I shouldn't be here. Something is wrong. I can’t scratch my wrists, I think that’s the worst thing right now. One hand can’t reach the other and I think my wrists are starting to get bruised, but I can’t be sure. They’re tied behind my back with some sort of fibrous material. Not rope, this stuff feels like splintering plastic.

My legs are sore from standing for two hours, but it is my wrists that are bothering me. Not the cold of the room, not the cuts on my arms, not the aches. I shift to try to adjust the fibrous material, but those burning strings find the lines of the tendons and move into areas that make me flinch with their fire.

I can’t see anything. I can only breathe my own stuffy breath tainted with the smell of the burlap over my head. Light filters through and some shadows, but there’s nothing to see in the sack, so I keep my eyes closed. There is rope around my neck, tied tight to keep the sack in place. But I can still breathe.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. The pleasant effect of pulling air in is the same as it has always been.

Voices. I hear a door.

I am roughly shoved on my left shoulder and not expecting it I fall. The pain from the concrete floor is refreshing at least it isn‘t the dull fire of old hurts and burns. I sense the two men who pick me up by my arms and haul me to the door. Both have their own strong smell. Aftershave and a bit of dirt. There is some laughter somewhere off in the distance and my feet make contact with a new floor. Not the concrete I had been standing on earlier. It felt like tile and there’s no traction, even if I tried to resist I couldn’t do it.

My feet slip along as I am dragged. This area is lighter than before and dark spaces pass at intervals. A hall with windows maybe? The foot steps of the men to my sides echo, and this space sounds big. There are voices in the distance, indistinct. It’s what I’d imagine a monastery to sound like.

I’m roughly turned around and shoved into what feels like a chair.

“Sit down!” I am told.

The chair feels mostly like marble, or some other stone, but it is not cold. It almost feels like it is radiating inner heat. I shift my bonds again, trying to get those fibers away from my skin. The burning on my wrists is getting intolerable now.

There is a loud voice but the words are distorted. I make out my name several times, that is all.

Rough hands unbind my hands, but transfer them to shackles on the sides of the chair before I can stretch. The fiber is gone. I have a momentary feeling of relief but that fades as the loud voice begins to chant a hymn. This falls silent almost as soon as it begins.

I begin to sweat. I try to get up, but I can’t. I’ll be okay if I can breathe. Breathe.


Breathebreathe Breathe. Breathe. Pain, sharp lights that crawl into my head. It hurts burns fire need to get up have to get up and breathe breathe breathe Have To Breathe! BREATHE!


breathe in breathe in so the mark I fibers sore in breath in breathe in breath and breathe


breathe in breath and breathe in breath and breathe


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