Chapter 1:

A New Beginning

Vampire Lanterns

Yan woke up from his nightmare drenched in cold sweat. The rising sun was burning his eyes from the window. He placed his arm over his face to cover it. "Sigh! What is going on with me? What's about that nightmare, which I repeatedly have?! That girl..."
It was time for him to get out of his warm bed and get ready for work. He disappeared in the bathroom. Took his time under the shower. Blurry images of that girl were filling his head again. It's said that for every face that appears in your dreams, you must have seen it at least once in real life.
"So who is she?" Why is she always deceased in his dreams? "That's very creepy... Is this some kind of future prediction? ...Better not! Nevermind..." Yan dried himself and wrapped the towel around his waist. He inspected his face in the mirror. Dark circles under his brown eyes and a two-day-old stubble on his chin. "I should shave before leaving..."
He took the electric razor into his hand and hurried up. For sure Yan didn't need to style his medium-length curly Ivy League haircut. Wasn't that long before he got it. After that, he got ready pretty quickly.
He put the jacket on, grabbed the car keys from the tray near the apartment door, and out he was. Why he was born into a weird country that looked sometimes like it was not long after the apocalypse happened there? The broken roads made him drive like a drunk so he wouldn't catch and hole and damage the chassis.
He was living in a small two-bedroom apartment of a village in the middle of nowhere. The way to the town where he worked led through a forested area and sometimes wild animals were crossing the road making it dangerous during dawn and dusk.
Today the weather didn't help the dark atmosphere. The damn autumn brought always dense mists. The town where he worked connected a few valleys which always made the mists crawl down from the hills into the town. Everywhere else the sun was shining bright, but here... Darkness!

Yan worked as an IT support for a company that produced and sold car parts. It was situated right behind the town's railway station. He needed just to park his car next to it and then walk over the long bridge. He always paused for a little, looking down on the rails. His mood was dark and from time to time Yan contemplated... "One jump... and it would be fast over..."

His life wasn't really happy... from the beginning, he had to fight hard. Yan was an orphan, who outgrew the orphanage. Never got the chance to be adopted. The potential parents got scared by his dark emotionless personality.
On the other side, he was a bright young man with an attractive face and body. Sharp features with a scar through the center of his brow ending short under his right eye of an unknown origin. He already forgot how he got it.
Every time somebody asks him, he answers, with "Who knows... I already don't remember." Probably he got it during his childhood. Many kids tried to bully him and involved Yan in a lot of fights just because he had no parents.
Despite being handsome and popular with girls, he had no interest in them, rather avoided the tender gender like a plague. For some reason, when I girl confessed to him or invited him for a date, he got nauseous.
During his university days, he had a part-time job in the same company he works now full time. He was always grateful and everybody got used to him after years of working with this weird boy. The superior liked his work ethic and soon after graduation opened a spot specially for him. He was the supervisor for his department; a born leader as the boss said.
The life was slowly continuing, but he was a depressed loner with no clear future ahead. He couldn't imagine what to do now, that he was an adult. It was frustrating going every day to work and then home.
This stereotype was killing him from the inside, but still, he always rejected an outing with his coworkers. They tried for a short time, but later just gave up on him. The days were spent in silence punching into the keyboard and then going home.

Because of the late autumn, it got dark pretty quickly. Sometimes the way to his car became overly creepy. This evening wasn't any different. As he was walking over the railway he suddenly heard steps behind him. Yan turned to check. He was in the middle of the bridge and he was surrounded by the mist. He squinted his eyes but couldn't see anything at first. Then he saw a silhouette of a huge dog or wolf stepping out of the darkness.
That can't be true. From behind another one appeared, but it looked like a human with his hands in the pockets. Probably he had a hood too, but from that distance and the mist, he saw just shapes.
Yan began to walk faster and after a few steps stopped and looked behind. The dog was gone and instead, two men stood there. One obviously taller and bulkier, than the other. Yan got worried so he hurried up into his car. He pushed the car keys into the engine and drove away.

The two hooded men now stood on the base of the stairs to the bridge and followed Yan's car with their gaze...