Another hall, round with concentric rings carved into the floor. The balcony is above me now. A statue of Adam weeps blood that runs onto its wide gray plinth, pooling and dripping over the edge onto my toes.

My growling stomach clenches hard at the brackish, rotten flavor of it. Pain. Hear the

e ch
oe s of my slime-coated vocal chords. I hack hard, then spit into my palm and annoint the feet.

Dizzy. Did someone just defile a grave? Did Lazarus break the spine of a rabbit? Like a dream at false dawn after shuddering awake, thought slips from me. Who knows how long my body has lain here.

I never sleep.

I recognize these walls, now. Bloody fingertips trailing along to mark the path.

There is


in a heap, ahead. At the end of this trail of footsteps.


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