She could see the red door to her home as she walked down the dark, scarcely lit street. The woman was in her late teens, with black hair and a pale face. It was only when she passed underneath one of the few dim streetlamps that her brightest, most intense feature was visible. Her eyes shone with a brilliant blue, greatly contrasting the pallor across the rest of her face. Her lips were the only other source of colour, a deep crimson. The coldness of the winter air was making the skin on her forearms tingle, and she took this as her cue to walk faster, hurrying to get back inside and away from the bitter cold. By the time she reached the small pathway connecting the house’s front door to the street, she was practically running. Her arms shook violently as she tried to slot the key into the lock. After a moment, it was able to turn and, with a push, the door swung back, her not far behind it. After slamming the door behind her, Andromeda slid down the reverse of the door, curled up into a ball, and cried.
After what felt like days to Andromeda, but was in reality a little over an hour, she dragged herself from the floor to resume whatever normality she could. Life wouldn’t stop because she was miserable, Andromeda knew that. She did, however, feel completely numb inside, and only managed to get up by giving herself simple instructions for a variety of tasks, from tidying up to cooking dinner. That in itself was pointless, as she had no appetite and ended up throwing three quarters of the food away. The feeling of being hollow didn’t leave her throughout the evening, and she ended up praying for the night to draw in.
By the time nine o’clock arrived, Andromeda was ready to go and sleep. Not that she could escape her nightmare life there. If anything, it made everything worse, as she was trapped in that world, feeling powerless and alone. Nevertheless, she climbed into bed and attempted to clear her mind of the dark, horrible thoughts that were constantly swirling around her head, like vultures around a carcass. It was ultimately pointless; she couldn’t lock the thoughts away, and as soon as she entered the phases of deep sleep and dreaming, she became restless.
Words replayed over and over in her mind, each time stinging a little more, as she thought back to the cold, cruel voice whispering in her ear. When Andromeda awoke, she was thrashing about on the bed, covered in sweat and hyperventilating. She turned, lit a light next to her bed and took slow, deep breaths to calm herself down. Glancing upwards at the clock, she was shocked to discover that it was only 1:37am. She tried to block the darkness out again, replacing it with positivity and happy memories. They were scarce, however, and were tainted by the other events in her past. Her mind would wander from the memory to the next and to the next, and eventually, she would be reliving what she was trying to block out. It was futile.
After half an hour staring at the ceiling, she got up and went to get a glass of water from the kitchen. She could have just refilled the glass on the bedside counter, but instead decided that leaving the bedroom may be a good idea. The floorboards on the stairs squeaked as she tiptoed down and headed for the kitchen. It was pitch black in there, except for the narrow strip of the worktop that was illuminated by the near full moon that was in the sky outside the window. She flicked her wand and a sphere of light fired from the end and began to hover in the middle of the room, not far from the ceiling. She turned and opened a cupboard to take a glass from a cupboard nearby. As she turned to the sink, she looked out of the window and screamed. The glass dropped from her hand and smashed on the floor. There, on the back lawn, hidden by the moonlight but not by the enchanted ball of light above Andromeda, was a dark, hooded figure.
A/N: I've finally managed to update my author page, and here I am with a new story! I hope you guys like it! Thanks to LovlyRita for acting as my beta for this chapter! Please feel free to leave a review and let me know what you think.