• The sun shone brightly into her room.. The stereo was on and music was
    flowing all around. Her bed was a mess, her closet seemed like a
    disaster.. Her precious teddy bear sat snugly on her desk. The song
    surrounded the room..

    It's a beautiful morning.. She thought, picking up a picture frame
    from her desk. You could've at least lived to see this, she whispered,
    you nuthead. Smiling, she touched the frame's glass. She was always
    accustomed to call her brother that way...

    Don't you dare smile at me... Talking to her brother's wide grin on
    the photo. There's nothing to smile about... Somehow, she miss that
    smile. Miss that cheerfulness.. Miss the warm presence.. She missed her
    brother. Nothing at all...

    Tears started to well up in her eyes... Waves of emotion came crashing
    into her... Why did you have to go so soon? I hate you. I hate hate hate
    She held the frame to her chest tightly... It was painful.

    Memories of that fateful day started spinning in her head.

    "ANIKA! RUN!!" her brother's voice..

    "wh-what's going on?!"

    "JUST RUN!"

    "GO! FASTER!!" his voice was hysterical.. following behind her..

    Then a growl.. The dark figure walked out of the hedges. she froze.
    Rain kept falling heavily. Thunder shocked through her.
    Fear took over her whole body.

    "s**t! There are two of them! ANIKA! RUN!"

    She couldn't, She was glued to the ground.
    Anika shut her eyes, knowing what would come next...
    a ripping sound... and then.. Pain..

    "ANIKA!!!!!" she'll never forget the horror in his voice..

    Collapsing, Strong steady arms grabbed her.
    "Come on! come on! Anika, Oh please!" His voice begged.
    All she could think of was pain..
    "AAAH!! Kuya!!!" She hissed with clenched teeth.
    sharp, intense pain crept to her shoulder.

    They were running. her shirt's turning red. Oh no..
    Pain struck her head like lightning.. Her brother's arm surround her.
    She was damp, not only from the rain.. the liquid was warm.

    "Come on, Anika! you told me you were strong right?!"
    she heard him whisper to her as they ran through the woods..
    "come on, prove it to me!"
    she can hear the paws pounding behind them, chasing..

    and then pure silence.

    "K-Kuya... I'm okay."

    "NO! No.. just lay down. please, you're losing blood."

    "A-are they gone?"

    "For now.."

    "Kuya.. I-I miss mom.."

    "Me too.. shh.. don't cry."

    "Kuya, l-look at you. You're a mess. Dad won't be happy when he sees
    you're wearing his shirt."

    He chuckled and she saw that beautiful smile she will never forget.

    "you're so silly. Don't you worry okay? Kuya's here..
    I'll protect you with my life, I promise."
    She felt a his warm presence around her despite the cold..

    Then a cracking sound.

    "s**t." was all her brother could say.
    and she knew the danger and fear was back.
    she trembled...

    She felt his lips on her forehead.
    she reached out.. she didn't want him to leave.

    "No... Kuya.. Don't.."

    He slipped out of her hands..

    "I love you, sis. Take care of Dad."

    and then, he was gone.

    Anika woke up.
    It was mid-day. she blinked.. Her eyes were sticky. I must've cried myself to sleep, she thought.
    She sat up, rubbing her eyes.

    Huh? feeling a lump somewhere in her blanket.. it was the picture frame.
    She held the wooden structure in her hands, intently looking at her brother's expression.

    "You always seem to make me cry kuya.. you know that."
    She chuckled, gently running her fingers on the photograph.

    "I love you too kuya.. I miss you." she held the frame to her chest.

    A knock on the door.
    "Anika! Wake up, Iha! I need you to run some errands for me!"

    "Be right there dad!" She shouted back.

    "I guess I'll talk to you later then.. bye kuya." kissing the frame, she place it on her desk.

    Slipping into her trusty jacket, she headed for the kitchen.. her father's own royal court.