The strained groan of something stretching. Elastic?
“Don’t open your eyes.”
The voice knows they’ll open after that. It’s why it says those words, so carefully chosen. They won’t open, though, held fast. Glued shut?
“Just tape. Relax.”
A pinpoint of pressure on the arm, near the shoulder. There should be fabric there, a shirt, but there isn’t and it’s cold and miserable. Logically, the brain knows that heat is flooding into the foreign object, but it feels like a chill is spreading through the flesh, dripping down the arm and coating the skin in liquid nitrogen. Something beneath the surface? In the blood stream?
“You’ll be fine. It always feels strange, at first, but soon you’ll come to enjoy it.”
An absence becomes a surplus, fire flashing through mottled flesh, electric burn coursing down the nerves, through the veins, grappling with the synapses in the brain and smothering them, coating them in foam, in blinders and warped lenses. They struggle to connect through the empty spaces between them, but their signals are redirected, misplaced, and the world, unfamiliar and new, bursts into being behind lowered lids.