Ha ha, love that cheesy intro. But seriously.


If you have ever watched an empty, frigid day turn to night, you are one of broken few. Did you feel the anticipation? Did you capture the beauty? Was it worth the danger? Did you even know what was happening, what was going on beneath? Perhaps your wisdom surpasses your age, or, more probably, you are merely a child within. Listen to me, "child," and learn of the world around you, of a world seen only by broken few.

When Elizabeth awoke on the floor, in a crumpled heap of her own limbs, she thought nothing of it; such was always the case when her brother was away. She stood up, pulled her knit hat back on, and smoothed her visible hair down with her hands; or at least, she tried. Walking into the kitchen, the first thing she noticed was the faint ache in her lower rib cage. The second thing she noticed, with shallow disappointment, was the usual vacancy of the cupboards.

"Oh well," was the only thought she could spare it before she reached for the door and, reminded that the knob was missing, pushed it open to venture out to school.

Elizabeth-a smart and talented youth, physically awkward but mentally and creatively gifted. An avid lover of horror, sci-fi, and rock who is sick of many things: of ignorance; of intolerance; of stereotypes and of those who consider her "unstable" because she does not ignore problems; of her father, who might as well leave; and mostly, Elizabeth is sick of falling victim to powers listed above.

Her school day was relatively the same as every other had been; she showed up, tried to pay attention, bombed a test because kids had been throwing roaches from the cafeteria onto her and the horrific sensation would not leave her; she was injusticed by their "supervisors" because those kids are "perfect angels" and would never throw bugs, ate lunch in the library, suffered the rest of the day and trudged home in a flurry of ketchup, chewed gum and unused algebra books. However, today, when she was running to her locker before heading home, waiting for her was her brother, Skyler. Excited, she sprinted to "him" only to realize that he wasn't really there. Silly girl appeared to be suffering from her extended hunger.

What was I thinking? she asked herself. He can't-won't-come back for me anytime soon.

Slightly disappointed, but not in the least bit surprised, she brushed it off and grabbed a tall garbage bag from her locker, from which she, by ripping holes, made a poncho. She pulled it over her head and began her trek home through the sheeting rain.

When she neared the house, she opened the mailbox, only to find it stuffed with the regular bills and payment notices. She closed the mailbox, wondering what else she had been expecting, and approached the house, pulling the front door open. Once she was in, she waltzed into the barren kitchen and glanced down to her left. Her dad's filthy boots sat by the door-he was there, and he was probably waiting for her. Panicked, she thought that she could, perhaps, sneak out, and made a break for the front door. As soon as she looked up from the boots, she realized that she had run right to her father; the cane had already come down on her head. A world of color and light washed over her, comforting her with surrealistic visions of distant scenes. Time stretched over her visions, bending to the will of her subconscious; she would be allowed to miss none of the terrifying trauma trip. Finally, with a grand sweeping motion of envelopment, that world faded into a cold black sensation of nothingness.

Elizabeth finally awoke, in pre-twilight's early blue, in the corner of splintered wood flooring that constituted her bed. At least she was dressed, although her sleeves were pulled up to reveal several deep cuts in different aimless forms and figures, some of which also occupied her face, stomach, and palms. She was thirsty, dry and weak; the wounds were still bleeding, and surely had been for some time. Working quickly, she ripped all that was left of her bandage supply (once wall curtains) and tightly bound as many lacerations as she could, and when she couldn't stand it anymore, she fell to the timber and cried meekly. She cried for her just-barely flesh wounds, and for all the suffering humans on the earth who go unnoticed because people "don't want to think of sad things", and for everything that anyone had ever done to hurt her; occasionally she rolled onto her back and drew in a few deep breaths, but began to sob cruelly again, and when she was at last done, she lay on her back and sighed. She was horribly depressed; but she was also enraged. Out of desperation, Elizabeth begged for the millionth time for some savior, even as abstract as her father getting a DUI, would remove her from her life and allow her to live any other life. She entertained the thought until the morning light began to creep through the slats of the windows, lighting her eyes, and she got up, attempted to banish all traces of tears, and "got ready" for school. What day was today? It didn't matter. It was all the same, anyway. On the weekends or holidays, she went to the library anyway.

Her dad was gone. Hopefully, for at least a month. Two weeks. Long enough for her contusions to form ugly scars. She warily pushed the front door open and began her ominous walk to the social scourging pillar.

As she was walking down the middle of the road, a few small, scraggly dogs trotted at her ankles, and when she neared the edge of the road to get on the sidewalk, they jumped at her, snarling and snapping their jaws. So, to the delight of the strange mutts, she traveled down the center of the street; there were no cars around anyway.

Upon her arrival at the school, Elizabeth, being observant, noticed a few more things: firstly that, although she was generally one of the first people there, she hadn't seen any of the other early kids on her way to the library. The second was that the librarian was gone, and librarians never take sick days. And finally, as she went to her various daily classes, that no one, not even teachers, were present. Although, come to think of it, she'd never checked the time before leaving-just automatically gone to school. Perhaps it was merely very early.

It was extremely overcast; she had been sitting by the cafeteria waiting for the sun to rise, as that was when she knew it was time for her first class in October. But after what seemed like hours, she looked up from her thick novel to realize, to her utter disbelief that it was twelve. The bell should've rung hours ago. There was no one to be found throughout the campus. And, now that she was thinking on it, she hadn't seen another soul at all that day. She could wait for them to come out of hiding, or enjoy her alone time. Was it Labor Day already? Saturday? Christmas? Absolutely not. The school year'd only just begun.

Quickly implementing the sharpest and fastest decision-making skills she had, Elizabeth headed to the library. Surely, it would hold answers, or provide a way to pass the fleeting moments until her sweet silence would die away.

Elizabeth had her own section of that library-that is, no one else ever went near it. It contained all her favorite horror novels, and volumes of wise poems and short stories. She may've been the only one who appreciated this precious literature, but she felt that it was integrated into our world, like a dimension of shadows, parallel to our own that can be seen with ease by the perceptive reader. But of course, that was madness.

She was stalking the tall, dark bookcases searching for an unread volume of truth when she came across a book she didn't recognize: Before The Sun Goes Down; no author was cited. She pulled it out, and finding that there was no description, and, in fact, no text in the pages, she stuffed it into her messenger with an enthused intrigue. She scooped up one of the candles she was allowed to keep there; as long as it wasn't too close to the books, that is, as the library is a terrible place to start a fire that you don't want to grow. Maybe she could get in some reading by the light of a small flame, which is great if you don't have a fireplace, or money for electricity, for that matter.

Pulling the heavy library doors back with great effort, Elizabeth slipped through quickly. She had been hoping for her brother to bring her food, but none such luck. Her hand-me-down watch showed 18:30, and being December, it was dark. The streetlamps had a bright circle of light surrounding them with a two-meter radius, and they were at nine-meter intervals. The rest was dark. All dark.

She wasn't worried. There was no one in the town, except, of course, for her. If anyone else was there, she'd have seen them, after all.

She arrived at home, and placed the candle on the only "table" they had, near her "bedroom". The book of matches in her bag-from a restaurant-had only four matches remaining; well, three and a half. She lit the candle, pulled out the book, and began to read what was previously blank.

After a while, Elizabeth's eyelids began to droop, and soon after, she was out with her head on the table, the only living soul in the room.

A/N: I wrote this quite some time ago, recently found it on a flash drive. Desperately in need of title suggestions, and motivation to go on. I will most likely drop the story if no one likes it.