The boy squeezed his shut his eyes hard and tried to forget what he had just seen. He didn’t want to know how the edge of his severed muscle would shimmer in the light. It had almost a metallic look, like gasoline floating on the lake in the sun. His skin had been seared, and smoothed at the edges. His internal organs looked wet and shiny.

He took a deep breath and held it. Then, he moved his stomach in just a bit, to see how painful it would be. It didn't feel numb, but there was no pain at all. He felt okay — imprisoned by a crazy man, but otherwise okay.

How had this happened?  

Keeping his eyes shut he took further inventory — he couldn’t hear anything, and he only smelled a subtle musty smell.

The boy remembered waking up, seeing the new incision, and then closing his eyes again. Was the man here now?

He flexed his leg muscles and decided his left leg felt weird. Something about the angle when he flexed his calf. The boy opened his left eye half way. He tried not to look at his stomach and forced his gaze down to his toes.

He closed his eye immediately, but couldn’t forget the image. His foot had been semi-transparent. The bottom was fine — ankle, heel everything looked normal. About half-way up his foot it turned bad: nothing left but bone.

When did that happen? Shouldn't it hurt?

“It’s the acid,” the man said.

The boy’s eyes flew open. He now saw the man, clear as day, standing near his devastated foot. The man looked odd. He was a normal crazy guy wearing a white lab coat until you got to his neck. From the neck up, the “dissecting man” had a bull’s head.

The boy’s mind reeled. Bull Man examined the boy's half-foot, and the boy remembered something about acid.

He wondered:  had Bull Man burned away his flesh with acid?

“Lysergic acid diethylamide,” said the man. “It’s a hallucinogen.”

The boy wondered if Bull Man could hear his thoughts.


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