[WP] A serial killer wakes up in a world where his or her victims are still alive

Sarah's not dead. Well I mean she is. I'm not a lunatic. I know if I looked that I'd find her right where I left her; cold and peaceful, pantyhose coiled around her throat. And yet here she is. The girl I fell in love with through windows and trash bags, counting out exact change for the barista. Like I've seen a dozen times before. Her Macbook cradled under her arm as she awkwardly pecks coins out of her tiny bag with her free hand in an asymmetric dance I've come to know as well as the rhythm of my own heart. But this time is different. This time Sarah is dead. The dead girl walks out the door sipping her caramel macchiato. She offers no sign that she saw or recognized me, but I suppose why would she? Even in her death throws I was a stranger.

I delete the quarterly TPS report for the third time and reopen the blank spreadsheet. A sister? Too many late nights? My eyes glaze over and I stare dumbly into the screen. I should have called in sick. But dead girl or no my report is due by closing, and you can't kill every supervisor that holds you to a deadline. My mind wanders. Philip. I regret that. I regret him. It was impulsive. Stupid. I lucked out that he was up to his eyeballs in debt, if anyone had thought to check-"Hey buddy, working hard?" My blood freezes in my veins. "Or hardly working?" I swivel my chair to face the dead man. "Aw, you know I'm just messing with you buddy! Don't shit your pants man." chortles Phil. Douche-bag. Dead douche-bag. "You getting a lot done?" he asks, gesturing towards the blank screen. "Sorry, just having a bit of trouble with the formatting." I mumble. "You know how these Vista machines are." "I hear that man. I've been saying for years we should switch to apple. You know they can't get viruses?" replies the cadaver. "Sounds good." I lie. We stare at each other. He breaks the silence. "Now I don't want to be a fucking wet blanket or anything, but I really do need you to get that done by closing. If you do I'll put in a good word with that secretary you're sweet on. Liz, right?" Elizabeth is also dead. "Can do boss-man."I whisper. He stares at me for a moment, then retreats to the water-cooler. I'm not a lunatic.

There is no sleep here. I can feel the sweat saturating my mattress. I don't understand. But I want to. Dread gives way to curiosity. I roll out of bed, sticky with persperation, but purposeful. My boots. My coat. My spade. I hesitate to destroy the flowers that demarcate her resting place, but sentimentality too buckles to curiosity. The dirt is loose. I dig deeper. Deeper than I know I need to. Her grave is empty. They are all empty. But they are graves. I think I am beginning to understand. I'm not a lunatic.

I can hear crickets. I look down into Sarah's eyes as the life stagnates in them, blood vessels bursting, tinging them pink. It's like seeing a snowflake twice. I expected it to be different, but It's not. I relax my grip, letting her pantyhose loosen around her neck like a wilting flower. I lie beside her as I did before, feeling her grow cold, peaceful. The crickets are quiet now. I lay her into her grave again, with all the grace and dignity she deserves. It is still special. As I cover her with dirt, the fetal understanding I had crystallizes into reality. I'm not a lunatic. I have been given a gift. I am chosen.

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