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“Ever since Ana got tangled up in that giant rose bush, she would scratch at that arm. When Spring came and she began to wear short-sleeved blouses, we were shocked to see the bruise was still visible.
Then the nightmares began. She would moan and cry out in her sleep. Soon, she was barely sleeping at all; her eyes were puffy and dark and she would flinch at the slightest sound.
She told us she would dream of walking in a thickly wooded area, among plants that grew either too large or small and twisted, bearing fruit that was bloated or shriveled. This image was all too familiar. She would hear a strangled scream, a wet tearing sound, then see a duplicate of herself stride from the foliage, chewing at a hank of flesh it held in its hand. This creature would look into Ana’s eyes, smile and say ‘You and Me.’
The clipping service we employed to provide us with ‘unusual’ articles began to send more and more stories about murders and cannibalism in rural areas, committed by a woman. The locations of these, though initially nearly two-thousand miles away, were slowly moving in our direction. Early eyewitness reports stated she was nude and said only ‘You and Me.’
Soon, the articles indicated this woman was wearing clothing and was screaming disjointed information. This made no sense to witnesses, but we recognized this was information that the previous victims would know-details about farming, automotive mechanics, etc.
Then this mystery woman killed someone on the street in a small town. A police officer managed to shoot her twice, and a local reporter snapped a picture while she was tearing a man apart. The woman in the photo was clearly Ana. Despite the gunshot wounds, she escaped. The article went on to mention that this woman subsequently stole a truck from a nearby farm. The next murder, the following day, was very near us. She had travelled over fifteen hundred miles in a little over one day.
Knowing a confrontation was imminent, we drove out of town that evening, setting a blockade with our cars, about one hundred feet off the road and with a clear field of fire. Soon, a well-used, rusted, blue pickup came barreling along the road. Identical to Ana, the entity lept from the speeding truck and rolled upright, charging without breaking stride.
It was fast. As it closed distance its back hunched, the lower jaw unhinged and distended and the thing’s face split, making the mouth an enormous, toothy cavern. Sprouting vines and root tendrils trailed behind the thing and its nails and teeth curled out in the shape of huge thorns. It leapt our barricade, screaming at Ana ‘We shall be stronger you and me!’
Ana, always level-headed in a crisis, calmly raised her shotgun, said ‘You are not me,’ fired, cocked the weapon and fired again.
The next day, I retired and she took command of the squad.” — Journal entry of Captain Carol Younger, forty years retired, in the care of the Project Catalyst Retirement Facility, location undisclosed.