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Word Count: 804
She walks out of work at midnight every agonizing step being felt by her swollen feet having survived one of the busiest nights at the diner She daydreams of the things to do list that has to be tackled tomorrow and the hot bath waiting for her when she gets to her house Suddenly she is brought back to reality when she hears footsteps falling in behind her She strains to hear their rhythm trying to assure herself its just someone out for an evening stroll or perhaps just needing to buy something at the corner store Desperately she tries to keep her heart from pounding so loud that the whole neighborhood isnt awakened She picks up her stride and turns the first corner towards home Convinced her imagination is working overtime until she acutely notices the heavy falling footsteps turn the corner and quicken their pace She turns sharply ready to face the unseen stranger but all she views is an empty sidewalk Though no one appears to be around the hairs on the back of her neck stand up warning her of impending danger She looks around for anything that will offer her safety when she sees the local cemetery groundskeeper tending to one of the graves Quickly she reaches the cemeterys large cast iron gate and throws it open with a force that even surprises her Running through the grounds she is unaware that the footsteps have stopped short refusing to enter this forbidden darkness of souls She stumbles on the first mound encountered and scrambles to get up Finally getting to her feet she realizes something is preventing her from moving Looking down she sees dirt encrusted hands rising from the bowels of the grave and encircling her ankles She lets out a blood curdling scream and fights desperately to get released but the gnarled hands hang on with an unearthly strength Kicking as hard as she
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