There's pain, massive pain, and my chest splits in two, dark blood spilling through the crevice and staining onto my shirt. My heart peers out from behind my ribs, encased safely, then starts to bulge, straining, only pumping out, not in. My hands are desperately trying to push everything back into my torso, scrambling, coming away weighed down by hot liquid, crimson fire that shouldn't be out here, it should be in there.
[What the hell's happening to me?]
I scream, the sound screeching through my head, but silent outside my mouth. There's no-one here anyway. I'm alone, and it's dark. There are flames, black and invisible, but I sense them licking my skin, drawing me closer and expelling me simultaneously.
[I think I'm dead. I think I'm going to die. I'm dead already.]
My hands are empty, bare. No gun, no watch, no ring. I'm unprotected, unhinged from reality, and absolutely alone. I cover my face with my hands to prevent a sob from finding its voice, and smear the blood so thick it coats me like jelly. Gagging, I bend over and choke, but there's nothing there, it's all been vomited from my chest already.
My knees weaken and I collapse, pawing at the floor, which crumbles away from me as I grasp at it, until I'm trapped on an island, surrounded by nothing, unable to sense, to speak, to reach out or pull back. I try not to weaken, but it's difficult when I'm so far gone already. At a low ebb, I kneel there and cry into my hands, the tears diluting the blood running across my palms, flowing in lines over my wrists and down my forearms to drip from my elbows into the vastness beneath me.
These are the depths of my soul. This is the rotten core of the bag of flesh and bones I've moulded myself to become. This is where I live when I dare to sleep, when there's nothing else left except my conscience and the demons that claw at its walls.