Outdated as of April 26, 2016. Rewritten and posted [ here ].
I breathe and choke.
There is fluid in my mouth, slimy and thick, tasting of copper and stinging my tongue, gums, and teeth with its bitter taste. I take another breath, breathing in deep and forcing air through the staggering and the shakes. Again I choke, spit fluids – chunky fluids – and I sample it, spitting out bits and swallowing down clots twice. Yes, I am tasting blood; fresh and dry, it must be mine.
A spark of pain reassures when I bite my tongue and breathe through the hot gasps and choking on the self-soup of blood and bile, and outside the steaming mixture where my flesh hits the air, there is a constant numbing chill and several needles stuck in deep. I can tell where they are. Only in the slightest movement that brings pain exposes them and the mass they stick before they settle and vanish once more.
I can barely open my eyes. How long have I been asleep?
There’s paste keeping them shut, it takes a long time to break and when it does a bright light stares me down, blinds, and I choke again, coughing and spitting up more blood over my mouth, down my neck, and over a prodding needle. There’s a twist, a bite of the tongue to keep from screaming, and a tooth root twists, there is no scream. His mouth opens but he doesn’t hear himself or anything. An arm stumbles to rise and it falls back down, hitting something cold and metallic on the way back down. He feels the pain ring through his blood and bones, but still not the ringing of the metal bar or the smack of flesh. He chokes again on the clots and bites his tongue, blood bubbles up again. All at once, needles adjust and pull on his flesh, another needle punctures somewhere below the neck, and the bed jolts four times before it starts to move in several directions, something pushing him with the tug of the needles as if they lead him on. He’s in too much pain to move against them, feeling the tension in a dozen spots. Again he tries to see and again overwhelmed by the overhead lights bleeding into another and so on, indicating a movement downwards and towards his feet. A sharp pain keeps him from looking around, an unable to even turn his head to any slight degree from resting on a soaked pillow. Feeling returns elsewhere; he can feel the binds keeping him down, the tightness in his chest that blends with his free arms, he doesn’t question it.
He’s exposed, helpless, unable to run or defend, and that scares him.
Through half lids he stares up at the bright lights passing by, feeling the bumps of a thick metal door frame and watches the cork-tiled ceiling roll as the bed shifts, tilts, and jolts into its final resting place. To the sides of his vision he sees shapes and forms, things that make him tense through the panicking daze. One thing comes into full view, his eyes shoot open, a grey square and a fabric hood, and there is a sharp pain in his neck. The thing has an arm and it rises to show a needle, empty. Nerves are between the static and pain, he pushes against the metal bar and then turn inward to pull the leather at his wrists. When where they tied?
The pull at his center goes ignored; he listens to his heart beat at his throat, swallowing it down with blood clots in sticky gasps. His eyes open – I don’t remember closing them – and there was more of them. Blank faces stare him down with their fingers in his mouth, wiping and blotting away fluids and cutting flesh from his face. They stick him with needles and make everything numb then there is more needles, stitching, feeling the needle and wire puncture, turn, pull, twist, knot, pull, repeat. His vision fogs, fluid drips from his eyes. Wrists twist and elbows hit fabric and flesh, his chest heaves and lifts off the bed as legs kick out from beneath him, striking some things hard; only his head stays still and in numb static. Thrashing, kicking, and trying to get away from the weights thrown down on top and the needles sticking in deep. His throat feels raw and wet, bruised outside, he was choked once, probably from the ones above who motion to another with their hands, turns to another, and look down at him. They might be laughing at him, at me as my vision clears and I choke on blood.
My eyes are closed before they remove the needles, forcing light out and for thoughts to travel elsewhere from the pain. Suppress it, disperse the static glow, think think think, and wish for them to leave, for the bleeding to stop. I’m barely breathing through the torn flesh and teeth. I must look disgusting to them, as they stare me down and look at one another as they spoke more. I still hear nothing but my own chokes and heart.
Flesh burns and the smell of pure alcohol. It’s bloody and mixes with the ambient stale vanilla – they burn the back of my mouth, and I choke on tubes. Unbearable, constant, and his eyes are barely open to the shadow standing over. A small light sits in the center of the shadow, waiting patiently while a plastic green glove waits on the side. The hand pries one lid open at a time, left right up down, all around, eyes following it. It retracts and another reaches out of the darkness from the other side, pulling at a strip of flesh near the mouth. Its moved around, pulled, the grey square turns to another with another hand turn outwards – scissors are put in them. Flesh gets cut and the flood light stares me down again, feeling the needle in my skull shift as I reel. Internal cracks and pressure. Blood in the mouth, boiling up over the lips and two hands try to cradle the head. They’re tied, the center chest feels pressure. Looking back down and away from the glare I see some of them left. Good. But a pit still carves its way through my stomach, no escape, immobile, the end.
I have to get out; I have to run away, part of me screams.
I feel their taunts, saying things to the deaf void I’d love to hear. The who-I-ams, the whys, the-what-are-they-doings and what-is going-to-happens, and the how-I-ended-up-heres.
Then they return and needles pull out and soft pats replace them. Why. Some are talking, turned to one another then turn towards me – choking on my own blood, snorting it, fluid staining flesh. They nod to the shadow; its hands go down and assault my face, pushing away flesh and blood and bile. Headaches turn to splits as the hands force me down into the metal and blood fabric, pressure at the forehead and neck. Again I choke. Another set puts plastic around the edges of mouth and nose then a rush of fresh air meeting the bloody gasps. Its calming, I’ve become drowsy. The offending hands remove and the shadow stands over, grey square marked with my blood while a green glove moves across it and falls over my eyes.