Prologue: A Nightmare on Meadow Falls

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In Lakefield View, everybody has a secret. Behind every smile lies a dark story; behind every hello, a hidden goodbye. There are many legends about this town, beginning when it was first founded over a thousand years ago. One particular urban legend is that, once you leave the town and return, you're doomed to die. In fact, just stepping foot in Lakefield View is enough to curse a soul to a promised home in the ground. Why? There is a monster. It cloaks itself with a human identity. There are many monsters that live in the shadows, but only one is solely responsible for the fate of this abyssal sanctuary.

Lakefield View was a quiet, peaceful town until quite recently. The moon descended, immersing the spacious town in a haunting glow, a town locked in by miles and miles of unwelcoming trees. Not many people remained on the deserted streets at such a late hour. Rumour has it that many people have been killed while walking alone through one of these countless neighbourhoods. Rumour also has it that the people in the houses just watch from their windows when such murder occurs. Why should they help? They'd only be put in danger.

A sly fog rolled into the town like a flood from the forest, completely embedding the ground, hiding the pavements and roads from naked eyes. The graveyard almost broke at the seams with the amount of tombstones that lay undisturbed on this cold October night. The man who cares for the cemetery snuck away to his hiding place within the local abandoned church, knowing that evil will once again strike the town like it has done for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Meadow Falls is one of the few neighbourhoods that does not share the town's reputation. With gorgeous houses lining the street, the residents milk the opportunity to brag about their homes. Not all of the people who live there are smug and condescending, but the majority have a death wish. They should know better than to make other people jealous. If the wrong person gets jealous, they will take extreme measures to make sure said person gets what they want. It's that kind of town, every man, woman, child, killer, witch and monster for themselves.

The moon had hit its peak when a woman began screaming. Her desperate running through the fog-filled streets, from a mysterious person wearing an overgrown raincoat, was futile. The hood they wore blocked out any view of their face, keeping it a secret. Women looked from their houses to catch a glimpse of the latest casualty in the never-ending horror movie that is Lakefield View. The screaming girl saw them and shouted, but never did they respond. They kept watching, waiting for this girl to be put out of her misery.

They recognised her too. Her name is Stacey Hawkins, one of the four daughters of the richest man in Lakefield View. She had left town a couple of weeks before in search of her mother. Judging by her frantic screaming and the cloaked figure chasing her, she'd returned. Stacey knew the stories of how useless the people in these streets were. She knew better than to run to their houses and ask them to let her in. She knew better than to stop and ask for help.

Stacey ran towards Meadow Falls, which lay only a couple of streets away. In Meadow Falls rests one of the best cafés in town, the Pandora Café, the place where five youths work for a living.

For a town that looked terrifying at first glance, the Pandora Café was blessed to be so attractive. Surrounding the small building was a fake moat filled with crystal blue water and lights that illuminated the beauty of it all. The grass around the moat was pristine and thinly shaven. The wooden bridge that safely led customers inside was the cherry on top of a sickening change to the dreary appearance of the rest of the town. Everyone wanted to live in Meadow Falls and this is partly the reason why.

The interior was far better. Lights on the ceiling hung down like little beaming fireflies, adding a glow to what could be a restaurant in the middle of a jungle. Exotic plants and wooden furniture consumed the place, leaving the customers and staff satisfied with seeing such a gorgeous sight. Yes, the café looked perfect inside and out, but like everything else in Lakefield View, it had more than its fair share of secrets.

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