I shook my head, as if to dislodge the disturbing images from it. My hands flew up to my throat, which felt as though a river of fire was burning within.

What is this burning? I wondered. And where did it come from?

Before I could follow the progression of these thoughts, the rainfall began in earnest, falling down in sheets and drenching me in mere minutes.

I sought the shelter of a nearby tree while I scanned my surroundings for a more suitable location to wait out the storm. I saw a shed about 300 feet from where I stood. The rain was really starting to come down now, so I would have to make a run for it. I reached down to take off my solitary heel and then I began running.

I had no memories of my past life -- I had no memories of running. And so nothing prepared me for the absolute pleasure of it, the freeing feeling of adrenaline pumping through me as I moved through the trees. I had so much fun doing it that I almost passed the shed. I skidded to a stop, sending a cloud of leaves whirling around me.

The door was unlocked. Once inside the shed, I found a kerosene lamp and a box of matches. I lit the lamp and began peeling off my damp clothes. I stood naked in a shaft of light that came through the small window. I hadn't paid attention to my body before, at least not to my recollection. I was maybe five-foot-four, petite by any accounts, and slender. My legs and ankles were pleasantly shaped. My skin was pale, almost alabaster. My hands reached up to feel my hair, which clung to my head in a short cap. The strands were silky to the touch. I saw a small mirror hanging on the wall and walked towards it.

I searched out my face in its tarnished depths. It was heart-shaped with almond-shaped eyes. The irises were blood-red, a startling shade of scarlet. The lips were full, curving in a cupid's bow beneath an upturned nose. I smiled at my reflection, and was startled when I saw how bright and white my teeth were. Whiter even than my skin.

There was a neat pile of clothes in the corner of the shed as well as a pair of utility boots. Both the clothes and the boots were ridiculously too big for me, but I made do by rolling up the cuffs of the pants and tying the button-down shirt in a knot at my waist. I would have to do without the shoes.

I peered out the window and saw that the rain had finally let up, so I decided to keep moving. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but I knew I had to get out of here. Whoever had put me in that grave clearly didn’t plan on me exiting it, and I had a feeling that I would be inviting trouble if it was discovered that I was up and walking about, clearly alive and well.

With that thought in mind, I trekked back to my grave with a shovel I’d found in the shed. I piled a clump of dirt onto the shattered remains of my coffin, tossing in the remaining pieces of headstone I’d found. There. Now it looked normal again, as if the grave’s inhabitant was still inside, resting in peace. I laid the shovel against a nearby tree and dusted off my hands.

It was then that I heard a noise behind me, a footfall of some large animal. I whirled around, a guttural growl filling my ears.

There was a man standing there. He held a flashlight in his hand and his face was white with shock. His ID badge identified him as Henry Wallford, Night Watchman.

For perhaps a minute, maybe more, we stood there staring at each other. Then a sudden wind ghosted through the trees and flirted with the leaves around us. It blew his scent straight towards me. My hands clenched reflexively and I lowered into a crouch. I could feel my lips pull back over my teeth and the same growl filled my ears again.

Dimly I realized the growl was coming from me. But I couldn't process that thought now -- all I could think about was how delicious this man smelled. The burning in my throat accelerated till it was almost a fever, sending sticky tendrils that licked at the flames at the back of my throat. My mouth filled with saliva, only it was coated with a strange chemical taste.

I could see the man’s pulse jumping frantically at his neck, the blue artery pronounced against his pale skin. I took a step towards him, my mouth curving in a smile that apparently confused him.

“Hello,” I said. “You smell mouthwatering.”

He dropped the flashlight and began running.

The End

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