Since the beginning of the dark times, there had been the stories about the days that followed Copper Day. The sightings began when the Days End Moon appeared, and then the picking off of people and animals—and the disappearances. This would be my year to go away and never come back, because they never did. Nobody knew who would be affected by years of darkness or at what age, but there were things that happened—specific things. The “changed” had their own place, we were told. Beyond the borders, past the plains—out there somewhere, and for what reason nobody knew. But this truth must remain a secret. I’d tell no one. It would be too painful for mom and Mena to lose another family member. My transformation had been so gradual that nobody really noticed, but now a new symptom appeared every day. Massive hair growth, strong senses, night vision. Nocturnal cravings had me thirsting for something unknown. Selfishly, I hoped Noah could help ease the transition. Just one tiny taste of love. I’d keep a safe enough distance just out of fairness—users were the lowest of the low. But killers were the bottom of the barrel.