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Nom d'un lutin ! Pas étonnant que j'aie choisi d'être méchante ; suivre le chemin héroïque s'avérait bien plus difficile que foncer comme une dératée et être désagréable.

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Chapter One

The man lying next to me was definitely dead. It wasn’t the glassy white caul on his eyes or even his unnatural stillness that gave it away. It was the fact that his head was entirely detached from his body, as if someone had unscrewed it like a burnt-out light bulb and dropped it casually on the ground.

I had the feeling I should probably be screaming. Instead I blinked and rolled away, dew from the perfectly manicured grass beneath me soaking through my thin blouse. Then I got to my feet, the sudden nausea tearing through me suggesting that standing up was a mistake. I grimaced. Even my mouth tasted foul – like wet dog.

Rubbing my hand over my forehead, and avoiding glancing at the body again, I looked around. Where the hell was I? The chill night air offered no clues but, over to my left, there was something tall and thin standing upright. A sign, perhaps.

I staggered over. My chest hurt as if I’d cracked a rib or two. I made it all the same, my legs shaking with astonishing violence. I was forced to clutch onto the metal pole as soon as I reached it in order to remain upright. The small triangle of material attached to the top of the pole hung limply. I squinted at it before my gaze drifted downwards and I dimly registered the hole. A golf course, then. How had I ended up here?

I tried to think. The last thing I remembered was... My stomach dropped. Nothing. Nada. Zilcheroony. I strained every brain cell I had but there was just a deep, dark chasm of nothingness. Then another horrifying thought occurred to me and, with desperate fingers, I searched my pockets. No purse. No identification.

I slapped myself around the cheeks in a futile bid to wake myself up. My fingers came away wet, sticky and dark with blood. I felt the sting of pain.

Suddenly my location and how I’d arrived here, not to mention what had happened to the corpse lying less than thirty feet away, drifted into insignificance. My cracked lips formed the words, a croaked whisper breaking the silence. ‘Who am I?’

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« J’ouvris grand la bouche.

— Toi et moi ? On a fait… des choses ? La bête à deux dos ? On a mis le clown dans le canon ?

Je l’examinai de haut en bas. Eh bien, bravo à moi ! Même si ce n’était pas très surprenant que je l’aie largué, vu son caractère de merde. »

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