~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Doug came to, lying on his back in what felt and smelled like a field. A gray, milky sky gaped over him. He took it in too quickly and fluttered his eyes.
Why was he on his back in a field? What was wrong with his chest? This last thought came suddenly as he sensed something pressing down on him. He lifted his head, and for a kaleidoscopic moment glimpsed the wooden stake in his heart before his vision swam black and his head hit the dirt again.
"Oh yeah," he whispered. "Forgot."
"You keep passing out," said a voice. "You wake up, look at the stake, pass out again. But shouldn't you be dead? I thought a stake through the heart was supposed to kill you."
"It seems like a good . . ." wheezed Doug, "guess to me."
High above, a crooked line of birds perforated the lightening sky. It was very cold.
"I think . . . I think sometimes you think you're the hero of the story, and somethings you think you're the victim," said the voice. "But you're not either."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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