Twilight was gathering when Judy Nyland stumbled out of the trees onto the narrow hiking trail, her
right hand clutching her neck. Thin ribbons of drying blood streaked the back of her hand like a badly
done spider web tattoo. Her long blond hair was tangled, and her normally pretty face bore a dazed,
confused look as she fought to maintain her balance. At the moment, she appeared much older than her
Even in the shade, the air was still warm, but the woods seemed strangely silent. What was she
doing out here? She winced when she turned her head to search the path—god, her neck hurt. Pulling her
hand from her throat, she stared at her bloodstained palm. Was that really her hand, covered with blood?
Gingerly, she touched her neck and felt a wet round hole slightly smaller than the tip of her finger. How
the hell had that happened? She glanced down at her stomach, only recently beginning to swell with her
second child. Thankfully, the front of her light blue T-shirt was unmarked.
―Judy!‖ her older sister Janet shouted, hurrying down the trail. ―You had me so worried.‖ Her
eyes widened at Judy‘s bloody hand. ―What happened?‖ Janet gently grabbed her sister‘s wrist and began
examining her palm.