• Max Mundan


I snap my head to attention from a dead sleep

and for an instant, I cannot figure out

where I am

or what I am doing.

Then the pain hits like a runaway train

with memory dragged kicking and screaming

right behind.

I must have passed out when they broke the third finger

I don't know which is worse

the sheer agony of feeling my bone snap

the sharp, nauseating sound it makes

or the pulse of sheer, blistering terror

that precedes both.

God, look at what they've done to my hand.

I will never be beautiful again.

Then one of their faces is mere inches from mine

screaming obscenities

that strike me like a hot punch

"where is it?",

they want to know.

Fuck me, I wish I knew.

I'd trade my mother to escape this dungeon

with only the damage already done.

They fall silent, then the big one reaches over

to pin my wrist with one hand

squeeze my fourth finger with the other.

I cannot hear myself think over the sound

of my own blubbering.

As he begins to bend my finger back

I can't help but think

"I hope I come up with something to tell them

before they move to my face.”

Photo by William F. Santos

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