A Bouquet of Thorns

'If the stench outside was rank and putrid, inside the shed it was like running full pelt into a wall of stinking, choking gas. Seth Collingwood could taste the foulness of the air, feel it on his tongue, seeping into his ears, his skin. He could scarcely see for the thick, clogging dust that at once seared into his lungs and he instantly started to wheeze. But it was the vile fumes of putrefying bones, of rotting, noxious excrement that clenched at his stomach. He felt the bile, the nausea rising to his throat. He tried to force it down, struggling, retching, but the rancid, suffocating atmosphere was overwhelming, swirling down inside him. He found himself on his knees, vomiting up his breakfast of watery gruel, on and on, uncontrollably, until there was nothing left to bring up and yet his insides still heaved in violent spasms. He felt a hand under his arm, dragging him upwards. Through his streaming eyes, he made out a haggard, grimacing face against the pall of dust that surrounded them.

'Welcome to hell, pal,' the voice hissed in his ear.

© 2008, Tania Crosse

Tania at Dartmoor Prison