Kinsey kicked some leaves as she stomped down the street. She could not believe her parents would not let her go to the best party of the year just because it was in the next town and they wanted her to stay close. Kinsey sighed as she walked. “I’m twelve,” she thought angrily, “not a little kid.” She was so absorbed by her thoughts it took her a moment to realize it was very quiet on this street. She looked around uneasily as she noticed there were few people who bothered to trick-or-treat on this side of town. The rustling of the leaves was making her nervous. “Don’t be a baby,” she scolded herself. As she turned onto the next street she heard the crackling of leaves behind her. “Just another kid out looking for candy,” she told herself. She began walking faster. The crackling grew louder as the person behind her sped up as well. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up as she heard a quiet voice say, “Kinsey.”
She slowly turned and felt herself relax as she recognized Elizabeth Bell. The small, dark haired girl appeared uncomfortable. Kinsey studied Elizabeth in a not completely friendly manner. Elizabeth was homeschooled and not very social. Both of these traits placed her in the “uncool” category of the social hierarchy. This created a natural aversion, at least on Kinsey’s part. “Well did you need something?” she asked. Elizabeth reddened. “I umm… just wanted to know if you would walk with me,” she stammered. “Why?” Kinsey asked raising an eyebrow. “Well I saw you were walking alone and my brother wouldn’t come with me and it’s kind of creepy out here…” she trailed off. “You still ask your brother to walk with you,” Kinsey scoffed. Elizabeth blushed again but didn’t answer. Kinsey started to tell her no then hesitated. She had to admit it was kind of creepy outside. “Okay,” she told Elizabeth, “let’s go.”
They walked down the street, stopping at the few houses that had porch lights on. Elizabeth seemed okay to Kinsey, although she would never hang around her when her friends were around. After they had walked for awhile, Kinsey tried to convince Elizabeth to go to the town’s Halloween Festival. “Come on let’s check it out,” she urged, “There’s a haunted maze and a house of mirrors!” Elizabeth shuddered, “let’s just go. That stuff creeps me out.” Kinsey unused to not getting her way snapped, “I almost thought you were alright. I guess you really are just a…” she stopped as the street lights dimmed. They looked down the empty street, and Elizabeth moved closer to Kinsey as the branches of a nearby tree creaked. The curtains of a house moved as someone peeked outside. Kinsey realized what was making her heart pound. “The wind’s not even blowing,” she whispered to Elizabeth who gazed at the groaning tree with wide eyes. They began walking faster. The girls heard a soft thud behind them and what sounded like a chuckle. With a little shriek Kinsey broke into a run with Elizabeth at her heels.
They ran onto the porch of Kinsey’s house and whirled to face the street. The streetlights shone as leaves rustled innocently across the road. Kinsey began to feel embarrassed. “Wow! That was some run, huh”? She tried to muster up a laugh and failed, so she turned to go inside. She stopped as Elizabeth spoke. “Can I come inside? I’m still scared.” Kinsey looked at her and realized she was the white as a ghost and looked shaken. Glad she had recovered faster, Kinsey assured Elizabeth it was perfectly safe. “I’ve got to go to bed. Maybe you can come in some other time.” Elizabeth nodded knowing this was a lie. She turned to walk home. As she walked, Elizabeth heard the trees above her rustle and tensed. Soft laughter floated down and Elizabeth broke into a run. She flew with the wind chilling her face as her hair whipped around behind her. She knew she heard footsteps in pursuit. Finally, she was home. She burst through the door and began to sob.
“Oh honey what’s wrong,” her mother cried. She heard someone come in the door behind her, but her parents were too absorbed in her turmoil to notice. “I…I..,” she stammered, “I almost had her. I was so close I could taste it. I did everything just like you said, and he, “she cried pointing at her brother as he closed the door, “was spying on me!” “Was not,” he said indignant, “Why didn’t you get her when the street got dark?” “I saw someone in the window and I chickened out okay!” she yelled. “Liza honey,” her father soothed, “it was only your first hunt. There will be plenty more,” he winked and his eyes flashed an even deeper scarlet that Elizabeth loved. She couldn’t wait until her eyes changed, but that would take a few years of feeding. Zackary’s eyes already had a crimson hue and he was only sixteen!
She said goodnight, trudged up to her room, and turned on the light. “At least I don’t need dimmers yet,” she thought. Even Zack squinted a little in bright light. She heard a soft knock at the door and her brother let himself in. “I wasn’t trying to upset you,” he said flicking off her light. “I just wanted to watch your first hunt.” She sighed and relented,” I know. It’s just I wanted so bad to get it right, and I wanted it to be Kinsey. She’s so snotty and mean,” Elizabeth said angrily. Zackary thought this over for a minute. “Tell you what,” he said, “I’ll get her here somehow. I mean what twelve-year-old snot would turn down the chance to go for a walk with yours truly,” he said pompously. Elizabeth smiled, touched by the offer, “really Zack?” “Of course Liza,” he said his fangs sliding down, “what are big brothers for?”