The stench of smoke and blood was overpowering. The stomach twisted instinctively. Something was burning here. Something was bleeding here. It was not safe to be lost here.


Music thumped against the brain through the ears, dumbing everything down to a rhythm. Each beat chained to the moment. Forbidden to think about the consequences. The exit far beyond sight. Only the outline of bodies swaying trance-like and elusive, like reeds in an ocean breeze at midnight.


The only light to be detected was reflections flashing in the eyes of predators; eyes that could single out a beating heart hidden amongst a thousand dead bodies with ease. The heart beat faster in response to the attention.


Glinting teeth. Dripping lips. So many smiles. Eyes dilated in admiration, they begged you to let them worship. Hands cold and smooth as polished stone grasped at your soft arms, pulling towards the centre of the throng, signalling you to stand in the circle.


So many kisses. Gentle, sharp declarations of love. It was like hellfire was eating you alive. Heaven’s elixir poured down your throat to turn your organs into stars. Being the star of the show meant you burned the brightest of them all. Your voice took over the music and the crowd went wild.


They were ravenous for their Messiah. Eager to hear any note you cried. Such devotion as was near-impossible, their praise drowned you. If it felt this good to die, how would it feel to be reborn? The portal in your skin pulsed wider and wider to make way for their hunger. You were almost ready to crawl through yourself. The ritual was almost complete.

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