• Her hand shook as she reached for the door of the closet she was hiding in. She grabbed it and spun it slowly before pushing the door open just a crack. Just enough for her to peer through. The house was utterly destroyed. There were gaping holes in the walls, broken furniture thrown askew, and blood everywhere. She saw her wounded father lying on the ground as blood pooled around him. Dead. She could see her mother, wounded as well, but still standing, using the wall as support. In the middle of it all, like a symbol of chaos and torture, stood the first demon she had ever seen. His skin was inhumanly black. His eyes a gleaming, blood red. Sprouted from his back were two wings that looked like bat’s. He had that same maniacal grin as all the others. He walked slowly and menacingly toward her mother before reaching the clawed hand into her. It passed through her skin as if she were a ghost. When it came out, it was holding a bright blue light that seemed almost ethereal. Her mother’s eyes grew dim and she fell to the floor lifeless. The demon held the blue light above it’s head before tilting it’s head back, opening its mouth and letting it fall in before swallowing. She had been smart enough then to figure out what it was the demon had ingested. Her mother’s soul.

    Alexis woke with a start. Her breathing was ragged and her heart was racing. She absolutely hated dreaming about that night. She closed her eyes and tried to fall back to sleep as she nestled into the soft bed.
    She immediately sat up, realizing she didn’t have a soft bed like that. Looking around the room she was in frightened her a little bit. It seemed so luxurious that it might have been heaven, and if she had died who was going to take care of her baby brother Ryan. Getting out of bed, she walked over to the door and out into a hallway. Slowly, she walked down the hall and down a flight of stairs before finding herself in a kitchen. In front of a marble counter stood a man. From behind, she could tell he was slim and muscular. He had black hair and was wearing a plane white shirt and blue jeans.
    After a moment, without turning around, he said, “Glad you’re awake.”
    “Who are you?” She blurted, staring at him. He spun around to face her. His face was completely, and strangely blank.
    He only looked at her for a moment before: “Call me Max.” He held out a plate of pancakes to her. “Hungry?”
    “S-sure,” She murmured taking the plate and sitting down on an ebony wood table. He sat opposite her.
    “Where am I?” She asked.
    “My house,”
    “Am I dead?”
    “Fortunately, no,” He said, and, as she watched, something flashed across his face, an emotion she had no time to read.
    They sat in silence then while she ate his food, which was surprisingly good.
    “Why is this place not . . . destroyed?” She asked feeling uneasy being here.
    “Because demons know to stay away from me. Or else I’ll kill them.” He said simply.
    She went back to her food again when she remembered why she had been so concerned if she was dead or not. “Ryan!”
    “Who?” He asked, confused.
    “My little brother. He’s only ten and he’s home alone,” She said becoming a little frightened.
    “Well, come on, I’ll give you a ride.” He said, quickly standing up. She followed behind him as he moved quickly, understanding her hurry, to a garage, where she found a blood-covered car.
    “Get in,” He ordered as he got in himself.
    Within moments, they were pulling onto the decrepit streets of Atlanta, Georgia and cruising toward the small apartment building she and her brother lived in.
    She rushed out of the car and ran to the door. “Ryan! Ryan, it’s me!” She yelled as she tried opening the door, but found it locked.
    Max was close behind her. “Move,” He ordered before kicking the door in with a gun in hand. She ran inside to see her brother, but what she saw made her heart stop. Standing in front of her was her brother, yes. But around his shoulders was an arm belonging to a gorgeous woman with long dark brown hair in that white gown she had always loved to wear.