Chapter OneMature

           Cora's gaze locked with burnt amber eyes. The creature had a partially human body, but what confused Cora the most was the inhuman claws protruding from what should’ve been hands. Instead of skin, sleek black hair covered its bony body, and pointed ears stuck out on either sides of its head. Cora’s scream froze in her throat when an enormously long wingspan of leathery, veiny wings unfurled from its back, sending sprigs of hay and dust flying in every direction.

           She wanted to run; she desperately wanted to bolt back down the steps and away from the barn. She wanted to be back in her old bed and snuggled deep in the blankets, plugged in to her music, tuning out all the things she didn’t want to think, see, or hear. But there was no absolutely no possibility of that, especially when she was paralyzed in fear, hypnotized by the largest pair of yellow eyes she’s ever seen.

           Hopefully the only pair of yellow eyes she’d ever see.

           The two stared at each other for several heart-stopping moments, before the thing stretched its wings out to full wingspan (Cora guessed at least thirteen feet across) and let out a menacing hiss. Its jowls were hairy; its snout elongated like an animal. When it opened its mouth, white teeth sparkled cleanly in the dark, pointed and looking very supernatural.

           Cora finally got the courage to swallow the sudden dryness in her throat.

           Oh God... what is this? The girl thought in horror, and a cold sweat broke out across her forehead, which had never happened before.

           Your worst nightmare, the thought abruptly popped into her head, terrifying her even more.

           Her thoughts weren’t clouding her mind anymore. She understood this when images of similar looking creatures were flashing repeatedly in her mind’s eye, all with varying combinations of beastly characteristics. Her head was encased into a dizzy spell until she could no longer see straight, by some unknown force other than the disturbing pictures. The last thing she saw was black dots flooding her vision even more, the last thing she heard was the sound of her limp body crashing down the stairs.

The End

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