The moon was just reaching it's peak in the night sky when Syn heard the creak of the porch steps. She held her breath trying to listen and cringed as she heard the soft fall of footsteps downstairs. Syn slid out of her bed and crept down the hall to check on Darren and Mykara…both were sound asleep in their beds.
Syndl snuck quietly towards the staircase and peered around the corner of the wall. Her small frame shivered amid the dank, humid warmth of the summer night. Her stomach was knotted in fright, but still she crept forward, down one stair at a time. The moon was out in full glory this night and Syndl could see it shining down on the wheat fields from the front doorway. Her eyes scanned the shadows inside the house cautiously as she neared the bottom of the staircase. She stopped short, her foot still poised in mid-air. There! To the left… she could hear it. A soft rasping like sandpaper scraping across gravel. Syndl’s heart was racing. She closed her eyes and willed her body to creep back upstairs to the safety of her bed, but it refused her and remained frozen on the last step of the staircase.
“Do not be afraid little one… I have not come to harm you,” the voice hissed from the shadows.
Syndl clamped a hand over her mouth to avoid screaming. She wanted to bolt, to run, to get away as fast and as far as she could. But every muscle seemed like stone in her body and her legs would not obey her. From the corner of her eye, she watched as a shadow detached itself from the wall and glided gracefully into the moonlight sneaking in through the glassless windows and doorway.
He was a tall man, with a slim build. His skin was pale and his short, shaggy blonde hair fell loosely around his angular face. His eyes seemed more like those of a cat than a humans and his long fingers curled into claws. Syndl had never seen anything of his like before and the very sight of him froze her in fear. His eyes gleamed a soft deep green that seemed to glow in the darkened shadows of the house. His clothes were unkempt and wrinkled and there was a faint odor about him that Syndl couldn’t place.
“Yesssss… you will do jusssst nicely…”
The man grabbed her roughly by the arm with one clawed hand and clamped the other over her mouth as he dragged her from the house kicking, her muffled screams never reaching the ears of the two children sleeping upstairs.