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In the Blink of an Eye

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Eight-year-old Sara Goodman stared up at the cloudy sky, and tears streamed down her face as she leaned against the hard stone behind her. The ground below her was hard and cold, but she didn't pay any attention to it. She unconsciously reached her hand up and began fiddling with the locket that hung around her neck, her eyes still aimed upward.

She cringed a little at the sight of a huge bolt of lightning in the distance. She held her breath, slowly counting the seconds until the sound of rumbling thunder that she knew was coming. One. Two. Three. A barely audible escaped her mouth as the ground beneath her seemed to shake from the incredibly loud noise.

Within seconds, the cold rain that had been threatening to fall for hours suddenly began coming down. Sara barely even noticed it though. She was already cold and sore, so the addition of a little water seemed to be of little consequence.

As the wind picked up a little more, making the temperature seem to drop several degrees within a period of only a few seconds, she couldn't help but shiver slightly. Moving as close to the stone as possible, she finally set free the sobs she had been holding back.

*

Tony Goodman looked up his uncle with worried eyes. They had been looking for Sara since the day before, when she had ran out of the house with tears streaming down her face. She had screamed that they didn't care, but neither of them had a clue what she had been referring to. Everything had seemed to be going fine, and then she had suddenly struck out at both of them without any warning whatsoever.

As a thought crossed his mind, he bit his lip slightly. There was only one place that he could think that they hadn't checked yet, but he knew that the odds of her going there were slim to none. None of them had been there since...

Tony flinched slightly as his mind started moving back to the day a little over a year ago that had changed their lives forever. He quickly forced himself to move back to the present as a deep pain started making its way into his heart, and instead focused his attention on the problem at hand.

"Uncle Bernie," he called out as he hurried toward the kitchen. "You don't think that she went to visit Mom and Dad, do you?"

*

Sara reluctantly opened her eyes as she felt the warmth of sunlight hit her face, and she blinked a few times in confusion as bright rays of light flashed in her eyes. She slowly pulled herself into a sitting position before taking a look at herself. Her usually neatly brushed hair was wet and drenched in mud. She was stiff, and there were several large scratches on her arms and legs that she assumed were from the various sticks and small branches that were laying all around her. Blinking in the sunlight, she looked around at her surroundings. "Where am I?" she whispered softly.

She took a small intake of breath as she glanced behind her, noticing the large stone that was there for the first time. Memories from the night before came rushing back to her, and she immediately felt guilt rush through her. She had flown off at her brother and uncle for absolutely no reason... at least, no reason that seemed justifiable that morning.

A few tears streamed down her face as she felt the sunlight gently caress her face once more. "God, I was such an idiot," she muttered. She knew why she had been though. She shivered just a little as she remembered what the date was. It had been a whole year since...

Sara's mind was quickly brought back to the present as her head shot upward. She had thought that she had heard a familiar calling her name. Her eyes quickly moved over the surrounded area, and the barest hint of a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as she caught sight of her twin brother running towards her, followed closely by their uncle.

*

A large grin spread across Tony's face when he saw his sister, and he quickly glance back at his uncle. "I'm running on ahead!" he called out before taking off at a sprint.

Tony raced ahead, leaving Uncle Bernie in the dust. He usually wasn't very good with things like running, but his worry for his sister pushed him forward. Even though she didn't appear to be hurt, he knew that something was still wrong. He could feel it.

*
Sara almost burst out laughing when her brother tried to pick her up and swing her around in his arms, even though she was almost as large as he was. It was obvious to her exactly who he was imitating. As that thought crossed both of their minds, however, they suddenly became silent. They were standing side by side staring at the spot where Sara had spent the night, when their uncle finally got there. He took a shuddering breath as he wrapped his arms around the two children.

Sara looker up at him, tears shining in her eyes. "I'm sorry about last night, Uncle Bernie. It's just that it had been a year since..." She stopped as he nodded understandingly. She caught Tony's eye and gave him a small smile. She didn't have to tell him anything. He already knew.

*
They stood there for a few minutes, staring at what stood before them, before slowly turning away. Sara took a shuddery breath as she turned her back on the cold stone sticking out of the ground, and she suddenly felt her legs collapse underneath her. She didn't even have time to realize what was happening before she was laying on the ground, dazed but otherwise fine.

She barely noticed as her uncle picked her up in his arms, and she didn't even hear the worried questions he was asking her . She was too busy staring at her parent's gravestone , which was quickly fading behind them, and the dark, shadowy form that was standing behind it. The one with golden eyes and long, jagged claws that seemed strangely familiar to her for some reason...

She gave a small gasp as she realized what she was seeing. Her eyes widening, she turned her head towards Tony. She had to tell him. Before she had a chance though, a sharp pain shot through her head. She felt everything go black as she faded into the blissful peace of unconsciousness.