After their lunch of Trevor’s sandwiches, Shane glanced at a clock. “It’s already mid-arvo,” he said, using an Australian word for ‘afternoon’. “I think we’re both a bit worn from the swimming, and we’ve loads of time. How about putting the beach flags on hold until morning?”
Trevor stretched and nodded. “I was kinda hoping you’d say that.”
“I have an ulterior motive,” Shane said with a grin, and then added, “For a writer, it’s important to write when the muse strikes and I’ve just had some ideas regarding our book project. Just a few bits of fancy phrasing, but I’d like to get them written down. Are you up to having a talk about your encounter with the monster wave? I’m thinking that we could use the term ‘maelstrom’ for it, and color in some of the scenes. Then, you can have a go at explaining those navigation techniques to me, and that... thing you made.”
“I can do better than that; I brought the astrolabe and map with me,” Trevor said, and then turned for his cabin, emerging a few moments later with his improvised astrolabe and his torn map. He’d also pulled a pair of boardies on over his speedos.
Shane took the astrolabe carefully, spending nearly a minute examining it. “Cleverly done. Let’s set up in the salon and see what we come up with.”
Shane indeed had ulterior motives, though they went beyond writing. He was concerned over Trevor’s shuddering whenever some aspects of his voyage were mentioned. It had triggered a memory in Shane, one that was far from pleasant. He hoped he was wrong, but felt he had to find out, for Trevor’s sake.
They stretched out on the salon’s deck, surrounding themselves with Shane’s notebooks and the laptop computer, along with Trevor’s astrolabe and map pieces. Shane began to type, and occasionally asked Trevor questions, starting with the rogue wave. Every time Shane heard a reply, he watched Trevor closely, seeking any sign of shuddering, and finding none. Shane thought he knew the trigger – the pirates – and avoided mentioning them.
They worked on into the late afternoon, Shane gradually taking Trevor backwards in time, through his battles in the Southern Ocean.
For Trevor, reliving those parts of his ordeal was easier than he’d expected, and he found himself talking freely, enjoying his time with Shane and their shared project. Lying by Shane’s left side, Trevor’s view was perforce limited to Shane’s head and shoulders, which kept Trevor’s distraction to a manageable minimum, most of the time.
Trevor was also fascinated by Shane’s writing. When Shane was writing in his notebook, his pen hand was almost under Trevor’s nose. Shane’s handwriting, Trevor noted with amusement, was as bad as his own: Shane didn’t write in cursive, but in an uneven print. Shane’s methods also intrigued Trevor; Shane was drafting passages on the laptop, but pausing to take notes by hand. “Why do you do it that way?” Trevor asked, nodding at the computer, and then at the notepad.
Shane smiled, setting down his pen. “It’s easier for me. I’ve never done a novel before so I need plenty of notes. This way, I can have them on paper next to the computer and not have to keep changing screens to see ‘em. The other part of it is I can’t touch type; I can take notes by hand when you’re talking easier than typing. Plus, I can sketch layouts and stuff faster freehand.”
“This is more complicated than I thought it would be,” Trevor replied.
“Same here,” Shane replied, chuckling softly. He gave Trevor’s shoulder a playful nudge and returned to his writing, leaving their shoulders in contact. They talked for a while, with Shane prompting Trevor to explain how he’d built the wooden sail. When Trevor was done, a puzzled look crossed Shane’s face. “Once that was up, how did you get around it; didn’t it block the deck from side to side?”
Trevor grinned. “On Atlantis there’s an access hatch in the starboard forward cabin that goes into the starboard forward storage compartment. I just went through it and then up out of the deck hatch when I needed to go forward.”
Shane rolled onto his right side and propped himself up on his elbow, facing Trevor. “That’s the same cabin I’m in on Kookaburra, and the layout is the same, but I never thought of that... there’s a shelf rack in the way, but I guess that could be moved,” Shane said, pointing towards his cabin.
Trevor’s mind was no longer on hatches, but on Shane and his smooth muscles, which flexed so tantalizingly as he pointed and then lowered his arm. Trevor had a great view, one greatly aided by the fact that Shane hadn’t bothered to pull on shorts and was still in just speedos.
“Want to go have a look?” Shane asked, as he sat up.
