5

Land.
cough cough cough cough
gasp
breath
cough
cough
gasp
cough
gasp
drown
Tiberinus Silvius in the River Tiber.
Hippasus of Metapontum following the discovery of irrational numbers.
Percy Shelley. Virginia Woolf. Natalie Wood.
down down
Down down down down down
Down down down down down down down down down
Water is part of a closed system; it is moves continuously from ocean to atmosphere to earth and back to ocean in an endless cyclical loop. Water moves under the effect of gravity. Water always takes the easiest route, and covers most of the earth's surface. A 71% chance of hitting water may be deduced when travelling a straight line for one mile in any given direction.
Water, he thinks. Water.

4

He tears at his clothes, attacking himself like a man possessed. He is upright. He is wild. He is feral. He must get away from himself. Giving no thought to direction or place, he runs. He runs fast. He runs hard. He runs blindly.
His left hand awakens. It scratches his cheek while his right moves across to his side. From his cheek to his neck. From his side to his stomach. From stomach to back. From neck to arm. His hands will not stop. They can not stop. His body writhes. He rolls back and forth, rubbing against the green ground to get at each unreachable part. His skin reddens. Purple streaked lines raise and spread in every direction. Blisters form. He can not stop. His eyes swell shut. He is crazed and convulsive.
Everything hurts. Lumpen, his hand lays motionless by his thigh. In response to something - a trigger, an itch - one finger moves ever so slightly. Within seconds, the others joined in.
Pain and itch evoke very different responses. Pain invites withdrawl, leading the body to retract and protect any endangered part of itself. Itch stimulates the need to scratch, a reflex that draws all focus to the affected skin site. Controlled by the part of the brain largely responsible for reward and decision making, scratching brings with it the promise for relief. This promise is not always fulfilled. If the source of an itch is not physically removed - ie. an insect removed from the skin - scratching can actually increase irritation, leading to an uncontrollable, relentless, hedonic need to scratch.
Collapsing in the tall grass, every muscle lets go.
Emerald. Jade. Olives. Lime.
Spring. Youth. Money. Hope.
Sickness. Mold. Misfortune. Envy.
He sees green, and heads straight for it.
He pulls himself onward. He moves face down, parallel to the ground, drawing his hind forward before advancing his upper body. He moves slowly. Over a period of time, maybe an hour maybe a day, he clears the splintered pile of hardwood, ivory and string and continues to inch along the pavement.
He pauses. Everything hurts. Birds circle round his throbbing head.
Time passes. Silence returns. Painfully, he begins to crawl from beneath the wreckage.