A young girl ran, terrified, through the dark streets of her village. Her beautiful new dress was torn and the ribbon holding her hair had fallen out, leaving it a flowing mess. As she reached her home, the silence of the sleeping village was shattered by the sound of horse's hooves pounding into the dirt. A hand yanked the girl into the house, quickly covering her mouth.
"Be silent child. We must find safety," her mother whispered.
The girl nodded, following her mother through a long hallway. The woman opened a hatch in the floor, ushering the child inside. There was a loud banging on the door, as if someone was trying to break the thing off its hinges. The woman panicked, looking at her daughter sadly.
"Stay down there, alright? Mommy has to go now," she said, beginning to close the hatch. She looked at her child one more time, and then closed it completely, leaving the girl in darkness.
The sound of wood splintering echoed through the house and loud footsteps could be heard from the small room beneath the house. There was arguing, though the girl could only catch a few snippets, it frightened her more than anything she'd heard in her life.
"-the child is all we need,"
"You will not touch her!" a woman's voice echoed overhead. Heat seeped into the room as the cracks above flashed with red and blue light.
A terrifying scream was heard above, and the heat was extinguished. A hollow thumping noise was heard, and the girl covered her mouth with a hand to keep from crying out. Eventually, footsteps signaled the intruders leaving the house. Moments later the horses left with their riders.
Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop.
The girl looked to the center of the room, where a strange shadow was cast.
Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop.
She reached out reluctantly to see what was making the noise.
Drip. Drop. Drip. Dro-
The girl shrieked as she looked at her fingertips, stained with a red liquid. She began pounding wildly against the hatch above her, but it was too heavy for her to lift on her own. She sobbed and shouted loudly, suddenly feeling claustrophobic in the dark space.
Eventually, the hatch was opened, revealing one of her neighbors. The kind man pulled her swiftly from the room. She looked over his shoulder, at the bloodied body behind him. The man looked back, and pressed the girl's face against his chest quickly, hiding the terrible sight from her view.
It was too late; she had seen the horribly maimed figure clearly enough on the floor. He could only attempt to comfort her as she wept against him over her fallen mother. Eventually, she fell asleep, exhausted from fear and sadness, but she didn't sleep long. That was the night when the nightmares began.