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My jaw locks, sending pain through my teeth.  I cannot scream.  I am awake.  I can feel the rats tearing my flesh from my leg.  Their claws scratch me where they fight to feed their hunger.  Long claws penetrate my genitals and I fear they may start to…

The pain.  The sweat.  The fear.  I vomit.  At first I must swallow some of it while the rest projects out of my nose, because my jaw remains locked.  But the result of the swallowing cause a more violent purging and my jaw releases.  I look down to see the top of my thigh entirely skinned, blood everywhere and part of my bone exposed.  The rats start feasting as well on my vomit and I immediately lose consciousness.

…It had taken long enough to pass out.  Although the time from when I had looked away to when I caught sight of the slaughter had only been within seconds, otherwise, I would have surely died from the break of my artery, if it was as long as it seemed.  I felt as though a thorough novel of the situation had been scrawled in my brain, yet the reality of it wasn’t manifest enough for me to accept, a million other ideas and memories darted through my mind and shock took hold.  Then I could only think, “Did the rats eat my daughter?  Did the rats eat my Fay?”

If only I would have looked at the blood sooner, I would have spared myself a lot of pain.

Now, I am in pure darkness.  There is a putrid smell that crowds the air, which seems tight enough as it is, so I speculate that I might be within a confined area.  I am lying down and free to move everything, except as I attempt to stand, a chain about my ankles is an obvious obstacle.

Feeling about my body, naked once again, there are bandages, small dressings, and one enormous dressing covering my whole upper left thigh.

I want to call out for someone, though avoid doing so, unaware of whom might answer.  I’ll wait, for now.  Despite the chain, and pain in my thigh that has now spread through my entire leg, provoking a paralyzing numbness, I once again attempt to stand.  The walls are smooth, cold, likely metallic.  The floor, which is covered with a foreign solution, and the the ceiling, which is probably about seven feet high, judging by my height of six feet, are both the same material as the walls.  The dimensions are approximately those of a closet.

Regardless of the inconvenience, I am suddenly struck by a moment of claustrophobia, which I’ve never experienced before.  The air gets tighter, harder to breathe.  I scan the walls with my hands to find any vent or manner that air might pass through.  The walls begin to close in, or so I think.  I stretch my arms to the extent of the width of this box and try to hold them open, force them apart, the effort drains me.  I fall to my knees and cry out in agony at the pain in my leg.  The motion is weary as I bang on a wall, deciding it’s time to call out, but the only word that comes to my lips is, “HEY!”

to be continued…