“Don’t turn on the light!”
Fletcher’s steps faltered. The door stood open, the light from the hall slipping beneath Matheus’ eyelids. He locked both arms across his eyes, pressing hard enough to draw glowing strands and spheres in the darkness.
“What is it?” Fletcher asked. “What’s happened?”
“Go away,” Matheus said. He rocked back and forth. Movement helped distract him from the pain. His muscles ached with the constant effort. He moaned at the flick of the light switch.
“Oh my God.” Fletcher spoke in a whisper. “Oh my God. Mattias, what have you done?”
“Turn off the light!” Matheus shouted.
“You’re hurt.” Fletcher knelt in front of him, brushing her fingertips over the long gouges crisscrossing his arms. Strips of flesh dangled loose, a macabre fringe.
“Please.” Fresh shards of pain stung out every time Matheus moved his mouth. He’d chewed through his lower lip, leaving a raw, shapeless mess. Cool blood had mingled with saliva, coating his chin and pooling on his chest.