The balls of my eyes felt like glue-sticks, as the blankets that were my eyelids slowly strained against them.
There was a constant ringing in my ears, dulling but not completely muffling the ding and dang of battle in the night air. With every intake of breath a burning dagger buried itself through my back and deep, deep into my chest, only to be withdrawn with the exhalation, ready to be shoved back in again with the next.
It wasn't until I looked down at my blackened and red body that I felt the burn. On my arms mostly, like boiling water poured down skin that has been so exposed to the sun that it has baked, and cracked down to the bone. Yet, my dulled mind registered this pain without feeling it- a gift I knew from experience would not last forever.
Slowly and tenderly, I let my head to the side, in time to see Harry surrounded by three people- not people, but people- I knew what I meant, but even in this state a pang of empathy scratched at my soul for those who very well could have been my friends or family.
He rolled, slipping through the feet of the closest, knocking it off it's balance and onto the ground, where (having lost the grip on his weapon) he buried his unarmed fist through the soft skin and flesh of its neck, gripping hard and tearing out what I could only guess was a part of it's brain.
A flash of light from the dark sidelines followed by a delayed 'bang!' announced the rapid deconstruction of one of the plagued's head. Harry, still on the move from the messy kill, was back on his feet in an instant, machete back in hand. He swung hard, and he swung without hesitation- something I would be surprised if I could ever manage. However, his strike landed high.
The solid steel of the blade collided with it's clenched jaw, slicing clean through the salivating mouth, knocked yellowed and broken teeth aside like ten-pins in a bowling alley.
Returning back to myself, I reached and fastened my hands around the only grip I could find, the inside of a wheel which belonged to my car, which someone had conveniently dislodged from the underbrush and brought back down to me.
The stabbing pain was with me, as I held my breath, knowing I wouldn't be able to draw mid lifting, and as I began to pull myself up it felt as if it began to twist and stab and rip everything I had to offer, I cursed and wished that my mind could dull the pain of this wound and it did my burns.
Once I was on my feet, the pain eased. It took a moment, but eventually someone realized I was awake, and before long I was swamped. Everything was still spinning in a blur, and a loud strong voice told them to 'leave him in peace.'. I was so glad they listened to the voice, and soon I was alone with Harry, John and Pete.
I told them how the burns didn't feel so bad on my chest, almost magically a pair of scissors appeared, and the cold metal was pressed between my cindered clothes and my tender skin. Opening up my outer layer, we all breathed a sigh of relief, my shirts had protected the majority of my torso- my arms however weren't so lucky. As they removed the shirt, I swear it felt as though the skin was being torn from my muscle and bone and I fell quietly back into a dark, uneasy sleep.
Waking the second time around was much less dramatic, I found the my arms clad in soaking wet bandages, clean and crisp as I'd ever seen. The sun was in the sky, and my head seemed a thousand times clearer. John was propped up against a tree beside me, a bandage also wrapped around his head.
Across the clearing the group were hard at work, all at various tasks working in a harmony I couldn't see before now, and at their center was Harry, his various weapons all stored at his sides- talking clearly and straight to those around him, and being met with the respect I'd seen by the fire a night not so long ago.
I couldn't help but smile slightly, I knew we were in safe hands... for the time being.