``Count backwards from 10.''
``10, 9, ...''
8,7,6... You continue in your head. You cannot speak, and they cannot hear you. They are not aware of you as a conscious being at all. They mark your body with a pen and smear it with cold antiseptic.
The sharp sting of your skin being sliced open. A growing burn. The whirling rush of the motor saw. Loud and loud and louder.
You scream, but they cannot hear you. Your fear is so extreme it is beyond fear. Beyond pain. Outside the constraints of time. Your pain so extreme it metamorphoses into a dull tingle followed by an otherwise heightened state of awareness.
The menthol smell of the antiseptic. The soft hum of the lamp shining over you. The persistent buzz of the saw, and the doctors' breath caressing your skin. And then, when the saw stops with a hush, and you focus more intently inwards -- the gentle ticking of your heart.