Jocelyn swept the black curtain to one side, revealing a plain wooden box sitting atop a squat round table. In the middle of the box’s face, a perfectly round hole had been cut out. None of the wan light from the candles about the room penetrated into the box’s interior.
Turning back to me, Jocelyn smiled impishly and said “I want you to reach into the box and grab whatever you find inside.”
I still had enough control to question her as I plodded up next to her. “What’s inside?” I asked, forcing the words past a thick and uncooperative tongue.
“I honestly don’t know. It changes depending on the person. I can assure you that whatever ends up in there will be quite painful.”
My mind was fuzzy and it was difficult to concentrate on anything except making Jocelyn happy. Putting my hand into the hole would delight her. Raising my hand, I reached toward the opening. I couldn’t tell if I was watching in slow motion or if I was moving that slowly. Like a train entering a tunnel my hand disappeared up to my wrist.