The chicken wire fence was gnarled; it bloomed outward in a metallic flower of sharp, rubicund-tipped edges.

Something thick and heavy had encompassed the atmosphere. Outlines and shapes seemed dull and colorless. The building before her was whitewashed, dotted with grime, walls peeling. The facility looked ill.

Above, the sky had taken on a sickly yellow pallor; the clouds were stormy and feverish.

Her footsteps echoed across the courtyard and bounced off the walls, returning and pelting her with the reminder that she was utterly alone in this arid, parched place.

This loneliness was what had nearly driven her mad.

As she approached the walls, she saw that what she had thought were splotches of dirt were not dirt at all.

Smeared hand-prints of scarlet ran along the canvas of the wall, creating a grisly painting and informing her of what had happened perhaps only hours before her arrival.

She turned wordlessly and gazed into the horizon of the barren, dry city.

It was only a matter of time.

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