The stone floor was rough and dug into the exposed skin of his face and hands as he lay unmoving. The blood flowed slowly through the channels on the uneven surface. As it touched his face, he twitched. Slowly consciousness returned to him. Pain surrounded him, and he could not remember how he had gotten here. Finally, the sticky sweet blood penetrated the daze, and he pushed himself off the floor with a start.

The source of the blood became immediately obvious as fresh pain shot through his side. Pressing his hand there, he felt the ooze soaking through his shirt. The lightheadedness nearly caused him to pass out again. He steadied himself and took account of his surroundings.

The room was square and small, no more than 10 feet to a side. A single stone slab served as the floor. The walls and ceiling had no seams, either. A strange glow seemed to emanate from the walls, and a heavy wooden door was the only feature that interrupted the stone. Where was he? How did he get here?

His mind refused to give him any answers. His side had been slashed, and now he was closed into an unfamiliar place. Walking slowly over to the door, he was unsurprised to find that there was no way to open it. For whatever reason, he was trapped here. The exertion had drained the last of his meager strength, and he slumped to the floor.

He knew he had lost a lot of blood already, even though it had nearly stopped now. Without some help, some food and drink, some attention to his wound, he didn’t think he could last much longer. Did anyone know he was here? Had he been left here to die?

Consciousness began to slip away, and he gave up trying to fight it. There was nothing he could do, so what was the point? Not knowing if he would ever emerge again, he let the darkness envelope him.

However, it receded once more. He never knew why he woke again, but now the door was open. Weakness still pulled on him, making any movement difficult. He forced himself to crawl to the door. His vision was dark around the edges, but he focused on staying conscious.

At the door, he paused to pull himself up to his feet. He needed the wall to lean on and keep himself upright. Every moment was another in which the door might be slammed shut. Fear grew nearly to a panic as he struggled to move faster.

Finally beyond the threshold, he found himself in a hallway. There was no indication where it went or what dangers it might hold. He felt the weakness grow with every minute that passed; walking sped up the drain. He did not want to stay in the room, but leaving held the unknown. He might escape down the hall, or it might cost him his life. Surely someone would come by to check on him, to help him.

Looking one last time down the hall, he decided not to risk it. Instead, he turned and crawled back into the room. He collapsed on the floor and waited to hear someone coming to save him. But the hall remained silent.

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