“I hate to bother you, but I have something important to ask…”

The small voice behind Alanna catches her by surprise, and she slowly turns to face a little boy half her size with big brown eyes. She tilts her head at him, slightly amused, “Where’s your mommy and daddy?”

“Well. That’s what I was going to ask,” his bottom lip quivers.

Alanna furrows her brow at the boy, “What’s your name?”

“I… I don’t know…” Tears start to fall down his dirt-smudged cheeks now, leaving pale white streaks in their wake.

They are standing outside of the restaurant that Alanna just got done eating at with a couple of friends, but they’ve already left. Now she’s alone with this boy who doesn’t even know his own name. She sighs and looks around for any sign of this child’s parents, but aside from the occasional passing car, there seems to be no one around.

“Do you remember what your mommy and daddy look like?”

He sniffles and nods his head up and down, “But I don’t know where they are. They aren’t here.”

“Do you remember where you last saw them?” Alanna’s just grasping for straws at this point, and she realizes that she may end up having to call the police.

He nods again and points in a vague direction straight ahead.

Alanna takes his hand, “Alright, show me.”

The boy takes her straight down the street and right into an alley between two buildings. Their footsteps echo against the walls and somewhere water is dripping ceaselessly against metal. The only light is the moon peeking through the two buildings and reflecting against the puddles of water on the uneven earth.

They stop.

“Your parents were in this alley?” He doesn’t respond, but his grip on Alanna’s hand becomes increasingly tighter. Tighter until she can’t tolerate it any longer, “Hey! What are you doing?” Suddenly something cracks and she yelps in pain.

Her knees buckle underneath her and she falls to the ground; she’s face to face with the boy again, but this time his eyes are not brown. His pupils are so dilated that his eyes appear to be black holes, and his mouth forms into a circle of sharp teeth. He then lurches forward, latching himself to her neck just above the collarbone.

Her screams pierce the air like ice sickles for just a few seconds until the life fades from her eyes and the blood from her veins. The boy pulls away to lick any stray blood from his lips as Alanna falls face first into a puddle, lifeless.

He sighs and then drops to the ground in pain as bones break and muscles contort and bulge every which way. He grunts and yells in agony. After five minutes of this, he is just a heap on the ground.

He slowly lifts himself up, but instead of a little boy, he is now the blonde beauty he just sucked dry. He, or she rather, examines her dainty hands and giggles, trying out her new voice. As she begins to walk back out of the alley, she says, “And that is how I ended up becoming the proud owner of this body.”