Arnav stared at the twin bodies in front of him, lying in a pool of blood that had already soaked through the old, oriental Persian rug, mingling with the scarlet of the designs and making the pictures of the birds that he had been so familiar with, look horribly grotesque.

One pair of lifeless, bloodshot eyes stared at him in terror, the eyelids stretched so wide that it made bile rise up his throat. The neck was twisted at a painfully stiff angle and the jaw was condemned to remain open in an eternal, silent scream. The hair was matted with blood that was slowly drying, caking the strands into stone.

The other body was spread-eagled beside the first one. And even though it’s eyes were closed, its features were set into a tortured expression, the mouth slightly open, the tongue lolling out.

Arnav couldn’t move. He couldn’t scream. He couldn’t feel his body. There was a distinct ringing in his ears, a sensation of his brain shutting down, giving up…

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