“Huh?” Trevor replied, deep in one of his distracted states. He was still lying face down, and had grown hard from the view he’d just had. Faced with the need to get up combined with an inability to think of an excuse not to, Trevor tensed, and in an attempt to force himself down, he again pictured himself with the pirates as they shoved him towards Atlantis’s rail. Trevor winced and shuddered violently for a moment, and then turned his head to see Shane looking at him, with an expression of deep concern on his face.
Shane was confused; he thought he knew the trigger for Trevor’s shuddering – the pirates – but he couldn’t imagine why the mention of a deck hatch and storage locker would also be a trigger. “You’re shuddering again, Trev. What brought it on?” Shane asked softly, lying down again beside Trevor.
Trevor looked away, and after a few moments’ silence replied, “I guess my mind was wandering.”
“You seem okay talking about most of what happened, but sometimes you go all shuddery. Trev... have you been having nightmares?” Shane asked, hoping that he was wrong.
Trevor felt a shudder at just the mention of nightmares, coupled with an urgent desire to change the subject. “The night before I arrived in Carnarvon, I had a weird one. Atlantis was on a white beach, and I could hear ‘Waltzing Matilda’ playing. I walked ashore... saw all kinds of birds and crocodiles in the trees, all of ‘em singing, and then kangaroos. The kangaroos came up to me and started singing ‘Waltzing Matilda’. I woke up when the koala bears started coming after me.”
In spite of his worries, Shane laughed. “Okay, now that’s a real nightmare; kangaroos are notorious for singing that song off-key.”
Relieved, Trevor chuckled, and then sobered slightly. “I’d been thinking about getting here every damn near every minute of every day. I’d seen the lighthouse so I knew I was close. I think I craved it so much my mind just kinda filled in the blanks.”
“With singing kangaroos and crocs in the trees? If you hadn’t already told me you’re crazy, I’d now know it for certain,” Shane replied, giving Trevor’s shoulder a playful nudge and getting one in return.
They worked through the afternoon and finally called a break as the sun touched the horizon. “How about a quick swim before dinner?” Shane suggested.
Trevor quickly agreed and followed Shane out to the cockpit. Just before they dove in, Trevor was distracted enough by Shane that he almost walked into a bulkhead. ‘Why am I so goddamn clumsy? I’ve never been this bad around anyone, not for this long, and I’ve been acting weird in other ways too,’ he mused, as he shucked off the shorts he’d been wearing over his speedos and dove in after Shane.
Trevor’s introspective moment was his first admission that he’d been acting strangely. Unfortunately for him, he was largely focused on the wrong aspects.
Trevor had suffered the extreme trauma of the pirate’s brutal attempt to kill him, then being left alone and adrift in grave danger for months, aboard the gutted remains of his pride and joy, Atlantis. The ordeal in the Southern Ocean was one he could handle now that it was over, but the pirates were another matter entirely. They haunted him almost every night – often several times – in his horrific nightmares. That was the most glaring symptom, though not the only one.
After their swim, Trevor and Shane showered on deck. They stood by the rail to let the air dry them as they watched the sunset. Shane brought up a subject dear to both of their hearts: dinner. “Burgers on the grill sound good?” he asked.
Trevor nodded with enthusiasm. “Awesome.”
“I’ll get started as soon as I’m dry,” Shane replied, as a movement ashore caught his eye, and he said quietly, “Have you ever seen a joey in his mother’s pouch?”
Trevor shook his head and turned to follow Shane’s gaze.
“Yet another glaring lack you’re about to have corrected. Look just inshore of where we had our campfire. She’s part ways behind a bush, but...”
“I see her... and the joey!” Trevor whispered, and the two guys fell silent, spending the next few minutes watching as even more kangaroos appeared, lit by the red afterglow of the spectacular sunset.
After dinner, Trevor and Shane relaxed in the salon, watching movies and enjoying a few beers.
That night, Trevor’s nightmares returned, more vivid than ever before. Again he was in Atlantis’s cockpit, hands bound, peering into the pirate captain’s merciless eyes. Trevor had never known his name, but the image of him would not fade.
Again, the desperate futile struggle as the pirates dumped him into the sea, and then the struggle to stay afloat, fighting the relentless tug of the weight belt pulling him towards agonizing death and a watery, anonymous grave.
Again, as he had so many times, Trevor took that final look at the stars before succumbing and slipping beneath the dark waters, to struggle, sinking ever deeper into the sea. Then as it always did, the nightmare diverged from reality, and Trevor was unable to free himself. Crushed by the sea, deep beneath the waves, craving air, his battle lost, experiencing his own death... only to awake, thrashing, heart pounding, covered in sweat and gasping for air.
