This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

Fluorescent lights greeted desiccated eyes upon Angel's awakening and were cause for temporary blindness. So prevalent was the sudden scent of old, rusting metal that thoughts ceased to exist for the moment.

With his vision dimming back to an impression of normalcy, his gaze swept across his current place of leisure which happened to be a bathroom, his own apparently. Disorientation was still working its' way out of his system when trembling hands sought to cover a vulnerable nose already suffering from too much use. The action forced his throat to constrict, blocking the path of rising vomit. Offense pulled his hands away as if they had wronged him with their obedience of his wishes.

In blurred vision were his hands uplifted for inspection, colored in splotches of dark ruby. The hazy sight thrust him into the memory of his first childhood nosebleed and he found, with no small amount of trepidation, that the feelings then were kin to those now.

In his eagerness to stand upright, as a man should, he disregarded his current state; a state that he had not taken the time to assess. In the depths of his bowels lay no strength that could be called on in his time of need.

There was a heavy beating in his head transforming his face into a mass of pulsing muscles. With one failure weighing on him a new tactic was swiftly decided on. Shifting to lay slowly on his side, Angel placed his hands flat against sticky tile and pushed. Weakened arms screamed in defeat, exhaustion stood between defender and victor. Skeletal thighs tensed in protest and his knees buckled in attempt to lend aid.

Nevertheless, he rose, glaring at his bed of rest. Coagulated and brown, a copious amount of blood held the image of a bruised face. It was incongruous, this dream-like reality of horrors, he could not identify if it was his face or a specter floating above him smiling with blackened eyes.

In the distance rumbled the sound of a garage door. There was no time to dwell on the absurdity of his predicament; there remained only the work of decontaminating himself. The stains on the clothes begged for his attention first. Removing them was no easy task nor was it as rushed as he would have liked. Lack of understanding presented him with the gift of denial and it was covered in a thin wrapping of composure.

Unfortunately, the calmness that had permitted him to perform some semblance of functioning, like getting up while drenched in pestiferous fluid and splashing water uselessly onto his clothes was shattered into panic when keys jiggled as they were placed on a hook. The speed at which he finished stripping left him stunned for the seconds following, he could literally feel segments of his brain convulsing abnormally behind his skull as it made an effort to send out instructions that had already been followed. The jelly-like sack was participating in a game of catch-up with the body. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Movement heard in the bedroom just outside the door acted as the next catalyst to propel his body forward as he stumbled towards the combined shower and bathtub. His feet produced a suction sound against the bathroom floor as they glued and unglued themselves from the constantly spreading mess. Spreading mess? Looking behind him, Angel noticed that the mess was indeed spreading, fresh blood bubbling from an unseen wound that had been inflicted upon the floor. His mouth hung open, useless to make a sound in his confusion. Lucky or unlucky for him, his feet accepted the instructions to "work properly" that were meant for the mouth and continued their movement towards the tub, until his pronounced knees collided with the edge of said tub.

Again, his brain convulsed, jerking against his skull like a battering ram but it was too late as he fell directly over the tub. When his head finally did jerk forward, belatedly following the command, it was rewarded with a solid porcelain wall. The smooth and pristine white surface was unrelenting as his face challenged its solidity. Understandably, his face left the fight beaten. Angel's nasal bone was forcefully shoved upwards and crushed against the frontal bone, creating a beautiful macabre symphony of cracking bone, rushing blood, and a steady beat that literally thrummed throughout his entire body. Throat producing a whimper, Angle curled into a protective ball and blacked out lest the victor punish him further for his foolish challenge.

Minutes later, Angel was roused awake after passing out to find that he was inexplicably hurt. There was a burning in his face that went hand in hand with his visualizations of hell and his eyes would not focus on a single thing. Going against common sense, he tensed his lids, making his vision smaller and worse. He realized that it was blessed peace he had experienced previously before the burning grew into an inferno.

The shock of this sensation produced a scream that ripped through his throat. Strain on his throat sliced open unknown wounds and his mouth filled with excess blood. Running down his esophagus and pouring from his mouth, the liquid both strangled and choked him until his chest heaved. An obnoxious sound of gurgling and coughing echoed off one wall and hit another, concealing the creak of worn hinges sliding against each other.

The cylindrical lights attached to the ceiling spontaneously exploded into hundreds of crystalline slivers. Darkness engulfed the room in a most welcomed embrace. Angel could do nothing as gravity mocked him, the tiny shards raining down upon his being like knives. An innumerable amount had already lodged into his leathery skin and they continued their brutal penetration until they truly became a part of him.

His veins, tendons, and muscles were relentlessly sliced until they were no longer functional. Blood and glass flowed uninhibited and unrestricted while vessels dangled in tangles from shredded meat. Strangely enough, once the glass had infiltrated his every defense, his external wounds closed quite suddenly. This left the inside of his body in chaos. The pains left him immobile save for the occasional twitch or spasm. Angel lay bleeding to death with no visible signs of the condition and no way to stop the internal carnage.

Dying eyes registered the flickering of lights as the room once again became bright. One last pitiful whimper escaped an otherwise paralyzed mouth. As silence settled over the bathroom, Angel distantly heard the groan of the bathroom door opening…or was it closing?

*****

Fluorescent lights greeted desiccated eyes upon Angel's awakening and were cause for temporary blindness. So prevalent was the sudden scent of old, rusting metal that thoughts ceased to exist for the moment…