Darkness, nothing but cold unfeeling darkness greeted me as I slowly opened the only eye that wanted to work. The right eyelid slowly prised its way open revealing nothing but a burst of white stars and swirls that accompany pain as I have never felt before. The cold infested my bones like the icy fingers of a demon masseuse needing the knots into my muscles instead of removing them. Pain as I moved my head. I thought I lifted my right arm but it was in my now throbbing head, not a reality it as like trying to lift a ghost limb, I reached around with my left arm as I rolled onto my back a little to help lift the numb limb.
My mind raced with dread and fear I vomited bile into my raw and bloodied throat, my deft fingers searched where my arm should be I whimpered as my bladder let loose and the momentary warmth of my own blood stained urine vacated my body in a flash of involuntary release.
“My arm, Where is my arm” I cried with an almost silent whisper.
There was nothing just the remnants of skin and bone loosely sewn over and dripping a viscous fluid I can only imagine is blood seeping out of my body. Not wanting to feel anymore but knowing I had to, meant I lifted my sticky moist fingers to my left, with the hope of finding out what the issue is and why my eye won’t open. The leather feeling patch I touched gave me some solace thinking that I must have an eye patch which explained why I could not lift the lid and venture into the darkness that surrounded me. That’s when I felt the screws at intervals around the patch and with each one the pain of the metal inserted into my bone was angry and inflamed.
Shock set in and I wondered what else had happened to me? It was a normal day as any other except I had a trial hearing in South Creek. The events were as planned the counsel read out what was written we pleaded for thirty minutes the perpetrator was remanded in custody until the next hearing date which would be in a weeks’ time. It was an easy day no real drama just a poor man who had nothing looking to satisfy his family and feed them with some bread and basic groceries from the local store but he had no money and he was arrested. He would get a warning and maybe 3 weeks in jail with a fine he could not pay, but it was my job. I remember walking underground in the car park to my Chevy rental, a nice shade of dark blue, but it noticed it did pick up allot of dust and would be hard to keep clean in this part of the world anyway. I remember placing the key in the ignition, the smell of rotten meat and then nothing.
Now with a head that thumped from a headache I could now understand I embraced my fear and moved my hand to my waist and down the left leg, all good so far but as I moved the hand from my left knee to the right, it fell on fresh air. The coldness I was feeling up my right leg was my mind coping with the removal and the phantom limb a distant memory that my mind just would not let go of. I my god my mind raced, my tongue felt like it was made of arid sand from the Kalahari and all moisture left my oral cavity. I was swallowing nothing but pain as I felt the nothing that was a stump, removed about four inches above where the knee should have been.
This time a full bodied unload from my stomach exited to the side of where I lay. I tried to regain a sense of my sanity but I was now laying on a stone floor no longer the man I was when I first woke up that morning. All my efforts failed me as I slipped into shock and my thoughts of what had and was happening to me stumbled around in my mind trying to determine what I had done to incur such treatment at the hands of I don’t know what, but alas it was all for nothing, my eyes closed, pain and cold, such immense pain and a feeling of floating and falling all at the same time overwhelmed my senses and I drifted back into the thick stupor I had awoke from.
“Yeah I know Ma, be nice he dang gone thru allot tody” a strange drawling voice from a place somewhere distant and full of false echoes. A pale yellow light intruded upon my darkness from what look like it was under a door. The noise that followed confirmed my muddy thoughts; a key was inserted into a lock and the sounds of huge iron tumblers waiting their turn to fall into place like soldiers on parade waiting for their next instruction. The door creaked and moved ever so slowly on an inward journey toward where I lay in my own bodily fluids and viscera.
“Ma.... Ma! This one’s gone soiled his self and made a mess” the shadow yelled its face turned away into the dowdy yellow light.
“MAAAAAAA! You hear me?” it shouted again making my head hurt from not only the volume but the reverberation around the room I was in. I faltered for a few seconds drifting into a state of unknowing where I saw my mother, smiling, standing over me with a bandaid applying it to my grazed knee and kissing it all better. I smiled and warmth came over me that was scared away not a fleeting moment later.
“Yes I hears you boy...........is’n he awake yet?” the gruff female voice replied as if enquiring about a sleeping son.
“Yep, sure is I can see the eye open lookin’ at me” the hulking shadow replied.
“Ah well we can’t have a messy house guest can we darling?......you know what to do” the motherly voice swooned in my disturbed psyche.
Another figure entered the doorway and I heard a “Titch, Titch, oh ner’mind there fella you’ll be out of that misery in just a minute mind” the gruff but now soft spoken voice said to me, my good eye struggling to see clearly. The two teeth I could make out and the blood soaked apron moved back out the doorway as she wiped her stained hands down the front to be replaced by a huge visage in stained and stretched overalls. The chest of this thing was like a swollen barrel and the face a mess of half teeth a cleft pallet and a ruined nose because of it. “Don’t be too long’n ya see boy I been cookin’ for us’n I kept the calf medium rare just for you.” The voice trailed as she left.
“Hey there fella looks like your lucky day coz your time is up” the hulk lisped as it moved closer.
I could not focus; my brain was in some sort of frightened stupor and faulted me at that moment. The hulking shadow moved closer and I could feel its fetid breath on my cheek as it bent down and whispered “mama says you gotta be put down” and as the last word trailed from his mouth I saw the gleaming axe edge just before it embedded itself in my brain and beautiful painless, warm darkness took me one last time.
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