With a jolt
the other friend and I grasp hands
and clumsily half-swim to the Gate.
We reach out together
and pain sears through my hand.
Burning as if the Gate were a red-hot iron.
Shooting neuralgic pain
in every nerve of my being.
Shrieks so deafening
blood leaks from my ears.
Ice picks of darkness piercing my eyes
Bitter, tangy acid assaulting my tongue.
I swallow and spit.
I choke on my dismembered tongue.
I release the Gate.
It will not open.