HE ASKED ME TO give something up, something that mattered. I had no money, so I offered my right hand.
He cocked his eyebrow, wondering if I was serious.
‘I have nothing else,’ I said.
He chopped it off without warning, using a cutlass that flashed once.
There was no pain at first, just my hand on the ground, a spreading puddle of blood, and a squirting stump.
Then…I saw whole constellations of agony, a multi-headed stabbing sensation crawling up my forearm.
Whenever I thought the pain had reached apogee I was elevated to new heights of suffering. Yet, I did not scream.
He knelt, scooped up the hand, wrapped it in oilskin and left by the back door.
Then, sure of my privacy, I screamed.