GENRE: YA Horror
It was early morning and I was out in my front yard, washing my feet in the dew. This was a practice that I had adopted sometime in childhood, and I had secretly never given it up. Mist lay heavy on the pastures surrounding the old farmhouse and clung to the patches of blue-green grass that grew thickly underfoot. It gave sustenance to the beetles and the spiders.
My name is Octavia, because I am the youngest of eight children. All of us were named for figures from Roman history, and my parents waited, patiently, until they had given birth to eight in order to bestow this name. I once asked whether they would have been disappointed if I were a boy, but they pointed out that Octavian is a no less illustrious and well-omened name than my own.
I was watching the first rays of sunlight playing on the webs above the porch swing when I heard the sound of gravel crunching on the drive. Guiltily startled, and somewhat ashamed that I might be caught indulging these childish pleasures, I slipped on my dew-drenched shoes and turned around.
My brother, Germanicus, was walking up the path that leads from the barn. His shirt was drenched in blood, torn open at the front, and he had something horned and bloody draped across his shoulders. I blinked my eyes several times to banish the gory vision, but had to accept that it was reality. I ran to get a better look.