Dragosani fell into his own past along the vampire life-thread, but not very far. For all that it was short, it was a journey which left him dazed and frightened; but at its end he once again found himself clothed in flesh. And clothed in more than flesh. A body surrounded him, yes, and also a mind other than his own. He was part of someone else, and the other was also blind - or buried!

For even now his unknown host struggled to rise up from a shallow grave, from the blackness of a night centuries long, from the bitter imprisonment of the soil.

There was no time to consider the implications, no time even to declare his presence to the other. Dragosani felt stifled, smothered, yet again on the brink of oblivion. He had known enough of pain and wanted no more of it. He added his own will to that of his host and strove for the surface. And above him, suddenly the earth cracked open and host and Dragosani both sat up.

Scabs of earth fell from them as they turned their head to gaze all about. It was night but overhead, viewed through the black twining branches of trees, stars gleamed bright in a cold sky. Dragosani could see!

But... didn't he know this place?

Someone stood there in the darkness, staring at him where he sat half-in, half-out of the earth. Dragosani's vision cleared along with that of his host - and the shock he felt then was like a sledge-hammer blow to his still teetering mind 'I... I CAN SEE... YOU!' he rumbled.

He saw - he knew - and terror gibbered again in the night of the cruciform hills!

Then there was a second figure in the darkness, a squat

figure whose voice was soft when he said: 'Ho, Thing from the earth!' And in another moment the sighing thud of his lignum vitae bolt where it crashed through the host body and was wedged there. Then Dragosani added his voice to that of his awful host in a hissing shriek and tried to draw down again into the earth. But there was no escape, and he knew there was no escape.

He couldn't believe it. It couldn't end like this!

'WAIT!' he croaked with his host's voice as the first figure staggered closer, holding something that gleamed bright in starlight. 'CAN'T YOU SEE? ITS ME'!!'

But the other Dragosani didn't know, couldn't under­stand, wouldn't wait. And the sickle he carried became a blur of steel as it struck home with an irresistible force.

'FOOL! DAMNED FOOL!' Ferenczy/Dragosani howled from a head already flying free. And he knew that this was only one of many agonies, many deaths, in the unending scarlet loop of his Mobius existence. It had happened before, was happening now, would happen again... and again... and again...

And, 'Fool!' his bubbling, bloody lips whispered his final comment, his final word - only this time he spoke to himself ...

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