I chuckled to myself as she continued to scream. Every case of tainting that I got, the screaming became even more amusing. They all screamed, and tried to run. But there wasn't anywhere for the to go. There never had been, never was, and never would be.

I dismissed the shadows and after a moment's hesitation, they retreated, but stayed on the sidelines, always in the periphery of my vision, ready and waiting for my order. I watched the woman carefully. She curled into a ball and fought back more screams and the beginnings of tears.

"Sarah," I said quietly, my voice carrying to her ears.

She looked up suddenly, her face an expression of fear and confusion.

"How... How do you know my name?" she asked shakily.

"It was on your case file," I shrugged. "Do you know why you're here?"

She glanced around, her nose scrunching up at the smell of sulphur and blood. The dark mist grew heavier as the shadows inched forward, desperate for a taste of their new prey.

"This is some awful dream. I had a bad day at work and my mind has gone into overdrive. Yes, that's.... that'll be it."

I couldn't help the grin that spread slowly across my lips.

"Oh, Miss Price, this is only the beginning."

My dark laugh drifted around her ears as I released her. I briefly debated whether to wake her, or let her fall into a more peaceful dream. I chose the former; couldn't have the taint wearing off now, could we?

Back in her reality, she woke up, screaming once again, a film of sweat coating her entire body. My mind strayed, wondering if the sweat on her body reached all the way down there. I frowned at myself and stood up on the branch of the tree before disppearing into the shadows.

The End

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