• Prologue:

    “Hey! Wake up, sleepy head! It’s time to go to school!”

    “Hm?….. Oh, shoot!”

    Silleva jumped quickly out of bed at the nagging of her younger brother. Her long, wavy black hair was rumpled, but still gorgeous. As Silleva flew around the room, trying to get ready for school, her younger brother, Sethulus, sat on the edge of her bed, kicking his feet back and forth. He was barely 8 years old, his birthday only having been three days earlier. Sethulus had short, straight, blond hair, the exact opposite of his 17 year old sister’s. He had fair skin, sensitive to the sunlight, and his nose was covered in boyish freckles. Silleva finally managed to pull a T-shirt and a pair of shorts on to cover her tanned skin, and started out of her room. Suddenly, she skidded to a halt.

    “Waaaaaait a minute… We don’t have school today! It’s Saturday!”

    Sethulus giggled at his own practical joke, and Silleva grumbled and darted down the steps toward the kitchen. She could smell breakfast being made, and realized her father had probably been the one to send Sethulus up to wake her. She inwardly made a note to be very, very stubborn that day.

    “’Mornin’, sunshine! Nice to see you up. I made your favorite!”

    Well, maybe not too stubborn.

    “Thanks, Dad!”

    Silleva grabbed the glass of strawberry-banana smoothie sitting on the counter for her and chugged it down. Then, she gave a thankful wave to her father and headed for the front door.

    “Where ya headin’, kiddo?”

    Silleva flinched at her father’s wording.

    “For a jog. I’ll be back by lunch, Dad! See ya!”

    Silleva jogged right out the front door, and all the way to the other side of town before she realized she wasn’t wearing any shoes. She thanked whatever was up there that she lived in a clean neighborhood and that it was almost summer vacation as well, so it was warm.

    She thought about her plans for the summer as she jogged back toward her house. With only two days left until summer break began, she was surprised to come up blank. Silleva was so cought up in her own thoughts that she didn’t see the men walking down the sidewalk in front of her, and she ran into them head-long.

    “Oof! Oh, um, sorry. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.”

    The tall, skinny man pushed his sunglasses up a little further on his face with his gloved hand, and looked at her more closely. The broad-chested man cocked his head to the side.

    “And where would you be going?” He looked her up and down, then reached into the left pocket of his trench coat. The hairs on the back of Silleva’s neck stood on end.

    “Uh, um. N-no where important. I, uh, gotta be going, though. Nice talking to you!”

    Silleva darted past them and sprinted the rest of the way home. She slammed the door behind her and backed away from it slowly.
    “Well, that was fast.”


    Silleva swung around, only to find her father standing there with his arms crossed over his chest and his foot tapping at the floor.

    “Mind sharin’ why you’re so jumpy?”

    Silleva closed her eyes briefly in relief at the sound of her father’s southern twang.

    “Just some guys that seemed a little suspicious. I’m okay, Dad.”

    He nodded, and turned back toward the kitchen, revealing what she had always thought to be the butt of a sharp, cutting knife, which he carried with him because of his cooking profession. But, for the first time this morning, or any other morning for that matter, she suddenly realized her father carried a gun.


    Silleva's father went back to the kitchen and pulled out his cell phone. Quickly dialing the all too familiar number, he put the tiny phone to his ear with one hand, and flipped the pancakes he was making for his son with the other. The phone rang twice, then was picked up.

    "Yula? Wretin, here. They were watching her again. This time, I think they made contact. She certinly noticed them. Please get everyone ready. It's all about to hit the fan."