A thorn bush bloomed in my skull.
Vines sprouted inside my brain.
They spread throughout my body—their thorns, razor-sharp, tore into my muscles and threatened to deglove me—as fragments of light sparkled and devoured me.
Bugs, or, worse, creatures whose existence had eluded us, crawled across my skin and burrowed into my temples. They danced and stretched a rope from temple to temple, and tried to pull them inward, tried to collapse my skull.
I wanted to scream, couldn’t.
I wanted to dig my fingernails into my skull and remove them one by one.
The ropes pulled inward, inward.
I tapped my temple in search of a hole.
Gummo, inspect my head.
Why hadn’t the words come out?
Why hadn’t I made a sound?
Had my motors skills atrophied?
Where are we?
What the hell is this place?
Why the fuck are we doing this?
Although certain I’d transformed my thoughts into coherent chatter, the expressions from strangers and dealers told me otherwise. Wide or squinted eyes, open mouths or frowns—everyone broadcast a response.
Faces muted confusion or fear. Continue reading