I woke up to more darkness. I might not have known I was awake if not for the throbbing headache. I tried to get up but my limbs would not comply. Every effort was met with the infinite weight of numbness.
Gruff voices grumbled at each other somewhere in the dark. I could not make out their words. I considered it possible that they communicated entirely through a series of grunts.
One of them came closer, grumbling the whole time, and yanked a sack off my head. Tornado Hong’s face filled my view and I came to prefer the sack. He looked at me with the kind of affection one ordinarily reserves for a persistent rash.
I looked past Hong. It was a dark and cool place with rough walls and mismatched that appeared to have been chosen and placed at random. The lighting was poor but I could see well enough to tell that it must have been a bandit’s hideout!
I tried to speak but could only gag.
Tornado Hong grumbled some more and reached his huge hand into my mouth. This was neither welcome nor helpful. Then he pulled out a sock that had been stuffed further down my throat than I would have thought possible. My gagging was replaced by coughing and I remember hoping it had been a fresh sock.
Hong put a stop to my coughing with a punch in my stomach. Truly a master of bedside manner.