The leaves are copper, gold and bronze
As trees release their vibrant fronds
Adrift on pumpkin-scented winds
And the air is rich with dying things
And hearts are warmed by tea and spice
A fleeting orange paradise…
The immortal crouched outside the door of the orphanage owner’s office. She pressed her ear to the cold wood, listening.
The voices were too low for her to make anything out.
She growled in frustration. Turning away from the door, she stalked away down the hall.
“Margaret?” a girl’s voice called out.
The immortal stopped. “Yes?”
Lorraine, a pretty young orphan of thirteen with reddish blond hair that hung to her knees, was standing behind her, eyeing her suspiciously. “What were you doing?”
“Nothing, Lorraine. Do excuse me.” the immortal began walking again, completely indifferent.
“You’re strange, Margaret.” Lorraine said softly, also turning away.
The immortal smiled. “Oh, you have no idea, child.”
“Why do you call me child? You cannot be older than ten.” Lorraine looked back at her, bewildered.
The immortal shook her head, causing her curly chocolate hair to brush against her fat rosy cheeks. The cheeks and curls made the immortal extremely pretty, but nowhere near sweet. For beneath her curling lashes shone a pair of dark, vengeful grey eyes that made her older, harsher and unfalteringly cruel.
Without replying to Lorraine, she took off running down the hall. A large glass window let in the daylight at the end of it.
Lorraine whirled around, her eyes wide. “Margaret, what…” she trailed off, horrified.
The immortal took a a flying leap. She felt the glass shattering around her, and then the chill air rushing past her as she fell. She absently registered the sound of Lorraine screaming from the building above.
She landed gracefully, almost catlike, on the grass. She rolled forward and stood up, brushing shards of glass off her orphanage-issued dress. There was not so much as a cut on her invulnerable body.
A single curl of her brunette hair had come out of place and fallen before her eyes. She tucked it behind her ear and set off down the road leading away from the orphanage.
Despite her ten-year-old appearance, she moved like a prowling she-wolf on an eternal hunt. And there was something dark and menacing about her.
She stopped suddenly. She lifted her timelessly youthful face to the open sky. A scent, familiar as her own, drifted on the wind. Her eyes snapped open, manic with joy. A cruel laugh rumbled in her throat.
The immortal child began to jog, her curls bouncing, adrenaline building.
Her eyes glittered in anticipation. Her prey was near. The hunt was back on.