Blood in my mouth; it’s not mine [01.01]

Mature | Horror/Mystery

When Andrew Pottarus first wakes he has amnesia. Then he’s told who he is; a survivor, a father, an agent. They help him back to his feet and keep his family safe – a promise he’d be with them again. But little by little the pieces start to fall away.

Until all he can taste is blood.

Psychological Horror, Body Horror, Graphic to Intense Violence, Graphic Gore,

He breathes and chokes.

There is fluid in his mouth – slimy and thick. It tastes of copper, stinging his mouth with its bitter taste. He tries for another breath, forcing air through the staggering and the shakes. There’s something lodged deep inside and causes him to choke and cough. He spits out the thick chunky slime and it dribbles down chap skin. It’s blood, as far as he can tell, fresh and dry.

It must be mine

A spark of pain confirms when I bite my tongue, as it brought me back to the self-soup of blood and bile. I breathe through hot choked gasps and chokes. My skin is cold, it’s so cold. Maybe there is steam, or just a numb buzz on exposed skin. Needles, several of them, they’re stuck in deep – can’t tell where they are. Can barely find a trace of them through slight movements.

I struggle to open my eyes. How long have I been asleep?

There’s paste keeping them shut, I struggle to force one open. What greets me is a bright light, staring me down, blinding, I choke again and spit more blood. Fluids ooze down my assumed chin, grazing a prodding needle.

Somewhere inside his mouth something twists and he bites on his tongue to hold a scream; a tooth root twists. His mouth is open in a scream, but he doesn’t hear it even though he feels the cold air on his tongue. He hears nothing.

An arm stumbles to rise before it falls down, striking something cold and metallic. The pain rings through his blood and bones; but there was no ringing from the metal bar or a smack of flesh. Again he chokes on the clots, biting his tongue. Blood bubbles up again. After a moment pain flares across him, needles adjust and pull from flesh. Others puncture new holes, and whatever he lays on jolts four times.

It starts to move around, something pushes him with the tug of the needles as if they lead him on. There is too much pain – tension in over a dozen spots. He tries to see again, and again overwhelmed by overhead lights bleeding into another in a row – they’re moving up to down. A sharp pain keeps his head still, unable to turn his head to any slight degree from where it rests – on a pillow soaked in a cold mess. As the surfaced is moved feeling around him returns; he can feel the bindings holding him down, the tightness in his chest, a blend of free limbs with bound ones. He doesn’t question it.

He’s exposed, helpless, unable to run or defend, and that scares him.

But no matter what he feels he can’t express it – stuck with half-lidded eyes staring up at bright lights passing overhead, struggling to breathe, he can’t move.

The surface rolls over bumps in the floor, the ceiling goes from a bright white to dim with a cork-tiled ceiling. It rolls above him, the surface shifts, tilts, and jolts into place. A light turns on, forcing his eyes close.

Through the blur of partial vision he sees shapes and forms, things of dark colors that make him tense in the panicked daze. A short while later – after his eyes adjust – another thing comes into full view. A grey square marks the face on a fabric hood. A pain shoots from his neck, the thing holds up a needle – empty. Between the static and the pain his nerves jumble, pushing against the metal bar before turning inward to pull at leather on his wrists.

When were they tied?

A pulling at his center goes ignored; he listens to his heart beating in his throat, swallowing it down with blood clots in sticky gasps. His eyes open – he doesn’t remember closing them – and there was more of them. Blank faces stare him down while fingers prod around his mouth, wiping and blotting away fluids and cutting flesh from his face. More needles stick in, followed by more, and pinches line his face, feeling the traces of the needle and wires puncture, turn, pull, twist, knot, pull, repeat. His vision fills with fog, fluid seeps 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 something hard; only his head stays still and in a numb static.

Thrashing, kicking, trying to get away from the weight thrown down on top of him. His throat feels raw and wet, bruises on the outside – he was choked once, probably from the ones above who motion to another with their hands, turn to another, and look down at him. They might as well be laughing – he can’t see their mouths. And he chokes on blood.

He closes his eyes before they remove the needles, forcing light out and for thoughts to travel away from the pain and the things standing above. Wish for them to leave, for the bleeding to stop, to get up and run. I can barely breath through the torn flesh and teeth.

I must look disgusting to them. As they stare me down, one looking at another – where they talking? I can only hear the beating of my heart and the occasional choke.

Somewhere skin is burnt.

Smell of pure alcohol.

It’s bloody and mixes with the ambient stale taste of vanilla – burning the back of his throat as he chokes on tubes. Unbearable, constant, his eyes are barely open to the shadows standing over. A small light sits in the center of the shadow, waiting patiently until a plastic green glove comes into view. The hand pries one lid open at a time, left right up down, all around – his eyes follow it. The glove retracts and does the same for the other eye. From the other side a glove reaches out and pulls at a strip of flesh near the mouth. It moves it around, pulling, manipulating, the grey square turns to another in silence. A moment later, there is scissors in hands.

Flesh is cut somewhere out of his sight, the flood light still stares him down, feeling the needle almost in his skull shift as he tries to reel. Internal cracks and pressure. Blood in the mouth, boiling over the lips and two hands try to cradle the head. They’re still tied, the center chest feels pressure. Looking down and away from the glare some of them left. Good, he says to himself inside. But there is still a pit carving its way through his stomach.

I can’t get away.

But I have to get out, I have to run away, part of him screams.

He imagines their taunts, saying things to the deaf void he’d love to hear. The whos, the whys, the whats and hows. He just wants to know. He just wants to know who he is.

Soft pats replace the sting of needles. When he opens his eyes, there is nothing except the trace they were there. He swears he can still feel their presence, talking among themselves before turning to him – who is choking on blood with fluid stained flesh.

Out of nowhere a hand comes down and assaults his face, pushing away flesh and blood and bile. A beating headache turns to splits as hands force him down into metal and bloody fabric, where pressure pins against his forehead and neck. Another choke. Another set of hands puts plastic around the edges of his mouth and nose before fresh air meets bloody gasps. It’s calming, nudging him into sleep. An offending hand removes, a grey square hovers over, and another hand moves across and falls over his eyes.


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