Dark, heavy heat blasts against my chafed skin. A shocking wave of nausea drifts over me, condensing in my stomach into a rock. Aloe, blood, and used tea leaves tickle my nose, and cover my body in a paste of stinging caffeine. I flinch as something rubs corrosively against my body, rough and wet and cold.
My eyelids slide open slowly, abrasive as sand against the sclera of my eyes. Blinding harsh orange light grips me, along with a musty salty stink; I know I’m not alone. I can feel the rough ridges of Gigas’ fingers running along my body, trying vainly to bloom my pale skin with color. Uncontrollably, I begin to shake, my body taken over by tremors and shivers.
I think my blood is frozen. Congealed in my body, stuck in place, heart not beating. I think my heart has stopped. Maybe it gave up on me, maybe it didn’t see the point in keeping such a pitiful thing like me alive.
Gigas scrubs harder, across my body, from shoulder to hip and hip to ankle, and ankle to hip and hip to shoulder. I can’t respond no matter how hard I try.
I think I’m dead. I’m so cold. I can’t feel.
I can feel Gigas rubbing me and chafing my skin with whatever animal skin he’s using. I can feel the burn of the fireplace on the back of my head. I can feel, to a reasonable extent.
What I can’t feel is abstract emotions, that part of living that really truly matters. Happiness. Joy. Forget happiness or joy; I can’t even feel sad or angry or depressed. I feel… nothing.
Nothing at all. Like someone clogged up my emotional pathways and it won’t reach my brain. I know I’m sad, I know I’m angry, I know it’s not fair and I’m indignant at this, but I can’t feel it.
I can’t even cry. I wish I could. I wish I could feel something, experience some kind of pain, be distracted, so I don’t have to think.
I want to feel saline stinging my sinuses, I want to feel tears burning my eyelids and blazing a biting trail down my face, I want to feel tears mingling through my fingers, I want to feel tears turning cold on my chin, I want to cry my body to waste, I want to feel.
But I can’t even scream, can’t cry, can’t feel satisfied; no, nothing at all. My lips are two dead worms. Somehow, they open and mumble sloppily, but loudly into his ear.
“You were right all along.”
Gigas rubs harder and harder and then he stops. I stare back into those animalian, heartless, coal-black eyes, giant orbs that reflect the firelight, like crystalline stars in the bone-chilling night. The hairs of his skin stand on end, like the tails of ibexes when they see death and know death is coming for them. I can see it in my mind and I remember the adrenaline, almost visible, skidding under their thin furred coats like the current of a river.
His voice is breaking and he is crying. I can only watch. I can’t display emotion anymore. Or even feel it. He can. He can, and I cannot.
“I am sorry,” he cries, burying massive, tree trunk-like fingers, weathered as bark, over his knobby mottled face, “I am sorry that there are none of you left.” His tears fall, like mountain streams over a craggy face. The tears hit me, splashing gently, on my forehead.
The words take a second before they resonate with me in the heart. Like a falling stone. Loud and reverberating, but softly, the rings of brutal comprehension spread. Ripples in a pond. There are none of you left.
And there never will be another.
I hardly realize I am speaking it aloud until the words slam painfully against my eardrums, echoing in my brain a thousand times over. Too loud. Too aching. An exponentially immeasurable dose of torment.
My voice is devoid of passion, absent of any hint of pain, not even a twinge of anger. Not what I know I should be—-feeling. My voice is flat and cringingly resounding in the empty cave, carrying away like the radiating smolder of a bonfire, looking, searching, yearning.
My heart hopes. It hopes, thirstily. It hopes, desperately. It hopes, shooting off into the dark void of the cave like careless arrows. It seeks answers, bouncing off the cold hard metallic rock of my prison, echoing back, and deriding me. Mocking my futile, searching wishes for the sunlight.
Author’s Note: Yes, this is a pretty depressing story, but I wrote this mainly for practice. For months, I had this idea of a girl and a giant on an island and decided to write it. I hope you liked it!