eyes open slowly
lashes flutter
pupils dilate
against the cold harsh light
at first there is only Whiteness
Then Blurred forms become harper
Lines Have Definition
And Like A Camera
Things Slowly Focus…

Shaky breaths ring in your ears
The stench of rotting meat hangs like a heavy curtain
You see your chest rising and falling against the blanket
Eyes wide you take it all in.
The wrongness of the place
Too white and too bright
And the first coherent thought you have, hits you.
“Where am I?”

cannot move
stuck in time
a suspended dummy in a cloth coffin
fingers twitch in hope
as You lift your arms
The blanket falling from them

You hear nothing
Taste nothing
Feel nothing

The metallic smell of death is heavy in your nostrils
And everything is clean and pure and strict
Lines meet each other purposefully
With no other intersections.
White is the only color you see

You take a breath
Did you know you had been holding it?

It’s then when you realize you have control over your body.
You move your fingers slowly
And wriggle your toes
Feeling the linoleum underneath
Your tongue slides over your chapped lips
A dry yet cooling sensation

And with new eyes you see this sterile world

You extend your arms
A dark red scaling appears on them
A cobweb that begins on the hands and gets deeper and darker
Your mouth gapes open at what you realize is most definitely not you
A piece of square shaped flesh has started to peel
You mindlessly pick at it
Until it comes off
Revealing the crimson blood underneath
It runs freely, tracing the paths of your scaled arm
Running downwards and sideways, meeting its’ kin
You stare at it
Not sure what to believe:
What you see
Or what logical reasoning can tell you

A wheezy chuckle interrupts
The slow painful gait of a dying man gets louder
As he appears to make his entrance
And you turn
To see him
Walking towards you, shrouded by light

You say nothing.
How can you?

Assisted by a cane he carefully steps
The mysterious stranger.
And when he gets closer
You can smell him.
The sweat
The alcohol
The pain

And you can see him.
The dark eyes that show
And bravery
But also
The loneliness
And the suffering
You have nothing to say to the man whose life reeks with valor and suffering. You can only stand in awe of the noble survivor.

He leans in.
He opens his mouth.
Teeth gone.
Tongue filled with bright yellow sores.
Gums black and bleeding.
You cannot look away.
You cannot flee.
You must accept that this will be your fate.

The man leans into you. The whites of his eyes are so red they appear to be dark. He is so close, his nose is almost touching yours. You can feel his breath when he says:
“We all have it in here. We are all infected.”

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