The last thing I remember is the acid taste in my mouth.
I am conscious before my eyes open, I can hear the steady beat of my heart. The light over me burns, as if I the sun was staring straight into my eyes. Heaven is the last place I thought I would be. The soft bed, I am laying on, becomes cold and stiff. As my eyes adjust to the light, people in green aprons circle my bed, scrambling to save my life. The sharp edges of shiny operating tools catch my eye, but my head will not turn to acknowledge that they are there. I can’t move. My eyes follow the swift cut of my state issued orange shirt, the hands of doctors’ move with precision. Mine stays where they are, at my side. My eyes are trying to find the strength to move the rest of my body.
The cold water drips down my sides as my blood is washed away, I can feel every drop of water, I can feel every hand trying to find a pulse, trying to insert tubes, and needles, and I’m not supposed to feel this. NO! The sounds in the room have become deafening. I can’t hear the doctors, doctors who have begun to look like vultures, circling me, waiting for me to die, waiting to feed on my flesh. No one wants to save me. I watch as the scalpel is plunged into my skin, I feel the blade scrape against bone. They aren’t even being careful. I can’t scream, even if I tried my jaw is wired shut by anesthetics. I feel the vibrations of the saw before I feel it make contact with bone. One final breath and black.
The world has gone dark, since I last opened my eyes. It is cold. The room is black, everything but a red glow coming from the corner of the room, has been sucked into a silent abyss. I still can’t move. The world around me has begun to come alive. The green aprons have been traded for white coats and they are walking out the two swinging doors past my feet. The pain is nothing, but a dull humming in my ear now. In the darkness, someone is moving around. The dull shifting of metal in the darkness pops off in all directions.
Out of the dark, a man comes closer. The white of his shirt glow as he nears me. A light switches on and the brightness again blinds me. He laughs, pulling his sleeves up. “Jeffery, Jeffery, Jeffery. What are we going to do with you?”
My eyes adjust again. I look to his face, but there is none. It is just a blank slate, no features. I am not even sure where the sound of his voice is coming from. My eyes blink. The rest of my body is still not moving. He moves his hand up my leg. I can feel every inch of skin he is dragging his finger on, every hair falling back into place.
He pulls out a camera and laughs. The flash of the camera and the buzzing of Polaroids shots filing out, creating chaos. “I just want to take your picture,” the faceless man said, “Pose for me.” I watch him place the camera to his head. I could feel him watching every nerve in my body fail me. He walks past me and rolls a small table to the foot of the bed. His hand floats over the table, the silver on the table reflecting the light. “Ah,” he picks one. A small pairing knife pulses in his hand, “You remember this one don’t you Jeff?” This faceless man runs the dull side of the knife to the bottom of my foot. “Maybe this will jog your memory,” he says as the knife is plunged into my leg. Finally, my body responds, I jerk up from the bed and scream.
“There we go, finally a reaction out of you. I was starting to get bored.”
I fall back in the purest agony, that one could imagine. I try to get up, but my hands and legs are bound, but I see no restraints. I cannot move again.
He takes a black belt and puts it around my throat. The smell of leather pressed to my nose, as the belt fastens pinching the skin of my neck. “Don’t try to fight it, it will all be over soon.” He disappears into the darkness and comes back dragging a large blue fifty-seven gallon drum. “I bet you know what this is for…” he takes the paring knife and glides along the side of my stomach, “do you remember the sound it makes when flesh meets the acid?” he tosses my skin into the barrel and it pops and fizzes. The pungent smell of muriatic acid eating away at human flesh fills the air.
“Oh, but that is not even the best part,” he takes a pair of kitchen shears from the small table, “let’s play a game.” He reaches for my toes, “this little piggy went to the market, this little piggy,” the blades press against my toe, “stayed home.” The blade bounces around from toe to toe, “this little piggy had roast beef, and this little piggy had none.”
I can hear my heart beating in anticipation, I know the words, I know how this ends.
“This little piggy went…”
I can feel the snapping of bone, I shout out and I am quickly gagged.
“You got it wrong, its ‘Wee. Wee. Wee.’ all the way home,” he laughs, “let’s take care of the other little piggies shall we?”
