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.