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The world had gone silent, though it was not the noiseless atmosphere that shadowed serenity and peace. This was a time of unknown concern, when families huddled together inside their homes, men kept the bat close to reach, and no lone woman walked the streets. Bursts of wind occasionally shattered the illusion of stillness, twisting and warping the branches of nearby trees, scattering leaves across the paved streets in swirling fashion. A light layer of frost dusted the ground. The sky remained black, the lack of clouds providing no cover from the scorning moon and stars, who peered down at the earth from their heavenly perch in anticipation of an imminent approaching foe. Had one been daring enough to peer through glass windows and towards the sky above, they might have witnessed the multitude of orbiting lights that spiraled cautiously towards the crust, each growing closer and closer as time passed. Eventually, these lights dimmed to a mere glimmer, reflecting only the light cast by
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the majestic bodies above. They too, however, soon joined the blank silence, disappearing into the treelines.
As with all things unusual, there was one who remained oblivious to this sudden distrust. Padding down the icy walkway, an eldered teen of nineteen kicked the concrete, scattering small clusters of gathered debris. She paid no heed to the silence, thoughts occupied in a different realm, body moving purely on autopilot. An aged bag hung limp off of one shoulder, lightly burdened, and in her right hand she clasped a roll of envelopes. A strong gust suddenly knocked her sideways, and the teen stumbled, dropping her package. Wiping the strands of hair that had entangled themselves across her face, she bent down, wincing as her fingers made contact with frozen land. ‘Great, just great,’ she thought, sweeping the fallen envelopes into a neat pile, trying desperately to ignore the feeling of wet paper beneath her skin. Letters danced across her vision, red and menacing as they mocked unforgivingly.
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Sighing, shoulders slumped and defeated, the girl swung her pack off her shoulder, quickly unzipping and shoving the bills inside. Rising, a slight limp to her gait, she observed the pavement once more, searching for any letters that had escaped her initial round. Finding none, she pursed her backpack once more, and glanced around. Funny, I must have walked further than I thought. Her eyes raked over the naked trees that lined the walkway, and she wrapped her arms around her chest as a chill suddenly swept through her frame. Though she couldn’t quite place it, she had the unnerving suspicion that she was being watched. Shaking it off as a custom of the darkness upon the mind, she cast one more wary glance before continuing onward. Back turned, she vanished into the night, unaware of the yellow orbs that peered after her.
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