. The bits in between I left to my eyes, which responded to even the minimum amount of light. Plus, I could always summon a small flame to my hand. But I didn't want to do that anymore.
"Hey!" shouted a man from across the street.
I turned to look. There was a group, a gang, on the other side of the road. Then violence in their eyes was unmistakable. I knew what they wanted, they wanted me to run. I was in their territory and they wanted me out. I didn't give them the satisfaction. I carried on walking.
Soon, they were after me. They jumped on my back, pushing me to the ground. Their fists slammed into my chest, and my face, over and over again. I closed my eyes, trying not to struggle, though I couldn't help it; it was a reflex. I sighed inwardly. I felt like I was back there, the place that had been my home for four years.
I heard a whooshing sound and opened my eyes. A black shape landed on my attackers and soon had them running. He turned to me. My eyes widened in surprise, and horror, and fear.