She has lost all track of time. The light wakes her, cold and shivering, right hip sore from where it has pressed against the concrete. She shouts, bangs her feet against the bars, slaps her hands against the floor. The light has shifted before she gives up and eats the colorless slurry they have left for her. It is faintly sweet, faintly nutty, too evanescent to grow used to or sick of. She has lost count of how often she has eaten; she never seems to gain or lose weight, never loses hair, never bleeds from the gums. Whatever it is.

She exercises for want of anything else to do, the muscles in her arms and legs long and corded. Sometimes she sings, sometimes she tells stories. Sometimes she lies, or confesses, or rages, or pleads: no matter. She hasn’t seen another person for as long as she can remember, nor heard a voice, nor seen her reflection. Irreversible brain damage, she says, that’s what she’s heard, somewhere, sometime, from someone.

Eventually the light changes quality, which might mean the night has ended, or started, or neither. Eventually she sits down, lies down, falls asleep. She dreams of the cage, of iron bars, of ambiguous light and uncertain food. She stands over herself, bends curious toward her forgotten face, but her sleeping traitor body shifts and throws one rebellious arm over its head.

She settles down and waits for herself to wake.