Tucked away, back behind those layers of skin, muscle, bone, my heart beats ever so softly. Drops of sound dribble out, sliding through the pores and sledding down my flesh, raising each hair upright as they make contact. I exist. The heart suddenly begins to beat faster, its rate quickening and becoming gradually louder. Tick, tick, it ticks like a clock, consistent and enduring, tick, tick. Each beat makes my chest throb, and my breaths become shorter. I exist. I'm breathing heavily now, wheezing in short bursts of air and firing them back out again. They condense in the cool air, sending a mist to rain down on my sallow skin. The breath left in the air drifts down, floating down toward my still heaving chest. My heartbeat is still quickening, no longer at an idle, indifferent pace; now, it pounds my corpse, beating it with each beat, punishing the unresponsive tissue. It feels as if it will soon burst through my ribcage, in some grotesque show of primitive blood thirst. Boom, boom, it echoes inside me; the sound waves roll around, cascading through every inch of my being, boom, boom. It's becoming too much to bear, this constant hammering, and I sit down on the bare floor. I exist.