• Melody shrugged off that sense of foreboding that came with December rain. She pulled her coat closely around her body, and took that first step off the front porch.

    A wet leaf layed, half-crinkled, under her newly polished sneaker. And it's no surprise that it decided to unravel itself when she moved again. One leg flew forward, while the other stayed in place. The rest of her falling backwards, while her hands reached for the nearest rail.

    It felt like an eternity, rather than only a few seconds, before her gloved fingers gripped the rusty handrail. "Whoa!," she cried, "that was close..."

    She quickly stood to adjust herself, unwrinkling her uniform and setting her book bag into a comfortable postion. She ruffled her short, red hair back into place as she looked across the street to her bus stop.

    A tall boy, about seventeen years old, stood directly across from her. He wore a long, black raincoat with the hood covering his face. He seemed to be staring at her, but she shook her head and darted across the concrete.

    The street lamp flickerd above the bus stop as the mysterious boy continued to stare across the way. She stood next to him, and did the same.

    He spoke with a heavy voice that seemed to break the silence, "You took quite a tumble, there."

    "Huh? Oh!...yea...," she replied with surprise.
    "You really should be more careful.."
    She looked at him with curiousity, as if she did not know the words.
    "You could get hurt, Melody..."
    His image faded into the darkness as the bus stopped before them...

    Most of the day went by without a thought. By third period, hunger had set into Melody's stomach and it churned wildly as her legs quivered with impatience.

    The bell rang and she darted out of the classroom, only to stop and see the tall boy - again- standing at the end of the hall in front of the starewell. His coat was dripping wet, as if he had just come in from a downpour.

    His head hung down, not in shame, no. But is shoulders shook. Was he laughing?

    He lifted his head, and for the first time, she saw his face. His chin was broad, while the rest of his face was flat and wide. His hair was long, curly, and about as dark as the raincoat he wore. His right eye was an icy blue, and the left.... wasn't there. A large, bowl-like crator was in the place of his left eye. Scars clustered around the rim of the large hole, and seemed fresh.

    He disappeared aroud the corner, and without a thought, she followed him. She jogged after him down the stairs, following the puddles of water, when - not even half way down- she slipped.

    She hit the steps with a trumendous crash, the cracking of her skull echoed about the hallway.

    "Mel?! Oh my God! Melody!," cried her friend, Stella. A wave of people towered over the top of the starewell, but it all was a blur.

    A teacher came and kneeled by her. She could feel the cold hands on her face, and the blood that trickled from her head.

    Everyone tried to keep her awake while they waited for the paramedics, but her body just wouldn't comply. "I'm really sleepy," she said.
    "No, Mel. Stay awake," Stella replied.

    She handed her cell phone to Stella, staring at her intently.
    "What do you ant me to do with this, Mel?", she asked.
    "Call James, and tell him I'm sorry. Call Tommy, and tell him I forgive him. And please... I beg of you... Call Kannon. Tell him I still love him, even though he might not love me back."

    Melody Truebaker sighed and closed her eyes, reciting a prayer she hadn't for a long time.

    I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord,
    my soul to keep

    If I should die
    before I 'wake,
    I pray the Lord,
    my soul to take..."

    Pain comes in many forms. And for Melody Truebaker, the pain she caused came as the Angel of Death. She chased the pain, because she can't really stand to see it. But in the end, she became the end.

    The boys, that which he held near and dear to her heart, know that she meant every last word... And like the December rain, her memory only lingers when the sun breaks through the coulds.