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Column A woman did something to me not long ago. At least I believe so; I'm not certain, because think I blacked out at one point. I'm not really sure what I remember; maybe I hallucinated when I blacked out. If I blacked out.

I think I saw her suffer a ghastly injury to her leg during a fight, and when it was over, she asked me to help her. Everything about her scared me. I wanted desperately to run away, but my legs never quite got the impulse to move. Every instinct told me: danger; get away from this woman; run. Yet there was something powerfully attractive about her, and the desire to stay was as strong as the instinct to escape. I found her repulsive in ways: she was so pale and looked hard-hearted. But she pleaded for help, and my mind searched for rationalisations: she was pale from blood loss; she might go into shock; it would be wrong to leave her.

I stood with an arm around her to let her walk. She was horribly cold; I was sure she would go into shock. I told her to go to the hospital, and she agreed, and led me. But she led me away from it, and I knew it perfectly well, and all I could say was, "I think we might be going the wrong way".

Destiny Welles

She led me to a cemetery, and opened the gate. "You really need to be in hospital," I suggested weakly. Things were going very wrong, I could sense that, but I didn't have the will to resist. A voice in my mind urged me to run, and I wanted to, but I simply could not. She opened the main crypt and led me downstairs into the damp cold, immersing me in a chill and the earthy smell of wet stone and decomposing soil.

"My family are here", she said, as I sat with her on a bench and she laid her head on my shoulder.

"Shouldn't you see a doctor?" I asked softly.

"This is exactly what I need", she whispered.

She turned her face, as if to kiss my neck. I think I struggled. I think she kissed me, and maybe she bit me. The voice in my mind became fainter, weaker, more distant. Almost like an echo, like a voice calling out in the dark, barely audible. "Run, Destiny", it said. But it came from so far away. I remember a calmness descending on me. I remember feeling blackness surround me - so warm and dark, like the womb. I floated in a state of incomparable comfort. Drifting....abandoning myself....embracing this darkness of warmth and joyous peace.

I must have blacked out. As I returned to consciousness, I felt so confused. Memories came and went in fragments; I couldn't hold on to them, couldn't focus on them. But the woman seemed lively, strong, happy. It made no sense that she would recover so quickly from such an injury, and - well, I know this sounds crazy - but for a moment I thought she had fangs, like an animal.

I was so confused. "Your teeth", I said weakly, "there is something wrong with your teeth."

She turned and smiled. "Is there, dear?" she asked. Her smile was perfect. I must have been dreaming; I just don't know.

"Let me take you to the hospital", I said.

"Why on earth would I want to go there?" she asked with a laugh.

"Your injury," I said.

"My injury?? What injury do you mean, dear?"

I was sure that her leg had been gashed severely. Yet I could see that it had not. I must have been dreaming. My memory is so poor. Fragments of recollection come back to me as nightmares. She is always in them. I dream that she attacks me like an animal, and I cannot run. She tastes my flesh and my blood, and I feel that I want to give myself to her completely. I wake in a cold sweat, trembling and terrified.

Then I check my messages to see if she might have called. I can't wait to see her again.

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