A/N: This is... odd. This is the first version that I wrote, but the second one is the direction I had originally intended to go. If that makes sense. :D
Anyway! I really really like both versions, but decided to post this one... just because. LOLz. The only difference in each is the ending, but if anybody wants me to post the alternate ending, I might be persuaded. ;)

Thanks for reading, and enjoy!


.Sympathy for the Devil.


Trager was the man who murdered me. I still see it in my nightmares.

Why do I still have nightmares? Shouldn't this be over by now?

One would think that when you're dead, you stay dead. But I'm not, somehow, and now I don't know where I am. But I know where he is. He's somewhere in the Before, enjoying whatever it is that sick fucks enjoy doing, while I'm here sitting around just wondering what the hell is gonna happen next.

Something is ringing in the darkness. It's faint at first, and then it builds. Vibrates in my bones. Smell's like somebody's using a woodstove. I've always loved that smell; reminds me of winter. And that's when the light comes, violent and shaking and blinding. For a moment everything is quiet. And then the phone rings.

I stand up in the middle of the well-worn cabin, and my legs almost give. Steadying myself on the table beside me, I look around more thoroughly. Everything is tinted a soft grey, like I first thought, old and worn. The ringing echoes through the room again, and I slap my free hand down on the reciever. Funny. How did I know that was there?

I pick it up.

"Hello?" My voice is odd, doesn't feel like my own.

Nobody is answering.

"Hello?!" My patience is almost nil at this point. Still no answer. "What the hell is going on?!"

"Pardon me, miss..." The voice is small, but not a whisper. Androdgynous.

I can feel my breath quicken in my throat. "Yes?" The question is let out in a puff of air.

There is a slight crackling over the line, and then the reply: "...meant no harm. Due... disposition, he's rather... Not comatose, but... strange."

"What?" None of this makes sense.

"Please, miss..."

"What the fuck are you trying to say?"

"...all the facts. You... look outside your window." More crackling, and then the line goes dead. Not even a dial tone. I turn to the nearest window, and the reciever falls from my hand, hitting the ground with an ominous thump. Like a body falling to the floor.

I am afraid of what I see.

There he is. Trager. The shovel is coming down, and he's piling dirt into hole. Through gaps in the dirt, I can see bloody white cloth. I quickly look down at myself. Blue t-shirt, grey jeans. Both marred by blood. I check for cuts, marks, any kind of wound. Nothing. I stare out of the window again, watch him fade away. The grave still remains.

This isn't my blood.

---

You're gonna be fine...

I don't believe you.

Trust me.

I don't trust you either.

---

Back in the dark. Wondering, waiting.

Didn't Trager kill me? Was it someone else? I can't be sure what's real anymore. Hell, maybe I'm still alive. Maybe Trager just injected me with some kind of crazy drug that just made me halucinate the whole damn thing.

But would that really be any better?

Maybe I'm just fucking crazy...

I'm not sure if I'm remembering something I lived before, or somebody else.

All I know is that I have nightmares about Trager stabbing me to death. If that's the case, I would very much like to die now and just get it over with.

"What makes you say that?"

The voice is coming from directly in front of me. There's an older man sitting in an uncomfortable looking orange chair. We are in a white room. He looks at me as though expecting an answer.

"Ava?"

That voice. I recognize that voice.

"Is this real?"

He studies my face for a moment. "Yes."

I look at him. That slumped posture, the way his glasses keep falling half-way down his nose. That voice.

"Did you call me on the phone?"

His eyes snap up to look at me, intense blue boring through my skull. I have his attention. "It wasn't me."

"Don't lie," I say, and try to stand. But my wrists are held to the bed. I didn't really care until I tried to move. Now I'm even more upset. "Don't lie to me. I know your voice."

He looks mildly distressed. He knows he's a lying sonofabitch.

"You called me at the cabin where Trager murdered me and buried my body!"

His eyes are so intense, and they are burning me but I can't look away oh god oh god.

"Where is this cabin, Ava?" He's searching. Searching for someone else's memory, someone else's life. That's not me! I'm not Ava!

"I'm not Ava!"

The needle draws me up and into myself. I'm in hell again.

---

This has gotta end sometime, ya know.

Oh, but sweetie... this is such a beautiful beginning.

---

The cabin is the same as it was when I left it. I am still soaked in someone else's blood.

I look at the table, now on the opposite side of the room. Look at the phone; It's back on the hook. I run to the window. I can feel my blood pumping through my veins, my heart beating in my throat. Trager isn't there. The grave is.

I run to the door and fling it open. A biting wind rushes in and wraps itself around me. I disregard it as I run around the cabin through the falling snow.

Suddenly I'm clawing at the grave like an animal. It sounds like somebody's screaming. Is the person still alive? I quicken my pace, hauling dirt out by the handful, flinging it anywhere it will stay. I run out of breath when I'm almost at the bottom. The screaming has stopped. Am I too late.

I try to ask if the person is alright. All that comes out is a raw whisper. Have I been the one screaming?

I set to work again with renewed energy. Running on adrenaline.

With one last handful of dirt I reach the stained cloth, and rip it away from the body beneath me.

---

I told you, and you wouldn't listen.

'Course I did.

He coughs, and blood comes with it.

This had to come to a head, Trager.

Wouldn't have it any other way, darlin'.

My hand shakes. Cold metal.

What're ya waitin' for, sweetie? No sympathy for the Devil.