"Finally, when Gerard was already choking on the tube, he felt it begin to go in a reverse direction."
The next time the blackbirds came in, Gerard had the luxury of being able to stay on his bed. They propped him upright. Gerard looked around nervously as two blackbirds surrounded him, and fiddled with a contraption they had brought in. Gerard could not see exactly what it was, but he could see it definitely had yet another tube. His throat tightened, remembering his last encounter with force feeding.
Yet the tube seemed much smaller this time, as he watched them uncoil it. Upon closer inspection, it was not very smooth however. Its surface was jagged, in a way that did not look particularly sharp, but very, very rough. It also looked rather thick, and was clear and plastic. The blackbird who had been uncoiling it brought the tube up to Gerard's face, and Gerard stared at it silently.
The blackbird then brought one end of the jagged tube up to Gerard's right nostril. The other blackbird that had come in with him then grabbed Gerard's head, one hand supporting his chin and the other, holding the back of his skull. The other blackbird began to insert the jagged tube into Gerard's nostril.
Gerard winced as the thing was stuffed inside him, and he could feel its jagged edges rubbing against the inner lining of his nose. The blackbird inserted it slowly and gradually, and Gerard wondered how far he would go. If he was simply going to stuff things into his nostrils, that would not be so bad. Right?
Yet even when the blackbird had reached the very end of the nostril, he still kept going. He adjusted his hand so that the tube might bend, and so it did. It went down into the nasal passage, burrowing down into his throat. Gerard gagged as he began to feel the tube really enter him, fighting the urge to reach over and pull it out. He looked behind the blackbird to see that this tube was in fact very, very long.
Finally, when Gerard was already choking on the tube, he felt it begin to go in a reverse direction. The blackbird was pulling the tube out. Yet he was doing it just as slowly as he did when he was placing it inside, and Gerard soon realized that it was better going in than out.
The jagged edges of the tube had left small punctures and scratches on his inner linings, and so as the tube went out, the jagged edges of it rubbed against already slightly wounded membrane. In addition, the overall sensation of it being pulled out of him caused him to gag a bit more than what he felt when it was being pushed in.
The tube reached the opening of his nostril finally, and Gerard awaited the blackbird to pull it out. Yet he did not. He paused for a moment, and then simply pushed it in again.
Gerard was gagging once more soon enough, and his right nostril felt like it was on fire. The jagged edges rubbed against the membrane again, which at this point was very sore. Gerard let out a small whining noise that was interrupted by another sputter and gag. And again, the blackbird retracted the tube once he felt it would go far enough.
Gerard almost wished the blackbird would go to his other nostril, just to give his right one at least a small break. The blackbird however, only seemed interested in that particular nostril for some time. By the next extraction of the tube, Gerard could see blood lining its surface as it was pulled out of him.
He could not do much about the situation, as the other blackbird held his head firmly still. He just sat there and endured it, as the tube continuously went in, and out. In, and out.
A very long while later, after the blackbirds had left, Gerard lay twitching on his bed. He stared up at the ceiling and tried to think of more pleasant things while his nose bled profusely. Finally, someone else came in, but Gerard knew it was too soon to be more of the injuring blackbirds.
Sure enough, the healer came in with their cart of medical supplies. The healer walked over to Gerard's bedside, and got some wads of cotton from their cart. They began to do some nasal packing on Gerard's nostrils, to cease the epistaxis.
The healer then gave Gerard an injection of 10 milligrams of heparin. Gerard had learned to be silently during these visits, although injections always caused him to let out a little cry of protest. He tried to look away from it and the healer, staring instead at the wall on the other side of the room.
The healer finished their injection and Gerard heard them packing away their things. He did not look at his other side again, until he heard the door close.
Finally he rotated his head, but his cheek fell on something hard. He shifted himself slightly and saw that the healer had left a fresh looking peach on his bed.
Next chapter: "When I am queen on royal throne made out of parts of broken bones,
of all the devils I have known that suck the angels dry..."