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Before I Sleep

My paws pound the hard earth as I swoop past trees with this new gracefulness I've been given. I soar through the dense woods like a bird, a very brave bird too. The unsettling noises of the night life, the chilling hoots of the owls, a pained howl from a coyote, no longer scare me, for now I am the stronger one.

"Lyssa," Clary whispered, "your not gonna let him get us are you?" She was trembling so much I almost thought she'd wake the others with the violent waves. I glanced over my shoulder at my other three sisters sleeping with their arms wrapped around each other. Poor girls surely had nightmares behind those eyelids.

"Of course not Clary, go to sleep with the others. He hasn't gotten us before, he sure as h*ll isn't getting us now," I told her, trying to convince myself too.

It really is an eerie night with a full moon and fog just beggining to set over the land. I can't help but wish I had one of my sisters here with me, but knowing the only way they could join me, I'm glad they aren't. I have to ignore these hopeless fantasies and focus on making my way to the clearing where the place I called home will surely be.

The girls popped awake as they hear a distant gait we all knew far too well. They silently crawled over to me and we held hands in a little circle, our eyes full of ghosts haunting us with the past. We looked down to seem brave for the little one, little Jessamine only seven years old. I was the eldest, no matter what I had to protect them.

The footsteps slowly came louder and louder until I knew he was at the front door. His crooked walk was a result from a prison fight, he killed the other who dared to threaten him. Our borough leaders forgave him every time he threatened us, hit my mother, hit me. Every time we managed to relieve ourselves from his presence, he was quickly let out for "good behavior".

After being released after murdering our beautiful mother, the only person I could find true peace with, the man, my...father (ugh, how it pained me to even think I could be related to that monster) hobbled into our home to finish his job once and for all.

It hasn't changed a bit. Guess that shouldn't be a surprise since its only been a few days, but I'm not who I was a few days ago. My only hope is that the girls still are.

I can't breath as I creep up the steps to the wooden house. I focus on the lines of cracked paint as I slowly twist the doorknob.

I bit my lip to stop a whimper as I hear the wood creaking from his weight as he entered the threshold. I had to be strong for them. We knew this day would come, but there was nowhere for us to go. Prying up the floorboards was our only option.

"I know your in here darlings," he said in a sickly sweet voice,"It'll be like a game of hide-and-go-seek. I'll be the seeker! Of course the game can only go until you can't hide anymore." I hug the girls close to me.

Then I heard him sit in his big, creaky rocking chair in the next room and I knew. He wasn't leaving, and I was left with only two options: fight or flight.

Blood stains the carpet, blood streaks line the walls, blood makes a trail up the staircase. I have to find out what happened here; my legs drag me up the stairs with my claws digging into the wood. The trail comes to an end at the top of the stairs, pooling around two people. Him and Clary.

I withdrew myself fromthe huddle and put all the bravery I had left into my words, I had to make it sound convincing. "I'll be back. Clary, you're in charge and no matter what you hear, stay hidden. If I'm not back soon escape when he leaves. He won't stay here forever."

Clary could only manage a nod and I silently slid a loose board from my path and squeezed myself through, taking care to return it to its original position. For sixteen, I was very light, so on my tiptoes I hardly made a peep as I glided toward the kitchen entrance where a very large knife lied tucked away in a drawer.

I heard the whine of the rocking chair as he thumped it back and forth. I was so close, inches away from the drawer. My final step to close the distance gives away a tiny squeak from a board, but it was enough. Within seconds my life was over, leaving my sisters alone.

Jessamine, Mary, and Katie surround Clary, whispering. I want to cry as I realize they are saying their goodbyes, but I as I draw closer I hear the comfort of their words. They're telling her it's all over, he is gone, they are safe and I can finally breathe as I see the rise and fall of her chest.

They cannot see me though, but the important thing is that pool of blood is his even though I don't know who caused it. It would be fairly odd if they could see me, since I'm a leopard now. It's my haunting form, everyone's is different. Now I can find peace in death and I am taken away for my eternal slumber.



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