01 | Run, Riss!
”I have no idea what Im going to do with you! I couldn believe you could do something like this! Where did we go wrong while raising you, Riss?! ” Dad grunted in disappointment while driving down the dark road.
Dad glanced at me through the front mirror. He centered his eyes on my outfit. Im currently dressed in a crop top and short skirt, allowing me to feel the cool breeze. I looked out the window right away. Im not interested in seeing his disappointed expression. As his daughter, I am well aware of how disappointing I am. But then, dad never tried to understand me.
Ive always been a loner, an outsider. For whatever reason, no one wants to befriend me. Tonight would have been different if he hadn ruined everything! Stacy invited me to her party, but as the party was starting, Dad suddenly came and dragged me out. Im not sure how Ill deal with them tomorrow. Theyll probably make fun of me. My high school years have been wrecked now.
e just seventeen but look at yourself. You look like some girl at a bar— ”
”Cedric! ” Mommy was enraged and hollered. Dad shrugged his shoulder.
”What? Im just trying to give her lessons. ”
”Bran can hear you! ”
They both glanced in the back to see my nine-month-old baby brother. Hes in his toddler car seat next to me. As if he could understand what they were saying.
I returned my attention to the road. There is almost no visible light other than the light from the car. It is a full moon tonight, but it is obscured by the thick clouds that cover the sky.
According to reports, there is a power outage, so roadside lights are useless right now.
We always take this route every time they drive me to school. The area is densely forested, with only one house visible. As a result, it is rare to see someone walking here in the morning and no one at night. We live in Herra town, while I study in Maarika, the name of the nearby town.
Whilst looking outside, a cloaked man standing at the side of the road drew my attention. I quickly followed it with my attention till we were a long distance apart and he vanished from my sight.
”Have you seen anyone earlier? ” I questioned out of the blue as I quickly drew their attention. Mommy looked confused as I heard Dads weak laugh.
Mom replied, ”We didn see anything. ”
”Theres something she sees that we don , ” dad remarked wryly.
I clenched my teeth but kept my mouth shut. Hes always like this.
I took another look out the window as we passed the man again a few seconds later. Im at a loss for words to describe the strange nervousness that engulfed me. Something isn quite right here.
”Dad, I swear! There is a man outside! ” I snarled, but all he did was shake his head as if he was telling me to stop messing up with them. I tensely looked outside and saw him for the third time. I lost my attention on the man when Bran suddenly burst into tears. Mom worriedly turned her attention to us.
”What happened? ” she asked.
”I… I don know. ” I rushed over to my brother and took him from his seat.
”Give him to me, ” Mommy said. Daddy cast a glance at us while driving. I was about to hand Bran over to Mom when the roadside lights unexpectedly switched on. My eyes widened when a shrouded figure appeared in front of the car.
It was already too late to stop the car. The man flew quickly due to the impact and rolled on the road.
”Oh my God! ” Mommys unexpected shouted. ”Did we hit him? ”
”Stay inside, ” Dad utterly said to me. They both went outside the car to check on the man while Im trying to get Bran to stop crying. I worriedly watched them approach the unconscious man. Did Dad murder him?
My heart was beating torridly when I sensed something unusual around me. I gradually browsed my eyes around and stopped at a certain place. I am filled with dread when I saw not just one but a group of cloaked men, simply hiding in the shadows of the trees.
I hurriedly got out of the car to warn them.
”Dad! Mom! Stay away from him! ” I screamed, but they only stared at me, puzzled.
”Come back here! ” I desperately shouted again. Dad didn listen and still check the man.
”No! ” I cried.
It was already too late when the man unexpectedly got up and bit Dad. I could hear Mommys shrill scream.
”Mom! Run! ” I yelled at her, but all she did was stand there, terrified. I was about to run up to her and pull her away when one of them suddenly appeared in front of her. I could not stop myself from screaming when I saw the large knife embedded in her stomach. Blood gushed from the blade as she collapsed to the ground. The cloaked man drew out the knife and faced me.
”R-Run… ” Moms last word before her last breath. My legs were shaking as my grip on Bran tightened. I have to run for our lives!
The next thing I knew, I was already running into the dark woods. Im confident that if I take this route, Ill be in town in no time. I understand they are far faster than we are, but I haven given up hope. I just kept running while feeling those unknown creatures traveling through the dark woods like shadows. My legs were already giving up, but I didn stop running. Just what the hell are they?!
Because of the dark way, I didn notice the rock peeking from the ground. We rolled on the ground as I hugged Bran tightly to make sure of his safety. I groaned when my back hit a tree. It hurt like hell but I had to get up despite how difficult it was. I couldn feel my brother between my arms.
”B-Bran… ” I whispered when I saw one of them now holding Bran while I am surrounded by others. A-Are we going to die here?
They made their way gently toward me. Now, I was able to view them in their figures. They have sharp claws, and their feet are covered in fur, their blue eyes were visible in the dark because of their radiance, but I couldn see their faces as they were wearing black cloaks. I had no idea what type of creature they are. They resembled humans, yet they also resembled wild animals.
I was about to embrace my death when the moonlight appeared in front of me. They abruptly halted their progress and sheltered behind the woods.
A few seconds later, the entire area gradually became brighter because of the moonlight… and Bran was sitting quietly in the center of a pile of dried leaves as if nothing happened.
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