He let his shoulders roll forward. The motion stretched the skin of his back tightly across his spine, and a few flecks of black came loose. He reached back one of his long, lanky arms, and scritch-scratched at the tiny, scale-like growths that plagued his body. Some of them came free as he scratched, and he sighed with catharsis. His arm fell back down to his side, and he mournfully noted the sensation of new black scales growing back to cover the exposed patches on his back.
He would never leave this place, this hospital for lost causes. The walls were black with soot and ash from the fireplace that was never cleaned, the floor stained with the filth and blood of a hundred previous tenants. The feeble cot sagged in the middle where he sat - where he'd sat for the past four months languishing in misery. He'd spent the last two hours working up the will to cross the room and drink from the pitcher of gritty br