April 26th, Present Day Kensington, Australia

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My feet leave muddied imprints on the wet ground as I run. In the back of my mind I know that running is useless, but that doesn't stop me from doing it. Humidity sticks to me as a thick fog hangs in the air. I can barely feel my legs anymore, the same monotonous stride rendering them numb. I can't stop running. I've never stopped running away from something that I didn't think was real, until I came face to face with it myself. Thoughts race through my head as I falter, almost falling, but catching myself before I hit the ground. My feet slide through the mud but manage to regain traction. Rain hits my face and drips down off my cheekbones. How could I have been so stupid? I knew something wasn't right the minute we found it. The way suspicion rose in the air and my gut twisted nervously. Then with something as mere as my switchblade, I made an indelible mistake. It seemed so innocent at the time, so far from what it is now. All we did was carve our initials into a tree; D + M. Dana + Michael, as simple as that. But what came after destroyed everything.

Heavy breathing fatigues me. I stop for a second, then the breaths become louder and harder. I freeze, my spine stiffens.

It's not my breath.

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