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bathroom

One minute, I’m totally fine.

The next, I’m hunched over and clutching my stomach in sheer agony. What the hell is happening to me?

I have no idea. All I know is what I feel, and what I feel I can’t believe. It’s as if the lining of my stomach is suddenly peeling away with a corrosive burn. I’m screaming and I’m moaning, but most of all I’m praying – praying for this to stop.

It doesn’t

The burning continues, a blistering hole forms, and the bile trickled out of my stomach with a sizzling . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . drip . . . over my entrails. The smell of my own melting flesh fills the air.

I’m dying, I tell myself.

But no, it’s worse than that. Much worse. I’m being skinned alive – from the inside out.

And it’s only just beginning.

Like a firework, the pain shoots up and explodes into my throat. It cuts off all air and I struggle to breathe.

Then I collapse. My arms prove useless, unable to break the fall. Headfirst I hit the hardwood floor and bust open my skull. Blood, plum red and thick, oozes from above my right eyebrow. I blink a few times, but that’s all. The gash doesn’t even factor in. Needing a dozen stitches is the least of my current problems.

The pain gets worse, continues to spread.

Through my nose. Out to my ears. Right smack into my eyes, where I can feel the vessels popping like bubble wrap.

I try to stand. I can’t. When I finally manage to, I try to run. All I can do is stumble forward. My legs are leaden. The bathroom is ten feet away. It might as well be ten miles.

Somehow I make it. I get there, lock the door behind me.

My knees buckle and, again, I collapse to the floor. The cold tile greets my cheek with a horrific crack! as my back molar splits in two.

I can see the toilet but like everything else in the bathroom it’s moving. Everything is spinning and I reach for the sink, arms flailing, to try and hol on. No chance. My body begins to thrash as if a thousand volts are coursing through my veins.

I try to crawl.

The pain is officially everywhere, including my fingernails, which dig into the tile grout and inch me forward. I desperately grab the base of the toilet and drag my head up over the lip.

For a second, my throat opens and I gasp for air. I begin to heave and the muscles in my chest stretch and twist. One by one, they tear as if razor blades are slashing through them.

There’s a knocking on the door. Quickly, I turn my head.

It’s getting louder and louder. More a pounding now.

Were it only the grim reaper to put me out of this excruciating misery.

But it’s not – not yet, at least – and that’s the moment I realize that I may not know what killed me tonight, but I know for damn sure who did it.

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