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Scuffed boots autonomously followed the cracked highway that bisected red dirt. Sun beating my back, thirst itching my throat.

That’s when I saw the corpse by the side of the road. Another poor schmuck consumed by this toxic realm.

I prodded at the body with my walking stick. Leaving sickly circular indentations in pallid flesh, sending dark flies into the air.

No reaction.

Slowly I reached down, parting clothing, searching for treasure.

That’s when its mouth popped open, a groan, hand scrabbling at dirt. Raising its head, the face expressionless, clawing at my leg.

I fled, boots pounding.

It followed.

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