Chapter 1, Part 1

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Pain seared through my abdomen. I'd never been stupid enough to stick my hand in fire before. However, as heat pulsed through my senses I had to imagine that this was the closest comparison. Hot blood poured from my gaping wound. I clamped my hand down over top of it in a vain attempt to stop its flow. As if in defiance, it streamed over my paling fingers and down my arm. I started to slide down the tree I'd been backed up against. My dress caught on the bark on my way down. Then I stopped sliding as the knife caught me once more, in the chest this time.

A gasp tore from my throat. It sounded far off and foreign to me. Like it had come from a long ways away. My heart pounded in my chest and ears. Each pump it made forced more blood from my body. I could feel it leaving me. That's when the realization, sharper than any knife, hit me. This was to be my last moment of life.

Why was this happening? I opened my mouth to speak. To ask him that question. No sound came though. Just another horrible gasping noise. I'd trusted him...

This didn't make any sense.

This wasn't supposed to happen. A fog started to close in. It folded over my mind and lay like a heavy blanket.

I was supposed to be going home. I needed to tell him. He had to know. Now, however, I was dying in the middle of the forest.

I hit the ground with a dull thud. All my strength fled from me. I couldn't get up no matter how hard I tried. My legs just wouldn't work. Coldness crept across my body, starting my fingers and toes and slowly reaching inwards. The blood coated, my blood, knife dropped to the ground beside me. One thought pushed it's way through my pain addled brain as I slipped sideways.

I hadn't even gotten a chance to say goodbye...

"Luke!" I called out as I banged on the door to my brother's bedroom, "Get up!"

"Luke!" I called out as I banged on the door to my brother's bedroom, "Get up!"

"Go away Gen!" he groaned through the door, and most likely his pillow. Still at least it was good that he acknowledged me. It told me he was up.

I turned away from the door and went back to the kitchen, knowing that my younger brother would be getting up. No one could ever sleep through my shouting. Dad had called it one of my many gifts. I was proved right a few minutes later. Luke came into the kitchen still looking bedraggled with sleep, hair still sticking up at all angles and sleep crusted on his eyes. He cast a glare at me before grabbing a bowl and cereal from a cupboard. I couldn't muster up a lot of sympathy for him or regret waking him up. Luke stayed out way too late and way too often for me to feel bad. Sheesh, sometimes I wondered what he was doing so late at night. Then again, it was probably better that I didn't ask. I really didn't want to know what particular teen boy thing my teen brother was doing.

We had always been really close. That kind of happened when you were born only eighteen months apart from one another. A lot of people had mistaken us for twins while growing up because of our close age. Well, that and the fact that we looked nearly identical to one another. There was no way that Luke could ever deny being my brother. We shared the same mousy brown hair that hung in our face, crystal blue eyes, and slender frame. Luke had been teased unmercifully when he was younger. His classmates had called him gangly. Thankfully, I'd escaped the teasing. In fact, I'd found many admirers in high school and now in college.

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