© 1985 Jonathan Zap image:

He was taken from her and rolled down a long corridor and into a room.  In the room a steel needle entered his body.  He could feel its polished metal hollowness.

A cool liquid came out of this needle that had the strangest effect on him. It swirled around, tickling parts of his body from the inside. Different parts of him began to squirm and contract separately until this tickling filled his entire awareness, and he was nothing but the center of this tickling. These sensations subsided and his attention was drawn to the surface of his body, where he felt flushes of heat on his skin. Something was stimulating his pores and he felt them individually open all over his body, like the puckering mouths of tiny animals.

He became aware of the pores on his face where he felt pulses of warm, moist air. He saw the source of this breathing as the dark mass of a head, a corona of hot electric arc light flaring around it. He was seeing with the pores of his skin and the sensations were hard to interpret.

He found himself in a large area of darkness behind the hot, electric lights, and he could see perfectly.  He saw an exposed organism writhing on a table and knew it was himself.  Its skin was peeled back and its colorful insides glistened with moisture in the dry air of the room.  It was beautiful and alive.

Large creatures, swathed from head to foot in green linen, moved around this colorful organism. They moved so slowly they scarcely seemed alive. They were awkward monuments of protein and stiff bone, their hands were enveloped in rubbery membranes, yet in some clumsy way they were strangely beautiful. There was something sad about their slow movements; they seemed to be sleep walking through some painful, lonely dream.

Soon he grew tired of this scene. He felt his attention was being wasted on it, and he allowed himself to float back into the deep, cool darkness behind him.

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