Imagine getting a phone call at 12:01am on your 18th birthday from the older brother you haven’t seen in 4 years telling you to meet him at the diner down the street when it opens at dawn. I didn’t know what to say, so I went. The sun was just barely coming up over the horizon when I was standing on the sidewalk with a jacket pulled tight around me. My hands were in my pockets and I kept pulling my phone out to check the time. He’d be here soon.
I nearly jumped out of my skin, whirling around.
He looked just like I remembered with his varsity jacket and his jeans. He had a little bit of scruff that was new, and he was wearing sunglasses.
His hands were in his pocket and he was reluctant to speak.
“Danny, where the hell have you been? Mom thought you were dead.”
“I couldn’t help it.” He took a breath. “I was hoping I could protect you from this, save you. That maybe if I could just stay alive until past your birthday…that maybe you would never even have to know.” He hung his head. “But I was wrong.”
My head was spinning now. Stay alive? Protect me?
“What’s going on, Danny?”
“It’s your turn, Trisha, to keep our family secret.”
Before I could do anything, or say anything, he grabbed my arm. It burned like a hot poker and I screamed. I screamed until my voice was hoarse, until the pain overwhelmed my other senses. When I woke up, I was on the ground and my brother was gone.
My name is Trisha Helwyr. I was going to go to college this fall. I never went. As far as everyone I used to call friends knows, I’m dead. I’m different than I was then. My eyes used to be green. I’m a lot stronger than I used to be. Faster too. I have to be. There are things in the night that need to be hunted, to protect humanity. My family has lived for centuries with one mission: hunt that which hunts humans.