Mitochondria
rating: +28+x

There are vague memories of light at the beginning.

His body is compressed and cold. There is the cold of concrete on his skin so much that it is his skin- the cold smell of paint and rebar in his breath that’s lost in the twisting passageway above him. From time to cold, cold time he hears the cave move, scratch, rumble, the only movement his body has.

He struggled once to move his leg, to feel it, but the rock is cast to his foot, his bones fuzed together (how many joints does a man have?). He cannot remember being smaller than eight, remembers when he grew, grew, his back became large enough to crack the concrete compressing his ribs, (move his abdomen to conserve heat but it is cold) but his ribs are conformed now, twisting and turning around the hard concrete. No room to move. Arms out in front. There is no crying. No crying. He cannot see- the concrete is conformed around his open eyes, only his nose and mouth exposed to air, the tube in his anus. The time he cries the tears stick to his skin and pool into the (cold) concrete.

There is food.

Food comes to him. Comes. Comes. Smacks onto him so he must eat in order to breathe. Hair. Nails. Teeth. The bones cram into his throat and make him choke. The marrow is the best. Animal fur. Blood fills the cavern and he almost drowns, almost passes out, he cannot move, his head is trapped inside. (How many joints does a man have?) For he only has his jaw, slipping, slamming, darkness inside. The womb. The womb. The womb. His abdomen constricts and he shits out the pipe.

Time moves faster sometimes than not but there is no passage, how many joints does a man have? His father. Sometimes, the cave mouth opens and there is a moment before wet meat slaps down on his crusted lips that he sees harsh white light flood inward and the muscles of the rock constrict, he is one but cannot move. It does not speak but gives him food. He loves the rock as it hugs him tight. Pelvis broken and regrown to the curvature of the rock’s insides he opens his mouth with blind desperation and consumes hair sliding down his throat long, long hair, then lips like his own that squish like skin and burst into meat and then teeth that grind against his own and he struggles to breathe again.

It's cold, cold, cold, his world is cold and hard and dark. He hears nothing through the concrete in his eardrums. He has been here as long as the rock has moved and it took his shape, roughly, he laughs.

Arms outstretched, the rock feeds him.

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