I opened my eyes. There were grey smudges clouding my peripheral vision. My head ached and my body felt as if it were on fire. The ground beneath me felt firm, but softer then moments ago. Was I lying in a hospital bed? There were faces floating around me. A young woman with warm brown eyes and a furrowed brow reached behind my head. A doctor with a pathologically detached expression stared at a chart.
“How are we feeling today?”
“His temperature is 104.”
A stabbing pain pierced my eyes. A hot knife blade skewered my vision blinding me. I closed my eyes reflexively. Clamped them tight trying to will the pain away. My throat burned from thirst. Who had stuck the funnel in my mouth and poured sand down my throat?
The light was dimmed when I opened my eyes. The leathery old crone stood above me. A malicious grin cracked her face wide open. Her red rimmed eyes boring into me searching the secret places of my innermost being, she seemed to find what she was looking for as she smacked her dry chapped lips in hungry anticipation. The tall bare-chested man with the skull of a stag on his head stood next to her, an eerie red light pulsed dimly from his eye sockets.
The crone ripped off the front of my shirt and dug her nails into my chest tearing the skin painfully as she drug them down my chest toward my belly. Crimson flowed up slowly from the trenches left in my flesh. The hag rubbed my body with ancient dry hands smearing the blood across me. Her hands were bony but surprisingly strong, maybe even supple, though not in appearance.
“Stop it,” I croaked. My words cut across my dry throat like hot razor blades.
“Leave me the fuck alone…”
Fear seized me like cold fire
I pushed up on my elbows struggling to get in an upright position. Panicking I knew I had to get free of this place, of these people. But, I was no match for them.
Hands from all directions pushed me down. The more I struggled the harder the hands pushed. The old crone tilted her head back and screeched in victory. Great leather wings unfolded behind her. Her hands, talons now, pushed into my chest. I heard my chest crack and I took a sharp, painful intake of breath. Those sharp talons continued plunging and twisting into my chest cavity.
A searing pain
Talons gripping my heart…
Closing tightly around it
The old bitch pulled her hand out and held my warm still beating hard in front of me. Blood squirted against my face and stung my eye. I gasped, but could not scream.
The old hag flapped her great wings and took flight. She screeched into the night spiriting my heart away as I lay dying in on the cold hard ground, blood rising up through the hole in my chest and flowing from me onto the ground like a flood ravaged river that has breeched its banks. The hands that had held me no longer pressed against me. I wasn’t going anywhere and my captors knew this. I was dying and they had what they needed. She had what she needed
Lilly stood in front of me, her naked body framed by the moonlight. A giant snake curled around her protectively revealing a small hint of her swelling breasts. One hand covered her pubic region demurely and the other hand held to her lips as if she were trying to quiet an unruly or fussy child. Her hair blew behind her in the wind. She was a vision of loveliness. I didn’t understand why she was here. I didn’t care. I was just glad she was. I reached out to her…
She leaned over me
Soft, warm lips kissing me lightly
Her eyes red rimmed from crying. Her sinuses were swollen
Lily was standing above me and I was back in my hospital bed. She was pressing a cool, wet cloth on my hot forehead. She had traded the snake for a pair of baggy sweats and a green sweatshirt.
She smiled sweetly at me. I felt safe.
Closing my eyes I sank back into darkness like a child returning to the safety of the womb.
To Be Continued…