I’m vaguely aware of my dog’s paw, small and gentle, on my shoulder. His tap, tap, tapping pulls me from the fog of slumber.

“No,” I mumble, certain day has not yet broken night.

As I roll away from my persistent pup, a knife stabs at the base of my neck and thousands of needles drill into my right shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. I moan, though not audibly. Instead the moan rises within. Echoes within. Resides within. READ MORE