Read by Jennifer Tan
I know when it is noon.
Though I am blind and dumb and kept in a small cell in the rafters of the Royal Observatory, I know when it is noon.
I know because at precisely that time a retired ship’s surgeon will carve the day’s date into my flesh. Each letter, each numeral, is a series of slashes of the knife. He cuts swiftly, with precision. The wound is then sprinkled with the “powder of sympathy”, a pungent, acrid substance which reacts violently with my tortured skin and burns, and burns, and burns.