For Jillybean, moments of utter happiness and pure sanity are as fleeting and wonderful as sun-showers at a July picnic. Her time with Granny Annie is one such moment, but as always it ends far too quickly and she is once more thrust back into a world of crushing loneliness and endless despair.
Setting out to find a family who will lover, she discovers an orphaned boy of her own age named Chris. He brings her a feeling of hope that she desperately needs because she also discovers a purpose, one fraught with danger and one that might end in the most horrifying death imaginable.
Having waded through an ocean of blood from New York to Colorado, Jillybean is haunted by the idea of revenge. How many fathers or mothers or loved ones has she struck down in her simple quest just to survive? Thousands upon thousands, in all probability. Perhaps more frightening is the question of how many enemies she had left alive and how many more she had created? And how many hundreds of them are consumed with the desire to take revenge on her?
When a terrifying weapon goes missing, the nightmare of revenge becomes a reality and Jillybean must throw herself into a quest to save the Estes Valley from utter destruction. There is just one problem: is the threat even real? Are there people actually roaming the valley at night killing in a terrifying manner? Or are all these enemies figments of her warped imagination?
As the death toll mounts, the people of the Valley begin to ask: Is Jillybean the nightmare? Is she the one doing the killing? And if so, who has the wits to match her genius and stand against her?