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Wild Night

You wake to darkness, though a flicker of fluorescent color blares at the edge of your vision. You try to turn your head to view it, and that's when you become aware of your physical condition.

You ache. All over. Every muscle, every bone aches dully, aches and stiffens, as if it has ached for a long time and the pain has seeped into your meat and muscle, your entire body growing rigid. You also feel, ever so slightly, cold, but not uncomfortably cold. As if you have been cold for a very long time, so long that it's just become a part of you now. Your neck cracks, bones popping, as you turn it. Your eyes take a minute to focus, and then it sees the source of the light.

It's a computer. The flickering was caused by a figure standing up from it, and you freeze for a second, remembering your blind date, and what he did.

The figure walking towards you, though, is a woman. You are immediately relieved. Strange that you'd be relieved when a strange woman approaches, but there you have it. She steps into the circle of light around you, illuminated by one sole incandescent above you, and you see why you shouldn't be so relieved.

She, too, is strange. She has that same paleness, but it's even more pronounced - probably because she's dressed entirely in black. Black skirt, black boots, black turtleneck, black hair. Black-rimmed glasses, even. It seems overkill - she looks dead. Then you remember your encounter, and hold back your thoughts. She just might be.

She stands over you a second, huffily. "You don't have to pretend to be asleep," she says, in an ironlike, flat voice, "I know you're awake and I know what happened. Sit up. We have a lot of ground to cover."