I am curled in the dirt in the dim corner of the hut, so dehydrated that I haven’t cried in three days, haven’t peed in two. My T-shirt is rough with dried sweat, and rank with the smell of goat grease and wood smoke from the nighttime guard’s fire. I am in and out of consciousness, drifting on a wave of murmuring voices, and heat, and my own stink.
Time may flow only forward, but memory and anticipation spiral in and out of that stream. I wanted to experiment with time and tense in a story — sentence by sentence. When I heard a radio interview of a woman recounting her abduction by and escape from a militia group, it seemed like the perfect opportunity, jangling with spirals.