Monday, June 06, 2005


The snake-that-looked-like-a-gas-pipe slithered up his paralyzed arm. Its tongue flickered back and forth, and its cold eyes were filled with... with something a snake should not have. He tried to scream, but he could not. He could only watch.

The snake coiled itself around his arm, again and again and again. It slowly squeezed the blood out of the arm, until he could only feel the throbbing of his own pulse, and see his arm turn slowly purple, wither, and die upon his very eyes. As the snake had done its deed, it uncoiled itself, and his arm fell off, hitting the ground with a solid thunk, leaving only a dead stump.

The world collapsed into an array of meaningless colors, and he found himself, lying on his own bed at Level Four. His arm was numb, and lolled uselessly around. He went to the toilet and splashed water on his face, eyeing the pipes suspiciously.

It happened every night. Dr. Smith said it was psychosomatic, and he would need to stop sleeping on his arm. But he had refused the medication.

It'll be a long time before they have to tie him to the bed.


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