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Chapter 3

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Chapter Three

Caitlin ran. The bullies were back, and they were chasing her down the alleyway. A dead end lay before her, a massive wall, but she ran anyway, right towards it. As she ran, she picked up speed, impossible speed, and the buildings flew by in a blur. She could feel the wind rushing through her hair.

As she got closer, she leapt, and in a single bound she was at the top of the wall, thirty feet high. One more leap, and she flew through the air again, thirty feet, twenty, landing on the concrete without losing a stride, still running, running. She felt powerful, invincible. Her speed increased even more, and she felt like she could fly.

She looked down and before her eyes the concrete changed to grass—tall, swaying, green grass. She ran through a prairie, the sun shining, and she recognized it as the home of her early childhood.

In the distance, she could sense that her father stood on the horizon. As she ran, she felt she was getting closer to him. She saw him coming into focus. He stood with a large smile, and arms spread wide.

She ached to see him again. She ran for all she was worth. But as she got closer, he got further away.

Suddenly, she was falling.

A huge, medieval door opened, and she entered a church. She walked down a dimly-lit aisle, torches burning on either side of her. Before a pulpit, a man stood with his back to her, kneeling. As she got closer, he stood and turned.

It was a priest. He looked at her, and his face filled with fear. She felt the blood coursing through her veins, and she watched herself as she approached him, unable to stop herself. He raised a cross to her face, afraid.

She pounced on him. She felt her teeth grow long, too long, and watched as they plunged into the priest's neck.

He shrieked, but she didn't care. She felt his blood course through her teeth and into her veins, and it was the greatest feeling of her life.

Caitlin sat straight up in bed, breathing hard. She looked all around her, disoriented. Harsh morning sunlight streamed in.

Finally, she realized she had been dreaming. She wiped the cool sweat from her temples and sat on the edge of her bed.

Silence. Judging from the light, Sam and her Mom must have already left. She looked at the clock and saw that it was indeed late: 8:15. She'd be late for her second day of school.

Perfect.
She was surprised that Sam hadn't woken her up. In all their years, he'd never let her oversleep—he'd always wake her if he was leaving first.

He must still be mad about last night.

She glanced at her cell: dead. She had forgot to charge it. It was just as well. She didn't feel like talking to anyone.

She threw on some clothes from the floor and ran her hands through her hair. She normally would just leave without eating, but this morning she felt thirsty. Unusually thirsty. She went to the fridge and grabbed a half gallon of red grapefruit juice. In a sudden frenzy, she tore off the top and gulped it right from the container. She didn't stop gulping until she'd downed the entire half gallon.

She looked at the empty container. Had she just drank all of that? In her life, she'd never drank more than a half a glass. She watched herself reach up and crush the cardboard container in a single hand, down to a tiny ball. She couldn't understand what this newfound strength was that coursed through her veins. It was exciting. And scary.

She was still thirsty. And hungry. But not for food. Her veins screamed for something more, but she couldn't understand what.

*

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