Chapter One

The sun began to set in and the darkness flooded the plains to the east. Dew fell, soaking the grass gently. As the sun continued its descent into the western horizon, night life began to awaken, making a quiet ruckus that disturbed no one. The moon shone brightly after the set finished setting. The stars were out tonight, adding splendor and beauty the nocturnal scene.

A small hoot owl made its call into the night. It was cold, and the moon whitened its crystallized breath. A bit of scuttling and scraping could be heard somewhere beneath the owl; it was a nocturnal rodent digging a hole into the frosted terrain. A wolf across the plain howled its call to the silvery moon in the black sky. Under that very sky, two souls would be changed forever.

A young lady, around the age of sixteen or seventeen, was riding her horse on the vast grasslands to near her ranch-like home. To the east was a small town and to the west were a mountain range and a deep forest. Here, the winds were gusty and a bit wild. Many times, the people had to fix the roofs on their homes. Today, the wild wind was calm for once and lightly breezed through the young woman's dark red hair. The bright sun shone on her locks of hair, making them look as if they were on fire.

This young woman was riding a chocolate brown mustang when she heard menacing gunshots from the direction of her home. She stopped her horse and listened a moment, whence she heard another one. She galloped towards her home and made her horse jump the fence. She approached the now quiet house and jumped down from her horse.

"Stay here Tabby," she whispered lightly to the mustang. The front door to her large home opened and laughter was heard as footsteps came across the porch. A man's voice, evil and malicious sounding, was heard as the footsteps came to a stop near the porch railing. A laugh came from a different man.

"Tainyn, I'm wondering where that pretty girl of his is at…" one of the men said.

"I don't know, but all I know is her horse is gone and so is she," said the man named Tainyn.

The woman ducked behind a bush to stay out of the site of the two wicked men. Yet, she made the leaves under her feet rustle. Both men silenced themselves to listen hard and began walking in her direction. She closed her eyes and hoped that the two burly men would not find her. Yet again, she was unlucky. Her mustang, only about five feet away from her, neighed for her attention. The young woman's heart sank. Now they knew she was here.

The man, whose name had not been mentioned, bounded over the railing of the porch and onto the ground. He had an evil grin about his face. Tainyn, she could hear, was running down the front steps of the porch. Both were only a few feet away from her. She could run now and get on her horse and get away, or stay and be done in like her parents.

"Trance, I know you're here, somewhere," said the unnamed man. Her heart began to race. These men knew her family! But where from? A laugh escaped Tainyn. They would find her in no time flat. She had to think a moment, and fast at that. The man that had spoken her name peered around the bushes before she had made her plan.

"Ah! Found you sweetheart!" he said as he grabbed her arm. She kicked and screamed as he had drugged her over to the front of the house.

"My have you grown," said the man holding her. The men were built and had to at least be in their late twenties or early thirties. The young woman named Trance struggled to get out of the man's strong grip. He laughed and only squeezed tighter. He dug his fingernails into Trance's skin. She could feel the stinging of the nails breaking through. She twinged with the pain and her fear.

"Cat's got your tongue, eh?" said Tainyn. The guy gripping and dragging her pulled a gun out and looked in her eyes, which were a brilliant blue-green that looked odd with her skin and hair. She was frightened out of her wits.

"Do you know why I have to do this?" he asked as he held the gun and continued to drag her. They were almost to their destination. Trance shook her head wildly with the answer no. She dug her heels into the ground, but it was no use. The unknown man and she reached the front of the house.

"Because your father owed me and he never paid up," the man said before kissing her forehead, "and now… Now you all have to pay dearly for it…" Trance moved to her knees and attempted to beg. Yet, no words seemed to come out. She couldn't speak. How could she? She was so shocked about the death of her family and her father's fatal deal that she couldn't speak. Tainyn laughed at her severely. The man, with the gun, gave him a look that was so deadly, that Tainyn shut up then and there.

"I wish I could make an exception, but that would be cheating in this game of life and death, and you would also make a formidable witness to my crime that I have committed," he said while easing up slightly on the death grip he had on Trance's arm. Trance dropped her head and stared at the ground, she cried and whimpered her and there.

"There, there…" he said, lifting Trance's head and tenderly kissed her forehead again. "I'm making your life easier in the long-run. I promise." Tainyn looked at his watch; he was also beginning to get uneasy.

"Sebane, we need to get out of here! We don't need to get all caught up with this girl! Get her done and let's go!" said Tainyn. Sebane sighed, and Trance looked up at him.

"Uncle Sebby?" she said with a cracking note. Tears welled up in his eyes when she had said it. Sebane brought the gun to her chest, slightly to the left, so that the bullet wouldn't hit her in the heart. Trance looked him in the eyes with her blue-green orbs. Sebane closed his eyes and pulled the trigger to his .50 caliber Desert-Eagle. Blood spewed from her chest and her back at once, but then slowed down.

Trance's green shirt was drawing up so much blood. She swallowed hard as she blankly stared at Sebane, but then her expression changed as she slightly lost her balance and fell to the ground. Her breathing was shallow, almost nonexistent.

Tainyn took off in the direction of the forest. Sebane just stood there a moment.

"Oh Trancy… Forgive me of my sin… I have done you wrong. I loved you like a father would his child," he said. "Let the gods rest your soul… my child." Sebane turned around and fled like his buddy. He was a strong man, but even his loss was too overwhelming for him. So, he let the tears flow.

Trance was left there to die… Die a slow and painful death.

)( Author's Note: Review… That's all I ask for. Just Review. )(