There would be many rumours about what had happened that night in the small town of Betley, but none of them would be true.
Looking into his eyes one last time, tears started to trickle down her pasty cheeks. Maria would never see Gabriel again after that night, and knowing that pained her immensely. "Is this what forbidden love feels like? You finally meet the right one and suddenly they are snatched away from you, in some cruel twist of fate," she thought, drying her eyes with the back of her hand.
The branches of the willow tree swayed as the wind increased. Specks of rain had started to fall. Before she could hug him he stopped her. " I have to leave! I love you Maria," he said softly.
The barking of the police dog in the distance distracted her for a moment. Her breathing became erratic as she comprehended what might happen to her.
As foretold, Gabriel had vanished into thin air. She would have to face the consequences alone. Voices of the search-party echoed throughout the park, as they returned back to the marquee.
Bertie, the dog, lead the policeman through brambles and thickets, as he started to pick up the scent of Emma. Eventually, they came to a clearing in the woods. None of them was prepared for what they saw next.
In front of them was a corpse of a young woman, strands of her ebony hair moved in the wind, blood seeping out of her mouth, limbs twisted. Her face withered, skin grubby from the soil. " Why does her face look like an old woman? Instead of a woman in her twenties?" One policeman said to another.
Limping back to the ball, Maria tried to control her erratic breathing. Her midnight blue ball dress stained with her blood as well as the blood of her enemy. Remnants of mascara stained her blotchy face, her once curly brown hair now frizzy. Resting on a bench outside of the marquee she started to cry again. Everything that she had thought was impossible had proved otherwise.
"Maria!!" her father cried as he pushed through the crowds of people, in order to get to her.He had been in a heated debate with the local darts club for the majority of the evening, trying to convince them to allow him to be a member. He had been unsuccessful.
"A dark force has always followed me, It has wormed its way into my family, taking the one thing I treasure the most in the World." Jean whimpered as she stared into space. Helen wasn't sure what she should say to comfort her friend.
They both knew that there was a strong possibility that they would never see Emma again. It was only a matter of time before their lives would change forever.
Before they could continue their conversation, Mr Fontley approached them " Helen we need to take Maria home now! We need to look after her!" Helen had been so wrapped up in her friend's situation, that she had been oblivious to the fact that her daughter had been missing all throughout that evening.
"I'm sorry Jean I have to go! Call me anytime, " she said as she gave her a hug goodbye.
Whilst in her bed that night Maria could not help but think of the creature that she had killed earlier that evening. Hiding in the shadows of the room, with eyes as red as blood, hissing and contorting its body, like it had done before.