Prisoner Z lay motionless on the hard , cold surface .
The whip bore down viciously , delivering a series of blows to the torn , bloody frame .
His lips , swollen and bloodied , twitched as he muttered incoherently , over and over , like a mantra … they can break my body but not my mind … not my mind …
As his broken body jerked involuntarily in the throes of death , his spirit lifted and began to rise .
He could feel himself floating , weightless , fading , dissolving into nothingness …
The blessed state of oblivion loomed , closing in on him .
His last exhilirating thought before he embraced it was ~ freedom at last !