It took Trevor over an hour to get back to sleep, though his respite was short-lived; again he relived his personal hell to awake in terror. Still, even this was not his last, and the cycle repeated a third time.
Finally, just an hour before dawn, Trevor returned to sleep and slumbered fitfully.
When he finally awoke to the smell of breakfast cooking, Trevor pulled on his speedos and boardies, only to see his hands shaking. He ignored them, as he’d ignored so much, and put on a brave face as he padded out into the galley, where he was greeted by the twin sights of Shane in speedos and a hot omelet, both of which did wonders to brighten his mood – or so he believed.
They ate at the cockpit table, and after a bite of omelet, Shane announced, “Beach flags today!”
“Okay, so what exactly is beach flags?” Trevor asked.
“My favorite of the surf lifesaving events, and usually my best event,” Shane replied proudly, puffing out his chest a little. “Beach Flags is a competition used by surf lifesavers to practice beach sprinting and reflexes. It’s simple enough; the flags are short lengths of hosepipe, cut to about thirty centimeters. You stick them up in a row in the sand, about a meter apart. Then the lifesavers turn their backs on them and lie down twenty meters away. At the sound of the shot, they’re off, and race for the flags to grab one. The thing is, there’s one less flag than there are competitors, so somebody comes up dry, and they’re eliminated. The event repeats until it’s down to two with just one flag. Whoever gets it, wins.”
“Sounds kind of like musical chairs,” Trevor observed.
Shane laughed. “I guess it does... but it’s quite a sport. You’ve got to be up on your feet and off like a shot, do a sprint, then dive for the flag. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I put a flag and a measuring tape in the bag, plus a timer that’ll beep when it’s time to start. We do have scuba powerheads aboard – a holder with a firing pin for .45 caliber rounds, for putting on the end of a spear – but there’s no way to trigger them if you’re the one racing, plus they’re real ammo, bullet and all. A kitchen timer is the best I could come up with, though nothing beats a starter’s pistol.”
A powerhead, like a bang stick or shark stick, is a specialized firearm for underwater use against sharks or other large predators. Fired when in direct contact with the target, it kills by essentially injecting both the bullet and the exploding propellant gasses into the target. The powerhead is the firearm part of the device and is usually in the form of a short tube – less than three inches long – that can be permanently attached to a shaft – thus forming a bang stick. A slightly different version – which confusingly is also commonly referred to as a powerhead – is when the powerhead is temporarily attached to a pole or the tip of a spear. The spear may be handheld, or launchable from a spear gun.
Trevor’s eyes opened a little wider. “I use powerheads when diving. I like ‘em better than a bang stick, because you can just clip the powerhead to your tank harness and stick it on a spear if sharks show up. Easier than toting around an armed bang stick. Mine used .45 rounds, too. It kinda surprises me that they’d use them here, seeing as how handguns are pretty much illegal here.”
Shane shrugged. “Handguns are not illegal here – just tightly regulated. Farmers are allowed to have them, and target shooters too, I think. I’ve seen powerheads on other charter boats, though bang sticks using shotgun shells are more popular. Besides, without a barrel, the bullet won’t do much – the powerhead or bang stick has to be in full contact with the target to be of much use.”
Trevor nodded. “I used mine on my spear gun spears, which give some range. I never had to use it, but it was nice to know I could when sharks showed up... I wonder if Ned will be able to replace them here? That, and everything else those fucking pirates stole,” Trevor said, shuddering violently.
Shane’s eyes narrowed with concern as he studied Trevor for a moment, but he decided to let that subject drop – for now.
After breakfast, Trevor reluctantly left his shorts behind and they waded ashore, where Shane made his measurements, drew lines in the sand, and planted the flag – a piece of soft hosepipe.
“Okay, come with me,” Shane said, leading Trevor down the beach. When he passed his line in the sand, Shane lay face down, with his feet pointing at the flag. “Lie down parallel to me, an arm’s length to the side, with your head at the level of my feet. I’m spotting you nearly two meters, because you’ve never done this before,” he instructed. Once Trevor had done so, Shane said, “The object is to grab the flag. We’ll both be diving for it. Beach flags can get a bit rough; jostling and shouldering out of the way is fine, but you can’t tackle or deliberately obstruct an opponent. Okay, get ready; I’m setting the timer now. It’ll ding in about thirty seconds.”
