The morning dew had just begun to dry as Emma ran from her father’s house. Barefoot, she sped through the tall grass, slicing her feet on jagged rocks and sticks, but she couldn’t stop. She risked a look behind her to see if anyone was following her, but she was alone in the morning sunlight.

She hadn’t even had a chance to grab any of her belongings or put on proper clothing when she heard them coming down the hall toward her room. She knew she couldn’t trust her father when he said he wouldn’t tell, so she jumped out the window and ran.

“I’m almost to the river,” she thought. There, she would jump in and let it take her downstream. She could bare the cold.

However, as she turned a bend in the road, a man on horseback blocked her path. It was her father John.

“Father!” She turned to head back the way she had come, but another man on a horse blocked that path as well. It was the one who had come to take her away. “Let me go!”

“I can’t do that, Emma,” John spoke. “You’re a demon, and you can’t stay under my roof anymore.”

“I’m not a demon,” she said. “I’m still just Emma.” She took a step toward him, but pulled on the horse’s reins, backing the horse away from her.

“No, I saw you burn down that tree with just your mind.”

“I don’t know how that happened,” she said. “It wasn’t me.” It was her, and she knew it. She was so angry that day, and she wanted to destroy something. The more her hate and anger built, the more she burned, and suddenly, the tree was on fire.

“Even if I believed that, I couldn’t keep you. You know the king’s order: your kind is sent to Grey Island.”

Grey Island was a prison. The only ships that sailed there, went there to drop off others like Emma: others with abilities. The waters surrounding it were filled with man eating creatures that left not a single bone. No one had ever escaped, or at least, no one who tried had ever been seen again.

The other man slid off his horse and approached Emma. “Now, Emma, I’m not here to hurt you. I’m here to be your friend. My name’s Mayhew, and I promise you, you’ll find happiness on Grey Island.” In a flash, he waved his hand, and Emma became immobile. Her chest, too, froze, making it impossible to breathe. Finally, she fell unconscious. Mayhew caught her before she hit the ground and waved his hand again, allowing her to breathe once more. “There we go.”

Emma’s father backed away even farther. “You’re one of them too.”

Mayhew looked up at him, a hint of distain in his brown eyes. “Of course. Who else would they send to collect our kind?” He hoisted Emma onto his horse and climbed up behind her.

“You aren’t supposed to be off the island,” John said. “I’m reporting this to the king.”

Mayhew sighed. “You’re annoying me.” With another wave of his hand, he immobilized John. John slid off his horse to the hard ground below. “Bye, John.” Mayhew turned his horse and rode away, leaving John to die slowly and alone. He glanced down at Emma and smiled. “You’re going to make a perfect fit for my army.”


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