THE DISCIPLES OF HADES
When he woke, he felt drowsy and uncomfortable. He tried to lift his head, but as soon as he tried to move, a wave of nausea overcame him and he knew that if he had to vomit, he wouldn’t even be able to move his head to the side, for it was held in the grip of a metallic vise. He became aware of his hands, which felt as if they were blown up like balloons, but at the same time felt heavy, like lead. He tried to wiggle his fingers to release the painful numbness, but as soon as he tried to concentrate on movement, a new wave of nausea came, and he could taste the acid from his stomach rising up to his mouth.
His mind grasped that his body was completely tied down with iron clasps around his neck, wrists, and ankles, yet it felt to him as if there was some break in his neural pathways, as if his brain was no longer attached to his body. He tried to scream, but he only heard his voice echoing within his head. With difficulty he perceived a light and a shape above him, for it felt like his eyes were open under water. Then he heard a voice from far away and echoing over and over: “Helloooooo, Jaaack. Helloooooo . . .
howww yoooooo feeeeeeeling?”
He tried hard to focus on the shape above him and gradually discerned the face of the woman who’d called herself Lily, and with a new wave of nausea, his brain was flooded with images. He saw with his mind’s eye the burning body of the woman he’d killed, and it seemed to him as though the burning flesh
smelled like cooking rotten meat. Then he could no longer prevent the acidic content of his stomach rising up and the vomit ran out of his mouth and down his neck. He heard a distant voice say, “You revolting piece of shit!” and then he felt an unbearably sharp pain shooting into his brain—and this time he screamed out loud.