Trevor tensed, waiting, as the timer ran down. It sounded with a soft ‘ding’ and they were off, scrambling to their feet, spinning around, and sprinting for the flag. Shane was by far the faster, and when he neared the flag he lunged forward to grab it, well before Trevor got there.
Shane rolled over and grinned, holding his prize. “You’ll do better once you’ve had some practice.”
Laughing in the sun, Trevor and Shane returned to the starting point, for the first of several more rounds of beach flags.
Trevor improved with practice to the point where, so long as he had his two-yard starting advantage, he and Shane were almost evenly matched. Shane was in his element, running his favorite event, one he’d competed in for years. There was no chance Trevor could match him in a fair race, a fact both of them knew.
Trevor was having riotous fun and enjoying the races with Shane, but now he was arriving at the flag neck and neck with Shane, diving for the same target, they’d often end up in a tangle of arms and legs, laughing and rolling on the beach. Trevor found the close contact intense, and though he tried to ignore it, he couldn’t.
After a race that ended in a tangle, plus a bit of brief impromptu wresting, Shane quickly rolled away, and Trevor found himself unable to stand up.
Gritting his teeth, Trevor lay on his stomach, willing himself to subside, but it wasn’t working. Finally, seeing no other option, he clenched his eyes shut, envisioning himself back on Atlantis with the pirates, as they shoved him, bound, weighted and helpless, toward a watery grave. It was a scene he relived almost every night, but the intensity of doing so while awake made him tremble, and worse every time. It did however succeed in solving his pressing problem.
Finally able to stand, Trevor forced himself to smile and rejoined Shane at the starting line.
The games of fun and – for Trevor – occasional self-torment, went on.
After several more rounds, they called a break and sat on the sand, relaxing in the sun. Suddenly, Shane tapped Trevor on the shoulder, whispered, “look,” and glanced down the beach, indicating with a subtle nod that Trevor should follow his gaze. Trevor did, freezing as he saw the object of Shane’s attention.
Standing on the pure white sand, with the placid waters of the lagoon beyond, was a red kangaroo.
The kangaroo was motionless save for its twitching ears. It stared at Trevor and Shane for a few moments, and then turned its head to look at the water.
It was Trevor’s first good look at a kangaroo in daylight. He noticed something he hadn’t expected, and whispered to Shane, “I can’t see a pouch.”
Shane struggled to hold in a laugh. “That’s because it’s a male. Only females have pouches.”
“Oh, that makes sense, Trevor replied, watching as the kangaroo, which appeared to be alone, crouched down to use its front legs and tail in the slow gait unique to kangaroos: using their tail as a fifth leg to raise their midsection and move both hind legs forward at once.
The Kangaroo stood up again, looked around, and in a burst of speed hopped towards the lagoon, entering the water with a resounding splash. It didn’t go in far and stopped once the water was chest deep. The kangaroo hesitated, glanced at Trevor and Shane again, and then turned, exploding from the water to race inland and out of sight.
“That was a young male on his own; he looked about half grown. Sometimes they scout around alone like that, but I’ll bet he’s back with the mob by now. We’ll see a lot more of them while we’re here,” Shane said.
“That was awesome,” Trevor said, with a beaming smile as he extended his arm to point at the water. “He went right in. He knew we were here but he didn’t care.”
Shane glanced at the water, and then at Trevor’s hand and finger, both of which were shaking. “Trev, your hand. Why are you trembling like that?” Shane asked, in a concerned tone.
Trevor stared at his hand for a moment. “I don’t know... just one of those things, I guess,” he said, flexing his hand and then holding it almost still, which eased the trembling, though it didn’t end it.
Trevor stared out at the water, avoiding thinking about his trembling hand. ‘I’ve got to sound him out and if I don’t do it soon, I’ll chicken out,’ Trevor thought. Taking a deep breath, he said, as offhandedly as he could manage, “Joel will be here in a couple of weeks. He’ll be landing at Perth so we’ll have to pick him up. He’s got a gay brother,” Trevor said, giving himself a mental kick for mangling it so badly.
Perplexed, Shane turned his head to look at Trevor. “Okay... but you’re not making much sense. Will his gay brother be on the same flight?” Shane asked.
“Uh, no, Joel will be coming alone,” Trevor said, still staring out at the lagoon. He didn’t know that Lisa was coming too.
