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She searched the body carefully, cleaned it, spelled it with wards, and sealed it in what was supposed be his eternal tomb. She used a backhoe to bury him under the Great Ash, below the subsoil where nothing lived.

By charm or chance, she overlooked the spore he had hidden in his ear.

At this depth, the ground didn't freeze but water went where it liked, dissolving minerals, and wearing down stone. It took years for the first crack to split his cement prison. Greedy, hair-like shoots converged on this weak point, forcing the concrete aside thread by thread. The Entity emerged over weeks and months, an expanding mass of unnatural shoots that only knew up.

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