The problem with being a doctor is that you know exactly how bad your situation can get. The Victorian Age had yet to truly solve a problem that had plagued doctors for centuries across all of Europe. Yes, there was no way to stop death. But there was still no way to make certain it had taken place. It was only a matter of time until any doctor was called in to a mausoleum or cemetery to confirm what would then take place. The redone autopsies always showed the originally listed cause of death. But in addition, there would be the suffocated eyes. The fingers were missing nails and flesh. The legs and sometimes the head would show massive bruising.

And that is why when this particular doctor woke up in her coffin, she was not filled with gratitude for another chance at life. She knew she had anywhere between ten and eleven minutes of air for a woman her size trapped in her coffin, maybe fifteen if she managed not to panic. If she did, she had memories to inform her of her fate. The useless scratches and barely dented wood marred with gore and smeared blood were barely a quarter hour away.

Baroness Dr. Angelina "Madame Red" Durless-Barnett felt around in her lightless prison. She felt something that must have been a gown: the only way to guarantee it did not impede her movements was to tuck it into the gown she was buried in.

Buried in.

She was smart. She graduated one of Britian's medical schools and obtained her license despite holding a lady's place in society. She kept ahead of Scotland Yard for months on a murder spree that would go down in history. She would not panic at the thought of a claustrophobic second death in a darkness that would not even hear her screams.

Back to work.

With the 'extra' gown out of the way, she could feel the coffin itself. Damn. It was the finest silk, filled only with goose down except for her head's resting place layered with velvet. She was buried as a noble and not a criminal. The vast majority of caskets can not support the weight of a few feet of dirt piled on top of it. These collapsed in during burial, leaving the body exposed to the bacteria and worms and bugs that lived in the earth. But nobility could afford full coffins that helped preserve the body. The wife of a baron could afford the strength, the durability...the insurance of the finest materials. The only thing that went by the same name as the trap she was encased in was probably the lead armored affairs of the kings and queens of the British Empire. And such a coffin would have been interred at least the recommended six feet down from the top of the casket, if not deeper from better paid grave diggers.

The woman shook her head in resigned dismay.


Back to work.

A swipe of her claws tore the overly comfortable lining from the roof of the small box. She drew back as flat as she could and shoved. The solid, old growth oak pulled every nail binding it to the steel frame. She thrust again and the oak pulled itself from the layer of teak it was bonded to and shattered in a line over her hands into two giant sharp pieces. Her arms lifted the meters of dirt above the shard over her head. The untethered shard was forced into her final resting place. It did not stop there. The blade of broken oak slid directly into her abdomen: exactly where Grelle's scythe tore her entire life from her body and shoved it in front of eyes.

But at least now she had light. The reenactment of her death drove her memories to glow from her left eye. Every detail of the fresh earth that sought to crush her was given to her in otherworldly and exquisite detail.

She grabbed the plank in her belly where her womb would be with her right paw while holding up the tons of dirt still above the other plank with a single straightened limb. Madame Red shoved and it caught into the dirt of her grave: the remainder of her coffin's lid would not cut her again. She wrestled her way to a sitting position, still pressing against the lid. Her female form stood, like an Atlas lifting the earth pressing her down.

But she rose. She spit crumbling dirt and things that were more pests than vermin through her serrated teeth. The plank of coffin lid tore under her claws. The minerals of the earth glimmered in the unholy glow of her one eye. But she did rise. Her inhuman form managed what was medically impossible: find purchase in the crumbled dirt.

And at last she tore free. At last she was exposed to the night. And it smelled like the freedom denied so many others.

Wait. No, it did not. It did not smell like anything. Come to think of it, her coffin did not smell of anything either. Not even when she was surrounded by the crushing dirt did she smell anything.

Madame Red breathed in through her nose. The scents came screaming to her. Turned earth. Well kept grass. The nearly salty granite and its crisper counterpart of marble of the headstones. The faint traces of the 13 people responsible for the maintenance of the cemetery. The whispers of at least 23 different high fashion fragrances worn by her close friends, colleagues, grateful patients and sole surviving family member.

Ciel. There was no time to contemplate why she had not taken a single breath since awakening; despite exerting herself as she never could before her funeral. She could not afford to think of what happened to the grim reaper she turned against the fundamental guiding principals of the universe to wallow in lust and violence with her. The only thing that was important, the only true purpose, was Ciel. She had to be with him. Right now. Why was she waiting?

The dress. She was buried in white. She was buried in red. How could she return to her darling nephew...should be so dismal a color as white. Red was vibrant, intense...unladylike. Once she had stripped off her funeral gown and was dressed in what she should be, her form returned to something very much closer she became so familiar with throughout her life. No more claws or glowing orbs or anything like that. Sure she was deathly cold and probably should remember to breathe again at some point. But she needed to go to Ciel. To ensure...well, everything.

She saw the distant walls of the cemetery as if she was already at them. A scant few steps and a second or two later she was at them. A tremendous leap and she was over the walls. Running like a runaway train or a spooked horse, she tore over the road out of town. She would be near Ciel.

Would that not be wonderful?