There’s broken glass on the floor. I feel it. Shards, digging up through the soles of my feet, letting the blood seep through the little holes to make the slick. It’s there. In the shadows. I can’t see it except out of the corner of my eyes, ‘cause when I turn around it hides. It’s a sneaky bastard, slim and dank, reeking of mold and poisonous spores.
I spin around, bark out a little laugh. Ha. Got you.
No. No I don’t.
Bricks form walls on all four sides and I rush one and pound on it. There’s no goddamn door. No way out. Nothing but me and it.
How long has it been? Years. Days?
Five minutes. Fuck, it’s been five minutes.
There. Jerk my head to the right. No. There. Glance to the left. Easy. Easy. Where is it? What is it? I’m pissed now, and punch the bricks, which is heinously stupid. Idiot. My knuckles are bleeding like my feet. A twisted stigmata. Clumsy shit. I think I broke something. Not really bone, just deep down inside, where black is something even bleaker; where the splash of the trunk in the well isn’t heard for hours. Weeks.
Five fucking minutes.
I can’t take this…this not-knowing. That thing is in here with me, with icy breath drifting over my neck and shoulders. I reach back in one swift motion and clamp my fingers around its neck. It’s growling and clawing at my back, shredding my shirt to dig its talons deep into my skin. Screams everywhere and it’s just me, echoing off the walls.
Let me out…get this thing off me. Getitoffgetitoffgetitoff!
I sink to my knees. Consciousness is growing dim. A ring of brown, deepening to gray. Gray to…
“How long did you say it was before you sedated him?” Dr. Masinchino glanced up from his tablet. To his right, two aides were receiving treatment from the patient’s attack.
“About five minutes, doctor.” She was a pretty thing, not too old, not too young. Doctors couldn’t date nurses, but he’d imagined. Those legs looked like they went all the way up.
“Any idea what caused this?”
“None, doctor. He just showed up in the waiting room and began shouting after about a half-hour.”
“Any records on him?” The doctor looked over at the nurse again. “Anything at all? We don’t even have an ID on him.”
She shook her head.
Dr. Masinchino sighed through his nose, slipped his stylus into his breast pocket, and waved for them to unlock the door.