Ally Marshall hurt all over. It was dark and there was still a faint taste of mud and dirt on her lips, along with a more coppery flavor, blood. She rolled over and eased her eyes open. She was laying in the stable, she could tell by the feel of the hard dirt and the strands of hay that were poking at her through her dress. Ally's head throbbed and she swooned, nearly fainting, as she pulled herself into a sitting position. She closed her eyes and took a series of deep breaths. Then Ally wiped some mud off her hand on the front of her dress, which itself was a mess of dirt, mud and blood before gently running her hand through her tangled hair, feeling the two giant lumps on her scalp. The worst one, the one from the man with the gun, still felt wet and sticky. The other was a hard knot, tender to the touch. Her face and cheek were still tender and felt swollen, especially when she licked her lips, feeling where it had been split open. By him.
After a few moments, Ally opened her eyes again, feeling less faint, though in no less pain. She could see it was dark outside, but when she looked to her left, she started screaming, scrambling away on all fours, curling into the far corner of the stable. Three bodies lay together. The old man, her father, lay with a bullet hole in his head, his arm stretched out as if reaching to her. The other two, behind him, were her brother, his glassy eyes staring vacantly at her. The last was poor sweet Eric, so shy, so sweet, her fiancee.
"Oh god no.........."
Ally cried for a long time, her body racked with sobs, shuddering under the guilt. Tears ran down her face, streaking the dirt, as she rocked herself softly in the corner. Everyone she had ever loved was dead. She was afraid to even open her eyes, for fear of seeing her father reaching out to her. For fear of seeing her brother, never again seeing his smile. And Eric, poor sweet Eric. They were to have been married in the spring, the arrangements having been made since they were both 12 years old. Ally cried harder now, until the tears no longer came and her voice became a dry throaty rasp, and stayed curled into that corner, the pain of her body forgotten at the pain of her heart.
After what felt like a lifetime, Ally opened her eyes. Her throat was raw and she desperately needed a drink of water. She gently pulled herself up, her entire body protesting with stiffness and pain. She steadied herself, leaning against the wall as a wave of vertigo swept over her. After it passed she slowly shuffled over to the water trough, just outside the stable. She sank to her knees, which sunk deeply into the mud, and drank deeply. After a few gulps, she leaned her head back, trickles of water running down her jaw. It was then she noticed it, the rising sun breaking in the East. But it was no sun she recognized. No longer a shining orb, but blackened, with tendrils of darkness stretchering out from it. Each moment she stared at it, she could feel more and more of the warmth be stolen from the air. A dead sun had risen in the dawn.
A new kind of fear gripped her then, and Ally Marshall freed herself from the mud and pulled herself upright, wanting to get away from the fear she felt. She stumbled into the stable, falling hard on her knees onto the dirt, laying on all fours. She stayed like that, breathing heavy, trying to hold back a fresh wave of tears. Out of the corner of her eyes though she saw movement, a slight flicker. She slowly turned her head, and saw her father's outstretched hand. Where the fingers had been though had been replaced by blackened sharp points, a claw. A claw that was now reaching for her. Ally screamed again this time, not one of anguish, but of terror.
End of Line.