After seeing all the entries, I've realized how slim the chances of me winning are -_-

Oh well, might as well see how far I can stretch this PG- rating limit. :))

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Chapter 1

Death is an ugly putrid thing. When you die on a death bed of your choosing, preferably of old age, then it's okay to put a smile on your face. It would be for your family anyway and any kind of morbid post-mortem pictures they'd like to take with you. Now, if you die, say, by getting shot during a robbery, or being tortured, or drowning, then I would seriously consider your mental health if you've still somehow affixed a cheerful expression on your cold, dead face.

That's what was going through my head as I examined a very happy looking corpse. The guy was old, couldn't have been younger than eighty from what I remember. His eyes were just beginning to film over, his face contorted but not from pain. He was grinning, the smug old geezer, grinning like a fool. A knife jutting from his chest served to make the whole façade seem eerie. Add to that image: a large bed with red velvet covers, scented candles, clothes carelessly strewn across the floor, the fact that said dead old man was naked and then eerie can go to uncomfortably nauseating pretty fast.

I tried to avert my eyes as I lifted the blanket, now damp from whatever fluid, over the dead body both as respect for the dead and respect for my eyes. The body was fresh, I noted. The entirety of it was still warm with blood still flowing from the wound. How long had the body been dead? Oh, I don't know, I'm no doctor. Maybe an hour, two tops. Definitely no less than a minute.

I committed myself to my most minimal estimation as the killer revealed herself.

A sudden weight descended on me as I was yanking the knife from the dead body, tackling me to the ground in an absolutely disorganized jumble. She was obviously untrained. If she was she wouldn't have shouted before tackling me. In my business, an amateur move like that didn't win you any Best Scream awards, it just made you dead. The split second before we collided gave me enough time to think of a good action movie counter since heck, why not try to look good while kicking butt? As we landed on the ground, I jerked quickly, throwing the woman straddling my back off me and turning the fall into a roll.

The woman did the same as she was thrown off, rolling and recovering lithely on the balls of her feet. Maybe she wasn't as untrained as I thought. The killer wore a thin, black nightgown, wet from the way it clung to her body. Whether it was sweat or blood, I didn't need to know. Even darker hair cascaded downward, covering her face in a messy veil, as her bright copper eyes glared at me. The eyes didn't come from your usual homicidal seductress; they came from an animal. The pupils narrowed into slits like a lizard's. The question to what particular lizard was answered as she hissed in frustration; a forked tongue darting through white fangs dripping with what I hoped was just drool.

"Mine," she hissed angrily, milky droplets falling from bared fangs.

We had rolled a fair distance away from each other - enough that she was too far for me to stab with my newly acquired knife and I was too far to get bitten by venomous fangs. It was also far enough for me to feel comfortable about standing up and giving her a disinterested expression.

"I'm just doing my job, ma'am," I said as officiously as I could, tapping the bloody knife against my dark jeans. "I'll gladly leave the guy for you to...whatever you plan to do with him."

With a haughty expression, the woman stood up and confirmed my suspicions about what she was. The distance apparently wasn't enough for me to ignore the full force of her abilities. Why did it always have to be snakes? With a pompous grin, she began to slither closer to me. To heck if I knew how she did it with clearly human feet. Her body moved gracefully and seductively, through the whole thing giving the impression that she was, in fact, a predator. It was creepy as hell to watch but I couldn't stop. The room had gotten hotter, my throat drier, and my pants noticeably tighter. I tried to ignore the way her body moved. If I took too much notice, there would be no way to fight back.

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