A man regains consciousness to find himself naked in a mass grave,
with no idea who he is. His thought is survival, but in a religious war
survival depends on knowing which side you’re on...

There was cold weight pressing upon all parts of his body. He found himself awake in blackness, his eyes coming open uneasily, as though his lashes were webbed together. His breathing was strained in the confined space. He became aware of light — pale white, filtered vaguely green and pink — as he noticed that his left arm was bare, that his entire body must be naked. Why naked?

As he strained and struggled, he felt hard edges intrude upon his body, attempting to tangle with him as they became displaced… He felt what must be a foot with his foot. Sole to sole. Frigid. The muscles in his neck went taut as he turned his head to see a stopped living thing unto itself, an orb, an eye, trained on him with vacuous intent.

He turned on his side and pushed with his right hand, his straight arm, trying to bend his elbow in the confines, inching toward the indefinite outline of the bulk above him. He squirmed with his shoulder and kicked down to find a place for his feet, working his way into the irregular wedge of space between what he now knew to be two bodies. The strain had brought on a sweat, and the warmth of his body smeared against cold flesh to all sides of him.

He pushed with his right hand, his fingers slipping, the contours of the bodies becoming plainer to him now, his mind battling to realize what he was touching. What part. A shoulder? A buttock? A breast? A knee? An elbow? All inflexible. He did not want to know.

Avoidance necessitated movement.

Noise was mounting in his head. He was almost vertical. Holding his breath, he shoved higher, squeezed through the bodies and thrust his left hand upward, his fingers desperately shuffling, swishing, pawing across each figure.

Out. Out. Out. Where? . . . (excerpted from the first pages)

JEW - D.O. Dodd
Fiction/Novel • 5.5x8 • 176 pages
(tpb/french flaps) $19.95

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