It hurt. Good gods, it hurt. A searing, blinding, all-consuming pain that ripped him to pieces and left him nowhere to hide, nowhere to run. The agony chased his consciousness down every back ally he could find and cornered him but he had no voice left to scream with.

It hurt; a fire burning beneath his skin, scorching the skies and the earth. A raging inferno of pain that boiled his skin and made him want to claw out his nerves. An impossible task, but if it would numb the pain, he would do it.

It hurt. He couldn't even think straight, didn't want to, but flashes of light dragged him away from the abyss long enough for memories to bombard him.

A truck. A screeching horn—a warning—and then little save the savage, brutal agony ripping through him, starting from his chest. The feeling of being weightless and then the jarring impact against the ground. Sirens, voices. Something soft. Something hard.

And then nothing but this agony, this incessant hell that tore him apart over and over and over again.

What had he done?

What the hell had he done to deserve this?

The dark offered no answers even as feeling slowly returned to his body. He felt strange, weightless. Empty. But the fire was still there, smoldering and sparking beneath the surface, waiting for the right moment to burst into a raging inferno that would swallow him whole again.

He staggered a step, eyes failing to adjust to the sudden brightness of being in the middle of the street. Around him, shapes—people—bustled in their day-to-day tasks, completely ignoring him. That was nothing new, but when he tried to call out to get their attention, his voice would not come.

He felt a strange tug on his consciousness right as he tried to take a step and froze in place, every muscle quivering.

Something was wrong. Something was terribly, terribly wrong.

Yet he could do nothing as he was dragged away from that street and those people who didn't even realize he had been watching them for however brief a time.

A/N It's been so long since I've done anything on this site. Here's to a new adventure,