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Frailty, The Darkshine

By:Jenika Snow

They came

Helina drove in her Jeep Liberty over to her sister’s house. Although the day was picturesque, she felt that something was definitely not right. The air was still, and not even the wind swept through in a light breeze. She didn’t hear any birds chirping in the distance, not even the sound of a dog barking in the distance. It wasn’t just that though.

She hadn’t seen any cars on the road, and although she took the back way to get to her sister’s house, there was this little voice in the back of her head that said she needed to be alert. It was that fight or flight instinct, that feeling that told people to go back to their primal ways and fight. It was as if the whole world had stopped.

She pulled into her sister’s driveway and a shiver skated down her spine. No, something was definitely wrong. She didn’t move, and sat there for a moment. The small development that Lizelle lived in was normally quiet, but it was the weekend, and there wasn’t any activity.

None at all.

Helina got out of the car, walked up to the front door, and knocked. She glanced over her shoulder, feeling the hairs on the back of her neck lift, and turned back forward. After knocking once more and not getting a response, she gripped the brass handle and pushed the door open. As soon as she stepped inside she knew something was terribly wrong. She smelled something strong coat the air, something that was tangy and thick and made her gag. Her sisters’ house was eerily quiet. She closed the door and just stood there. She called out, but nothingness is what answered back. Making her way to Lizelle’s bedroom, Helina stood in front of the closed door with her heart beating rapidly.

She pushed the door open and it swung inward soundlessly. The sight before her had her mouth dropping open in horror. Lizelle was on her back in the middle of the room, her lifeless eyes staring at the ceiling, her mouth open in a silent scream. Twin puncture marks marred her neck, two rivulets of blood making a path down her arm to pool around her still body. Noise from the corner caught her attention and Helina turned her head, her whole body in shock.

He was a monster from a nightmare, a creature that she would never forget for as long as she lived. His mouth was stained red, his fangs touching his lower lips and dripping her sister’s crimson blood down his chin. He didn’t look like a normal man—not because of the fangs, but because of his sheer size and presence. It was as if there was an air of evil and danger that poured off of him. He was taller and bigger than any man she had ever seen, his muscles so pronounced Helina knew he could crush her bones with one hand.

His head was shaved, his eyes so blue it was as if she stared into Caribbean water. Black flame tattoos snaked their way up the sides of his neck, so sinister in their appearance that she actually started to shake. The sight of that dark ink made his presence that more frightening. Her fists bunched into balls, but she knew there was no way she would be able to defeat a creature such as him. Helina looked at her sister and wanted to fall to her knees and weep. Looking at her sister’s murderer again, she felt terror course through her body as he stared at her as if he hadn’t yet had his fill.

“Run.”

That one deep, dark word sent intense fear through her and her breath actually stopped. She ran so fast and hard that the only sound she heard was of her feet hitting the hardwood floor, and the erratic rhythm of her heart. Helina ran out of her house and into the bright Saturday morning—the sun blinding her momentarily and causing her to halt. She got in her car and peeled out of the driveway, driving so fast that she smelled the rubber burn off her tires.

She left Lizelle’s house, left her sister’s poor body lying on the floor in her bedroom as she ran like a coward. As she drove off, Helina prayed she wasn’t the only one of her kind left.

The beginning of the end

Helina drove fast and recklessly, her cheeks wet with tears and her eyes swollen and red. She knew it wouldn’t be wise of her to go back to her home, but she couldn’t just leave with nothing to her name. Against all common sense, she went back to her house, all the while hoping that the monster that had killed her sister wasn’t right behind her.

She grabbed all she could, running back and forth between her house and her car. Anything she could fit into her Jeep Liberty went. By the time she drove out of there, she couldn’t see out her back window. At first her mind was blank, and she had no idea where to go or what to do. After a good twenty minutes of staring at the road beneath her tires, she knew where she would go where those monsters couldn’t find her—at least she hoped they wouldn’t. It was the oddest thing to see, the roads empty, the streets void of any life. Helina had no idea what was going on, but there was a feeling in the pit of her stomach that warned her of horrible things.

Her parents—before they died—used to take her sister and her camping at Saragon Lake next to the Saragon National Forest. During the summer months it had been an every weekend kind of thing. Helina and Lizelle used to play hide and seek in the woods connected to the campground. During their ‘expeditions’, they had come across a small, almost invisible opening at the base of the mountains. It had been big enough for them to pass easily thorough, but of course, they had been small children at the time. They had called it their “secret closet.”

Fresh tears started to pour out of her eyes as she remembered the times she and Lizelle had shared those moments. Helina knew that she would go to the spot that her sister loved so much, where their memories were strongest. She didn’t know if she would be able to find it. It had been years since they had been there, but she knew she had to try.

An hour into her drive she turned off onto a dirt road. Finding it became easy when the sights

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