It was in Izzy's thirteenth year that Sharon began to notice a change in her attitude. The girl became more dependant, and disregarded any parental authority Sharon tried to enforce upon her. Izzy could still be the sweetest girl a mother could ask for, and Sharon loved her dearly, but when it came to what Izzy wanted Sharon's say-so ceased to matter. Her plans to move into the city also fell through the floor. Nobody wanted a secluded old house like the one Izzy and herself confined in, hermits had long since gone out of style.
One particularly insignificant evening, one of many in which Izzy's mother was not due home until late that night. Another tormenting night where Sharon's mind would ease at nothing, much as she wished she could trust her daughter she knew in the pit of her tired heart that the girl could just not be left alone in those woodlands. And just as she expected, Izzy had snuck off into the wilderness, and why not? Who was to stop her?
"Izzy, my girl!" Icaris beckoned from the cave he dwelled in. "I haven't seen you around for a while."
"Buzz off, Icaris." Izzy told the imp without bothering to satisfy him with a glance in his direction. Though in her mind's eye she could imagine a portrait of him, detailed to the finest scale. The beard of his thin, wedge-shaped face came to a point, and his left eye was sealed shut by what appeared to be the work of fire. The outline of ribs traced along the path of his stomach, which one could relate to that of a malnutritioned child's, and his elbows poked out from his bony ribs so far it looked as if his skin were about ready to split. It was likely that he was stroking himself to the sight of her, as always. She could hear him cursing her from his cavernous home. It was funny, how she couldn't hear a thing spoken by the lips of a human, or any noise for that matter, with the exception of the voices of the forest's bizarre inhabitants. That just may of been her greatest attraction to the woods. From the imps in their caves to the demons hunting the woodland critters with their sticks carved to perfect tips that could stab effortlessly into the coat and body of any helpless animal, Izzy felt welcomed. Sure, some of them were a little to the odd side, like Icaris for example, but it was the closest thing to a family she had in her sorry life.