Shane scratched his head. “So why does it matter that he has a gay brother?” Shane asked.
Trevor was silent for a few moments, trying to phrase his answer. It didn’t help. “It’s just that... Joel and Lisa – and now you too – are my closest friends. I... just wouldn’t want... Joel to get offended, if it comes up that his brother is gay, so I thought I better ask to see what you felt, about... those kind of people.”
Shane was silent for a few moments, his face expressionless. “What kind of people do you mean?” he finally asked.
Trevor swallowed once again, still looking out at the water. “People like Joel’s brother... who’s a guy. He... dates other guys, not girls.”
“That’s pretty much normal for a gay guy, and I suppose it’s normal, even in Yankeeland, that Joel’s brother would be male, but I still don’t know what it is you’re saying,” Shane replied.
Trevor clenched his jaw, frustrated due to the way what he was saying kept coming out all wrong. “I’m... just trying to... so it didn’t cause trouble... see what you thought about... those people. I mean... are you okay with being around people... who are... like that?”
“But why would it be an issue? You said Joel was coming alone, right?” Shane asked.
“Joel could be... mad, or upset, if you were... against his brother, because he’s into guys. His brother is, I mean, not Joel. Joel’s straight. He’s engaged to Lisa.”
Shane nodded, struggling to resist the urge to cross his eyes as he finally realized exactly what Trevor was trying to do. “I know, you told me they were engaged. What are you trying to ask, Trev? You’re making even less sense than usual.”
Trevor took a deep breath, again trying to phrase his words. “I need to know if it’s okay for Joel to come here, because he has a brother who... likes guys. I mean... some people don’t like being around people who are... that way. Does it... creep you out, like that?” Trevor visibly cringed at the sound of his own convoluted words.
Shane was tempted to let the conversation go on, but he could see the stress in Trevor so he chuckled, patted Trevor on the back, and said, “I think I need to spare you some agro. You’re good at many things, Trev, but you utterly and truly suck at coming out.”
Trevor’s breath caught in his throat and he coughed. Reeling in shock, he turned to look at Shane, finding a reassuring grin.
Shane laughed and put his arm across Trevor’s shoulders. “Don’t look so shocked. I’m not the oblivious sort; I had you figured out before we sailed from Carnarvon.”
Shane’s body language, demeanor, and his friendly arm across Trevor’s shoulders made it clear to Trevor that his concerns that Shane might be homophobic had been ill founded. “Why didn’t you say so? And... Thanks man,” Trevor said.
Shane laughed, shaking his head, and then he sobered a little before replying, “I don’t see what the big deal is. You like what and who you like. I figured either you’d tell me or not, and at any rate it’s none of my business. I’ve been dropping hints that you’ve no worries with me. Remember me saying that I’m not the bigoted sort?”
Trevor managed a weak smile, his tension ebbing. “Yeah, I guess you did. Thanks for being... so okay with it.”
Shane took a deep breath, deciding that it was time to bring up some actual concerns. “So what’s the real situation? Last I heard, you might be leaving to fly home. Weren’t you supposed to call the copper to see about that? And what about calling that arsehole Ned, to see how things are going with Atlantis?”
Trevor shrugged. “I guess... I just didn’t want to use the sat phone for that, it’s expensive. I can wait until I have my cell.” Trevor went silent for a moment, and obeyed a subconscious need to change the subject by quickly adding, “So how’d you know, anyway? About me, I mean?”
Shane pulled his arm away and gave Trevor another friendly jostle with his shoulder. “You’re not so smart as you think you are. In Carnarvon, you changed the subject whenever I mentioned girls. You also begged off when that hot girl at the sports store was into you. Then in the grocery store, two hot girls walked right past you, but you were oblivious. No straight guy with a pulse would have been.” Shane considered mentioning what else had given Trevor away, but decided against it for the time being.
Trevor, feeling far better – as far as he knew – chuckled. “I guess I didn’t hide it as well as I thought.”
“No shit, Sherlock,” Shane quipped, laughing aloud and shaking his head. Shane’s smile faded, and in a quiet tone, he added, “No worries, mate... this changes nothing, because I’ve known almost all along. I do get how some people make it hard to be yourself, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s no more a difference than the color of your eyes. You like guys, I like girls, same thing. I’m totally fine with you, unless...” Shane turned to give Trevor a suspicious glare, and added darkly, “Unless you’re related to Ned, which would be utterly unforgivable and downright disgusting!”
