When the creatures come, either you fight or you die. 16-year-old Zora was born in the Dark Valley, a cursed land where shadow creatures spawn in the dark and survive in daylight. She's trained to fight since before she could walk. She wants to be a ranger, a hero, and fight shadow creatures and light up her valley. She also wants to be close to the handsome ranger Seth. Her parents want her to be a teacher. When she finds herself under attack in the forest with a group of children, she'll have her chance to rethink what it means to be a hero. The Shadows and the Children is a short story and a prequel to the series Kingdom of Curses and Shadows.