Pain attends her even in her dreams, a writhing tapestry thrown all across her dreamscape—buried in scraps of imagery, hidden in the shattered rooms of her failing dreams, and nestled all about her not-body. Stranger than in her waking hours, both more and less urgent—
But when dreams end the pain remains.
She groans as she wakes, feeling the knots curling through her back and the bundles of unoiled needles flexing in her joints; her elbows burn and her knees scream and hungry-mouthed snakes curl in her thighs and all through her belly—
As she stumbles to her feet she wishes once again that the pain would remain in her bed, like it did for so many years. If only the hint of motion was enough to scare it off, to ward it away—but all motion does is coax out the painful needles of her slowly waking extremities.