Trevor laughed hard, shaking his head. “Nope, not as far as I know.”
“See that it stays that way!” Shane demanded, and then chuckled. “So, what’s the real story? Have you a boyfriend back home, then?”
“Nah, I wasn’t dating anybody when I left. I knew I had to tell you before Joel got here though. He’s always bugging me about being in the closet, and I knew he’d probably slip and spill the news even if I asked him not to. Plus, he’d make my life hell if I was back in the closet.”
“Sounds like a good mate... and that reminds me, when you came up with this ‘gay brother’ routine, had you forgotten that you told me you two had adopted one another as brothers?” Shane asked.
Trevor cringed and laughed. “Yeah... he’s got two others, but I did forget I’d said that.”
“You’ve set a record mate; the clumsiest coming-out of all time,” Shane said, chuckling. “Okay, you lazy sod, let’s get back to our beach flags matches.”
They returned to their games of beach flags, racing and laughing in the sun.
Later in the afternoon, they took a break to go snorkeling, and then they built a campfire on the beach for a cookout.
After dinner, in the fading light of sunset, they resumed their beach flag matches.
Another race – due to Trevor still getting a starting advantage – ended in a draw, with both guys grabbing the flag together, which sparked another wresting match. Shane managed to pin Trevor, and felt him shudder before rolling away.
With real concern, Shane lay down beside Trevor and asked softly, “Trev, what’s wrong? I’ve felt you shake like a leaf a few times, like you’re scared out of your wits all of a sudden... like you’ve done when I’ve slipped and mentioned what happened at sea. Earlier I was thinking it might be the coming-out stuff, but you can’t still be worried about that – can you? Did I do something wrong?” Shane’s eyes glazed over slightly as some memories from his past returned.
Trevor’s inflation problem was gone, but he remained lying on his stomach, staring at the sand. He felt that he couldn’t give the whole truth, so he decided give a part of it. “I just... whenever I think of what happened, I get the shakes.”
Shane remained quiet for a few moments, and then said quietly, “I think something could be wrong with you, and I mean that for real this time. Put your hand out and hold it flat and steady.”
Trevor did so, staring at his hand in disbelief; he was trembling violently and couldn’t make it stop.
“Has this ever happened before?” Shane asked, in a quiet, serious tone.
“No, not before the last couple of days, and not as bad as now,” Trevor replied, staring at his shaking hand, as his breathing became faster.
“Tell me how you feel,” Shane asked, careful to keep his voice calm in spite of his growing alarm. They were far from help and Kookaburra could only leave the lagoon on a daylight high tide. Shane was also well aware that he didn’t have the skill to get them out himself.
Trevor looked at Shane, seeing the concern in his eyes. “I... I’m scared. Really scared, I don’t know why,” Trevor replied, his eyes growing wider as the fear gripped him. It was formless at first, but then the dreaded touch, and again, he was facing the pirates, seeing himself there, about to die, in a scene every bit as vivid as his nightmares... only this time, waking up could not spare him. “It’s the pirates. I keep seeing them, it’s like I’m there,” Trevor gasped, feeling his heart pounding and the sensation of suffocating. Still lying face down, he clutched at the sand, overwhelmed by fear, gasping, “I can’t breathe, Shane, I can’t breathe.”
Shane moved fast, rolling against Trevor and hugging him with one arm, sheltering Trevor’s head with the other. “It’s going to be okay, they don’t last long. It can’t hurt you, Trev,” Shane said quietly, bending the truth in an attempt to calm Trevor. “Just listen to me: you’re safe.”
Trevor fought against the horror, trying to hold onto the sound of Shane’s voice, but reality was spinning away, and again he saw the pirates. His chest heaving, wracked by an overwhelming fear that drove away even the sound of Shane’s reassuring voice, the world around Trevor blurring out, replaced by the terror he’d fought to keep contained. In that wretched moment hung eternity: the dam sundered, time lost all meaning. It was as though the earth stood open and the skies bled. Trevor had reached the breaking point, unleashing the demons of his mind.
Consumed by profound panic, Trevor convulsed in an agony that was all too real. Unable to breathe, shaking violently, betrayed by his own mind, Trevor relived again the hell of his nights in the cold light of day, gripped by a formless terror that he could neither comprehend – nor for long endure.