Who-knows how much later, my eyes slugglishly opened. Bleh. Between the splitting pain at the base of my skull & the medicinally-gluey texture in my mouth I felt absolutely miserable. Why was I laying down? Why was it dark? What the frick was this taste in my mouth and this pang in my head? I tried to remember what happened exactly, but it hurt too badly, so I stopped.

God Almighty, my shoulders hurt like heck; my arms were above my head for some reason. I tried to lower them to my sides, but a sharp chink cut that idea short. I pulled a bit harder, & two lines of thin metal bit my wrists. I squeezed my eyes shut in bitter realization: I’d felt this kind of metal once before.



“‘Eh Boss, think’ee’s awake,” a rough, thin voice called somewhere in the dark. “Should I flip the top lights?”

“Nah, nach’yet,” another oily voice replied. “I wanna get a good look at’m first.”

I bit my tongue. Crap. I had that feeling this, like the other time I’d been cuffed, would not end particularly well.

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