The pain worsened inexplicably twelve days ago. The steady thrumming of my blood became a tangible whip sliding between my muscles. Lifting and fitting. Screaming and ripping.
Yeah, I started ripping into my wound. The pain was fucking intense, a strobe light in the still desert, I started screaming and before I knew it, my hands were bloodied. The tips smeared with tissue and red liquid. My tissue and red liquid. I'd started shredding at myself. Fingering into the barely healing wound, and ripping out whatever progress I'd made.
Ho, ho, ho.
It was night when the pain struck. Struck and went aaaalllll ttthhhhee waaaaaay hooooome! The screams were bad. Even in the stark madness of pain, my ears caught the shrill ring as it bounced and bounced around this little room. And the pitch hurt like a bitch. Fuck, I damn well sounded like a bitch. A little bitch crying in the dark over some scratch the family dog had given me.
Anna was fast to react, considering she'd been asleep just seconds before. She jumped up, and in the darkness of the night managed to see what I was doing to myself (I probably would have assumed something was attacking me) and tackle me. She tried reason, covering my mouth and restraining my arms. The cat, I recall her pleading. The fucking cat will hear you!
Dwipity - dwipity - dwipity - doo.
I was too far gone then. Something had gone wrong. Seriously wrong. Amazingly wrong. And I was just a burning man screaming for his life. A burning man screaming in the middle of a forest stalked by predators of the dark.
Anna dropped away from me after a few minutes of violent wrestling where I basically writhed under her uncontrollably, socked her once on the left cheek, and kneed her ribs. My scream punctured the night air and she swiped up an assault rifle from the bag.
And boy do I remember this part cleanly.
She straightened up and turned to me, arms holding that weapon. Her frame rounding the form of the rifle so perfectly, she looked almost divine. The steel weapon was no longer as shiny as it had been in days past, and she herself looked tattered and sleep deprived, but the scene from my tearing eyes looked so unbelievably deadly in the darkness of the room, I almost stopped screaming.
But the moment passed and that ice cold dagger plunged into me from my right side, a tearing sensation somewhere between my ribs, and I was screaming the good scream all the same.
AAAAAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (gasp) (gasp) (gasp) FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH (gasp) (gasp)-
And that's when she brought the weapon down. On my head.
Don't get me wrong, I wanted her to shoot me. Anything would beat getting out of the hell I was in then. A bullet in my noggin would fix me right the fuck up. Stop my screaming, save Anna from having to take care of my sorry ass, leave more of the oh so limited food supplies for Anna. Well damn, at the time it sounded incredibly right.
So shoot shoot shoot Shoot SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT S H O O T
But all the shit I was thinking then were excuses; deflections. Maybe I convinced myself then that I wanted Anna to shoot me for her own good. For the benefit of her survival. But that's some bullshit. I wanted to die then. I was in more pain than I'd ever experienced before and I wanted to die. It doesn't get much more simple than that.
Boopity - boop.
But Anna didn't shoot me. She knocked me out with a heavy sideways blow from the rifle's stock. And all I heard before the thump that put me between this world and some gravy was the zipping of moving air across a strange shape. And a baited breath.
Anna doubled my pain medication after that. Whatever the fuck was eating at my leg, she aimed to kill it dead. Daily baths in alcohol and water. A hardy regiment of antibiotics. Shit.
Ten days later was the first time I woke up again. And only because she wanted to see if her daily routine was working or not. She eased up on whatever the hell it was she had me on and