The walls were growing closer

They were an unremarkable pulsating red, cut with dark veins and wrapped all around me

I was quite warm

This comfort, this confinement, this warm womb seclusion was all I knew but I was somehow aware of more

Then I heard laughter or screams

And I screamed back

Emitting raw sound from deep within my throat

Then I began to stretch and strike out at the walls of flesh around me and they were flexible and held fast

I chewed my fingernails into wicked curved claws

Dug eight fingers and two thumbs deep into a small section of the wall before me

And when I pulled my clenched hands away I held red gobbets and small chunks of flesh

And there was a tear before me in my prison

And I clawed and scratched and gouged and tore at the spot before me with teeth, nails and all the strength I possessed until

The hole before me was big enough to fit my head, shoulders, and arms. tipped with their nails, within it

And I burrowed head long with fluid running all around me

The wall before me giving in with more ease and running around my fingers like thick mud

Then plunging one last time into the hole before me I felt my hand push free from the resistance of the flesh all around me and plunge clear into chilly air

The flickering light poured from the outside in

The smell I would later know as smoke poured into my nose

And I cackled madly as I tore the hole before me wide open

Ripping it down around my growing shoulders as I slid free into the interior of a small room lit by a fireplace against the wall

I knelt by the flames shivering and covered in thick wet and looked back from which I had come

I had slid from the torn open belly of a man my spitting image

He lay there

Belly ripped agape

Torn open like an empty sack of flesh

And I stood with my back close to the flames

Feeling fire for the first time

I stared at the man I had always lived within

I stripped him then

Shivering as I pulled the blanket from his shoulders and wrapped it around me

Tugging his clothing free and pulling them over me

Clasping and buckling his belt around my waist and feeling the weight of the hunting knife strapped there

Then I pulled his body to me as I sat near the blistering heat of flames and coals and

Then I began to devour him

I pulled the folds of flesh and skin and bones to me

The flesh slid easily down my throat

The bones I cracked open and sucked the marrow clean from before crunching them to bits to swallow

I wrapped the bits of hair around my fingers and sucked them into my mouth

And by the time I was finished licking clean his skull and setting it deep within the red hot coals of the hearth

I had grown a healthy beard, long curly hair, and a strong sense of the man I had been

I fetched more wood to burn to fend off the wind of a chilly night

And I contemplated this man

I thought of his wife and children

Of the night before he had drank all through

I thought of his childhood

I thought of his weakness

I thought of the cowardice he had embodied to allow me to sit idle within him until

I grew strong enough to rip him agape and step free

Releasing a weak tortured man from the sentence of his life

And stepping strong into existence

To be better than the molted flesh of a man I’d left behind


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