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Darkness surrounded me.
I stood in the center of a familiar room, the walls and shelves
covered with the macabre and strange. Snakes floating in jars,
teeth scattered among feathers and bones and pestles. A skele-
ton in a top hat grinning at me from the corner. Frightening,
but I wasn’t afraid. I knew this place. I just couldn’t remem-
ber from where.
An old wooden rocking chair creaked softly at the edge of
the light. It was facing away from me, and I could see a body
slumped in the seat, withered arms dangling over the sides. I
took a step closer and smelled the decay, the stench of grave
dust and rags and ancient newspapers, crumbling in the attic.
Walking around to face the chair, I gazed down at the shriv-
eled corpse of an old woman, her nails curved into long, steely
talons, her head slumped on her sunken chest.
Then she raised her head, and her eyes burned with black
fire as she opened her mouth and breathed the words that
stopped my heart in fear.
And I awoke.
My name is Meghan Chase.
And I’ve been working way too hard, lately.
I lifted my head from my desk, blinking at my computer
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