• The smell of roast turkey wafted through the air. My father smiled as he watched me twirl around in my new dress. I stumbled and fell, but sat up immediately and smiled. My father chuckled and picked me up.
    “You’re my little angel.” he said. And I did look like an angel. I was wearing the white dress he bought me for Christmas, my black hair was soft and shiny, and my white feathered wings were fluffy and freshly cleaned.
    “And I know you like your wings, but the guests will be arriving soon, so you must put them away.” I sighed and tucked my wings tightly against my back, hidden from view. My father bent down and kissed my forehead.
    “I’m sorry.” he said. “But people aren’t as understanding as we would like them to be.” My father looked at the door, then back at me.
    “Do you hear that?” he asked. I listened and heard the buzz of lots of voices. He walked over to the door with a puzzled look on his face. When he opened the door, he found the entire village standing in front of our house with torches and weapons. My father took a step out and said, “What’s going on here?” The village elder stepped forward with a frightened look on his face, and a cross in his hands.
    “W-w-we’ve got you f-figured out David.” he said, trembling. My father looked at him, puzzled.
    “What are you talking about?” he asked. The elder took a step back.
    “We know that you and your daughter are demons.”
    “What?” my father said, with an incredulous tone. “You honestly think I’m a demon? You’ve got to be kidding!” The village leader then stepped forward, and with more confidence in his voice than his father, replied, “We don’t think you are a demon, we know you are one. We have a witness.”
    “A witness to what?” my father interjected, but the village leader ignored him.
    “Will Lila and her mother please step forward?” I smiled when I saw my friend and I ran to hug her, but my father stopped me with his hand. I looked up at him, but he kept staring straight ahead, no emotion on his face.
    “Can you tell us what you saw Lila?” Lila looked at me with fear in her eyes and shook her head. Her mother bent down and whispered something in her ear that made her eyes widen. She took a shaky breath and said, “Me and Elizabeth were planning to meet at the apple tree in the clearing. As I got closer I saw her trying to get an apple. She looked around and I ducked so she wouldn’t see me. Once she was sure there was no one there, wings came out of her back. Then she flew, grabbed an apple, and put the wings away. That’s when I came out and then we played.”
    Lila stared at her feet and the village leader looked smugly at my father.
    “Children tell stories all the time.” my father said. “How do you know she’s telling the truth?”
    “I had the apothecary give her a truth serum.” he said. “She couldn’t lie right now if she wanted to.” The color slowly drained from my father’s face. He opened his mouth, as if to say something, but decided against it.
    “The villagers don’t want demons living here, so I’ve come to announce your banishment.”
    “But what crime have we committed to deserve banishment? We have not stolen, nor killed. There is no reason to banish us.” The village leader pointed at my father.
    “Being a demon is grounds alone to banish you!” he shouted. “There shouldn’t be another reason!” My father sighed.
    “Why can’t we talk about this like grown men?” he said. “The turkey is almost done. Let’s discuss this over dinner.” The village leader’s eyes bulged.
    “You’re planning to kill me aren’t you? You’re going to kill me and make the rest of the village your slaves!” The villagers murmured. My father took a deep breath and exhaled. I looked up at him and saw that his eyes were starting to turn red. When his eyes start turning red, that means he was starting to get angry. If his eyes went completely red, you’d want to stay away from him.
    “Do you remember when your daughter went missing?” he asked.
    “You took her?” the village leader accused.
    “NO!” my father shouted, eyes almost completely red now. He took another deep breath.
    “No,” he said more calmly. “I saved her. She was kidnapped by a ghoul, a creature doomed to walk the earth in search of human flesh. It was just about to kill her when I ambushed it. I put her in a cave, and the next day, I “found” her. I saved her, I wouldn’t try to kill her.
    “Lies!” someone in the crowd shouted. The whole village began yelling “Kill the demons!” My father looked at me, eyes glittering like rubies in the torchlight.
    “Run Elizabeth!” he shouted. “Run!” I ran for the back door and looked back in time to see him get impaled by a sword.

    I ran out the door and through the woods. I heard shouting and looked back to find half the village running after me. I opened my wings and flew through the trees. I looked around for a hiding place and saw a hole in a tree just big enough for me to fit into.
    Shouts of “She disappeared!” and “Devil child” found their way up to my hiding place. After about ten minutes, I heard the voices starting to fade. I waited until I was sure they were gone, then I crawled out of the tree.
    The moonlight made the snow sparkle like diamonds. I shivered and opened my wings. The cool, crisp night air ruffled my feathers. When I got to the house, all the candles were blown out. I took a wary step forward.
    “Father?” I whispered. Looking down I saw a trail of black blood leading to the sound of shallow, ragged breathing in my father’s bedroom. I walked in and saw my father lying on the floor, his eyes completely black.
    “Father!” He turned to look at me and his face brightened slightly.
    “Elizabeth…” he said in a strained voice. “You must leave. They will kill you if they ever find you. I…” A cough exploded from him, staining my dress with black splotches.
    “I didn’t expect them to figure us out so quickly. Should have been…more cautious. Better…watch on…you.”
    “No…” I whispered, tears springing to my eyes. “Don’t die.” The light in his eyes started to fade.
    “I was…supposed to give… you this… on your sixteenth birthday. It… was your mothers.” The tears were rolling down my face. He pushed a silver necklace into my hand.
    “Now go Elizabeth. Go!” he said as he used the last of his strength to push me away. I ran, my face streaked with tears, and I didn’t look back.