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Warnings: Mature themes throughout the story, dealing with rape, torture and the psychological traumas of imprisonment in a concentration camp. Sexually explicit scene in Chapter 23.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Author's Notes



Roaches and rats. He hears them scurrying about in the darkness. Gags as a dozen feathery legs dart across his lips. He sits up quickly, but not quickly enough. Razor-sharp teeth draw blood from the crusted scabs covering his back. Without thought, he snatches the offending vermin and hurls it across the room. A sharp thud followed by a dying squeal. The effort nearly drains him.

He knows what comes next. He should. It's the same nightmare he's had for several weeks. He fumbles for a scrap of match and bit of candle. He lights the wick, shielding it from the guards outside. Remy bites back the inevitable nausea. He throws off the moldy shred of fabric that passes for a blanket in the camps.

The meager flame reveals a growing patch of gangrene on his left thigh. Maggot infested. Ripe with the musty stench of decay. He pours a bit of the melted candle wax into another dish, waits a moment, then braces himself as he transfers the warm wax to his leg. He stifles a cry as the liquid tallow oozes into the worm holes. When the wax cools and hardens, he peels it off, removing the dead larva.

Something wriggles across his right thigh, then his chest, shoulders and back. Remy raises the flickering candle closer to his body. Swarms of white, wriggling bodies crawl across his skin. He recoils. Losing his balance, he falls off the bed, falls into darkness.

The stench of decay mingles with the burn of lime as he falls an impossible distance into the Genoshan death pits. Corpses rain down on top of him. He gasps for air. In vain. Before his eyes, black flies land on the dead, lay eggs, and hatch maggots. Over and over again, the cycle plays out, impossibly filling the pits with writhing worms in moments.

The skin on his hand begins to itch unmercifully. He claws at it, unwittingly releasing a nest of maggots burrowed in his palm. The itch spreads, fueled by the lime. Everywhere Remy's nails touch, his skin splits into gangrenous patches to nurture the death worms. He feels an itch, then a crawling sensation across his eyes.


His eyes snap open to darkness. A shaft of light strikes his sweat-soaked body. His heart pounds. His body trembles from the surge of adrenaline coursing through his veins. He runs the back of his hand across a parched mouth. Tseidel turns from the lamp back to Remy. He flinches as she runs her cool hand across his fevered brow.

Her gray eyes darken with concern. He does not sleep well. He does not eat as he should. Even though it has been weeks since his return, he is little more than a living skeleton. There is no life to his eyes. Only dark circles betraying his restlessness. Even now, Tseidel can feel his ribs and hip through thin skin.

Remy eases out of bed. Even after being moved back to his own room, he finds little comfort. He shrugs into a robe, then takes a moment to check the gauze on his left thigh. The infection has nearly cleared. He turns back to the bed and kisses Tseidel on the cheek to ease her fear.

"Jus' need some air, Tseidel, don' worry, eh?"

He leaves. Tseidel gathers the thick blankets close, wishing for Remy some bit of comfort. Wishing for them both, a bit of sanctuary.


Continued in Chapter 14.


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