They had closed his chest with thick staples, each precisely the same distance apart. Cary ran his fingers over the bumps making a ‘Y’ across his chest and down his torso, watching the door of the red room out of the corner of his eye. It had been some time since they buried him in this room and he didn’t know if they were coming back. He wasn’t hungry or thirsty—there was something cold pumped into the hollow space inside his ribs. He tasted it, sour on his breath. He could think and move and hear and see as if he were alive, but he was afraid he wasn’t quite human anymore.
He was cold.
A ‘tap-tap-tap’ made him startle, his head jerking to find the sound. He got to his feet, dizzy with emptiness for a moment, then staggered over the concrete floor to the other room. There was a window in there—the brightness of its light made his eyes blink and water.
The window swung open, one brown hand shoving it inwards.
“Hey!” There was a man kneeling in the gravel outside, turning his head to the side to see in the narrow window. “Cary, come out!”
Cary leaned against the doorjamb, trying to understand the light and the man and the open window.
“Take my hand and come out!” The man stretched his arm down into the room, thrusting his shoulders against the window frame. Cary’s feet had carried him closer and he tipped his head back to look at the outstretched hand. He thought he could fit through that frame, but the stuff they had put inside him was as heavy as it was cold.
The man had his cheek against the ground, one brown eye finding Cary’s upturned gaze. “They’re going to bury this window like they did the door.” The man’s voice was muffled and urgent. “I can lift you out if you give me your hand.”
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