He came to with a thudding headache, eyes closed against the dull pain. The back of his skull throbbed like a whore's heart; he bit out a curse and moved his hand to inspect the damage – except that it didn't move. Something was restraining his arms. His legs, too, were immobilized, as he noticed when he tried to get up. To get up... so he was lying prone. The violent hum of electricity streaking through the air assaulted his battered head, calling forth a grimace of agony. A steady dripping echoed all around him, but it seemed to come from a single source.
A runny tap, or a leak in the roof.
How long had he been out cold? His lips were parched and hunger growled in his stomach. He cracked open his eyes to better percieve how deep in shit he was. Blackness continued to engulf him. A tremor of panic vibrated in his core. He was blind, sightless, motionless, restrained. He was as good as dead, a lamb awaiting slaughter. Poultry breathing its last lungful before the bloodied knife would steal it forever more. That slight tremor increased in intensity until he physically shook in time with it.
It's all a dream, all a dream. Only a nightmare. I'll wake up any second now. Just a dream. Not real, not real. Not real!
He tried to wrench his arms free and felt narrow straps dig into his flesh. He cried out in pain and kept battering at the straps with his forearms. They sawed in deeper and drew blood, but he was too far gone to notice it. His every instinct forced him to fight this unseen enemy, to escape these bonds, to run free once again.
He snapped his head back, the impact dizzying him for a moment. He hit the metallic table again and again with the back of his head, pounding away at his restraints. He yelled out, a shout mingled with fury and panic. The stuffy air invaded his mouth, causing him to gag. How hadn't he noticed before? The metallic scent of blood mixed with the stench of excretion, like fingers of decay forcing their way down his throat and lodging in his heart.
His strength was beginning to ebb; his poundings came at longer intervals; his feet beat the painstakingly slow ryhtym of a burial march. He drew in ragged breath after another, inviting the foul fingers back down his throat again and again – a demented adult film of sickening proportions.
A squeak from rusty hinges; someone was coming in – or going out, he realized. They were leaving him there to die of hunger and thirst.
No! No, no, no, no! Why? What have I done? Let me free, let me fly again!
He tried to cry for help, but his throat was raw from shouting and his lips were long-deprived of liquid; a gasp bubbled from his lips instead. The distinct sound of swishing cloth reached his ears. It was coming closer. Closer, closer, and then past him, the faint footsteps receding into the other direction.
”Come... ba-...” he croaked as loud as he could. ”No... Don't...”
He listened for an excruciating moment. They weren't coming back. They had left him to rot, to die in the darkness. They had left him hanging over the open maw of Satan, suspended from chains. His tortured throat let out a pathetic cry as he attacked his bonds with the remainder of his strength. He would get free, he would. He'd escape. He'd walk in the sun again. See his wife again.
He thrust upwards with every muscle he had, gritting his teeth when the straps tightened around his form, trying to overcome his captivity. He could feel the joinings groan in strain and he pushed harder. Hope. It existed. Just a little more... A few inches. One of the joinings popped out of its socket, cleanly as a twisted arm. He clenched his teeth harder. A few more and he'd be free.
”Hey Doc, it seems our patient is awake,” someone said above him, her voice brimming with excitement.
A set of dragging footsteps echoed into his struggles. A doctor? They'd set him free.
They'll help me. Trust the doctors, doctors help. They do. Help. Help!
He let his aching body collapse onto the metallic surface,breathing heavily.
The footsteps had stopped. He heard soft breathing. Something nudged his hip painfully, a questioning prod from the shadows; he shirked away from the sadistic touch the best he could.
”Hmm. It does seem so.” This voice was crisp and cool, all warmth drained by lack of compassion. He wasn't sure if the speaker could even be human. ”Well, let us gaze upon his visage.”
The implications of this request hadn't the time to register in his mind before a hard fist wrenched the rough bag from his head, ripping out some of his hair in the process. He cried out as bright illumination wormed its way through his eyes and into his brain, eating away at his nerves, biting them raw. Blistering scabs were ripped open inside his head as the parastic rays of light feasted upon his flesh, flaying him bloody from the inside. Through the haze of agony, he heard the two voices conferring above his prone form.
”-ugliest motherfucker I've seen in a while."
The inhumane voice answered to the female, ”Who are we to judge? They all look the same on the inside with all this useless covering gone. Take away all the decorations and we're all as ugly. We hide demons devoid of conscience inside ourselves; we keep them hidden in the secretive corners of our hearts, livers, lungs. It's our job to bring them into day light, to let them burn in the purge of the illumination. Which is exactly what he must be going through now.” The cold voice grew an egde of lust. ”His hidden demons are contorted in spasms of agony as we speak. They twist and writhe in time with the physical spasms of his body. See him squirm and groan! That is his darker side answering to the caress of light.”
He gasped and groaned, eyes rolled back into his head. He tried to close his eyes, but someone was keeping them open. Froth danced on his lips, and his whole form shivered in faint spasms, all the fight gone from him. Sweet oblivion slowly accepted him into its grim grasp; his body went limp.