He gets through four toes before I begin to pass out. “Oh, no, no, no. You must stay awake. It is more fun if you are awake for this… Well, for me anyway.”
Each toe is removed; each toe is taken and thrown into the barrel.
“All of this fun is making me hungry? How about you?” He faces toward me, “How about liver,” he takes a large knife and rips into my abdomen, pulling from my body a, deep red, liver. My body has begun to shut down, the pain has dulled over, and I cannot focus on anything. I can smell the familiar scent of cooking liver. The salt and pepper rub fills the room. He returns to the table and takes a deep breath, taking in every ounce of liver he can.
“Do you want a bite?” He stabs a piece of my own liver on a fork and presses it to my lip, some of my blood drips from the meat and into my mouth. I shake my head, fighting off my own flesh from my lips. A second knife is plunged into my leg, I let out a scream and the liver is sent into my mouth. My body fights this. I am flailing on the metal table like a live fish being prepared for a meal. I try to spit out the liver, as the flashing of the camera blinds me.
“I’m getting bored. Let us take this up a notch shall we?” he pulls from the table a large butcher knife, the light shines off of its blade. “I am saving your head for last, but where should we start? How about…” The butcher knife slams into the table, a fiery pain flies up my arm. I want to scream, but my body is not in my control. “I am sure if the roles were reversed you would be loving this,” he leans into my ear, “but I am in charge here.” I hear the bubbling of flesh being eaten by acid, “Look your hand is waving goodbye,” faceless laughs. He takes the butcher knife and drives it twice, he drives is swiftly, through both my ankles. My feet are still attached to my legs, “My knife is getting dull.” He yanks my feet away ripping skin and snapping bones that are still holding on to each other. The pain has overcome my body and I pass out.
The light has softened, I look around faceless is not in the room. “There you are. I am so glad you could join us again,” His voice comes from somewhere in the dark, it comes from everywhere in the dark, “I took the liberty of removing the other hand, but I wanted to wait for you to wake up so that we can work on your legs.” Before I can respond, before I have the chance to think I can feel a sledge hammer slam into my knee, the cracking of my kneecap echoes through the room. I want to cry out in pain, but my mouth is working against me. I am screaming with my mouth shut. I could barely get a breath in before a second crack comes with the slamming of the hammer on my other leg. My legs are hacked off, first the calves, then the thighs, “Do you like the thighs or the breast?” he tosses them into the acid, “Personally, I am a breast man myself.” He takes the paring knife to my shoulder and twists until he finds the joint to my arm and then he digs in deep. This is repeated until both arms have been removed, “You know I figured you to be a screamer. You… are…” every word slower than the last “tougher than you look. Let’s take this part,” his hands run down my chest, “slow.”
The paring knife is pressed into the center of my chest and slowly penetrates my skin, until the blade meets bone. He cuts down my chest to my navel. I should not be alive! He removes bit by bit. Each piece of meat, making ripples in the acid. My chest is naked of skin, I am a deep shade of red. He pulls an ax from behind him and rests its blade on my neck, sweet relief, he pulls the ax up and I see the blade and close my eyes as it is coming back down. I hear the banging of metal on metal, but there is no pain, nothing, the sound echoes in my ears. I open my eyes, wondering if this is all a dream. I look over to the red light just in time to see my torso dipped into the acid slowly. What? I look down to where my body has vanished from, all that is left is my head. How am I alive? This has to be a dream. Pain has lost all meaning, I am no longer aware of anything, but faceless taking his time to rid himself of my torso, pulling it out of the acid and watching the flesh, and blood as it drips back into the vat of acid.
“The last of you won’t be saved, you will not get that satisfaction of being tucked away and preserved. You will die, eaten away like the rest of you has been.” He takes me by the hair, and I am swinging in his hands. I take one last look at the red light in the corner of the room, and he tosses me into the barrel. I can feel every bone in my body, every piece of skin that falls into the acid. I feel every bit of my body as it is eaten again by the acid, as if I was put in whole. I can taste the acid on my tongue as it too dissolves.