Fragment # 2
Neddal Ayad
Everything is distorted.  The hills roll and undulate.  Houses are slanted against a crooked sky.  People in the streets look bent and crippled; they loom and leer and show chipped yellow teeth.

I don't know how much longer I can hold out.  My skin doesn't feel right.  There are coarse, angry patches across my stomach.  I run my hands over my chest and there are dips and crevices - my own columbarium.  The skin under my jaw feels loose and gummy, and it's covered with weeping welts.  My whole body aches and I may be running a fever.  I'm afraid to look in the mirror, not that I've ever liked mirrors much.

There's a salt, slightly metallic smell in the air.  It's everywhere I go.  It's permeated everything - my clothes, my furniture, me.  I took a bath earler and slathered myself with soap and shampoo.  It burned and stung and did nothing to help the smell.  It felt good to be in the water, but not right.

Have I been sleeping?  All night I itch and sweat and stick to the sheets - or at least parts of me stick to the sheets.  And I don't know what's coming.  And I have the vague, nagging feeling that something is missing.