I work fingers across the mortar, slowly wearing it away, scraping until my fingernails are worn away and my fingers are bleeding. My progress is slow and painful, but I can sense the deformation weakening ever so slightly. I feel a pull at my concentration, a niggling sensation of some force I cannot ignore. I release my focus and fall away from the wall, drifting backward faster and faster, reality returning in place of my internal prison sanctuary.
“Justin, I don’t feel so good.” Julia had woken up and I could read the ravages of withdrawal written across her face.