The darkness all around him was heavy and oppressive. He swore he could feel the weight of it bearing down on him, bowing his head, crooking his back, breaking his will. Someone...something...stood behind him, binding both arms behind his back with one massive hand that locked both wrists in a cold, unforgiving grip. He couldn't see it but he could feel it towering over him, as dispassionate and unforgiving as the shadow it cast over him. Not that there was any light in this place to cast shadow, but he knew he stood in his captor's shadow regardless. No matter where he went in this place, he would always be in its shadow.
The hand pushed forward and upward, wrenching his shoulders and forcing him to stumble forward. He would have fallen had the hand released him but it did not and his spine wrenched as his legs desperately kicked to catch the ground again until after a few agonizing seconds he was standing on his own again. But the thing behind him just continued walking slowly forward, leaving him no choice but to do the same. Forward into the blackness where occasionally the shadows would give hints of men made of gray flesh standing all around. They smelled of stale sweat and grunted and groaned as he passed them by. No words, but their intent was clear enough. Shame. Disgust. Hate. The murmur of the inhuman crowd grew with every step he took among them until it became a roar of rage against him, a hellish call for pain and retribution.
And then all at once they all fell silent as the thing that held him prisoner stopped moving. The gray forms in the dark retreated but he was not surprised; he knew that he was in the grip of that which even monsters feared. He looked around as much as he dared, as much as he could without moving his head for his captor to notice, and slowly new shapes began to take form in the darkness as though his eyes were just beginning to adjust to it. Lines in front of him slowly resolved into a rectangle slightly larger than himself. The rectangle was made from a metal frame, like a bedframe, ancient and rusted and twisted. Then he saw the depth of it, slightly deeper than himself, with sides woven of wire and barbs. Some of the wires curved into hooks and loops and hung down inside the frame as though to hold a weight suspended within...
His heart stopped as he understood, and the hand released him just long enough to shove him into the box. The wires caught him, embraced him, tangled around him. He struggled, but every time he felt as though some part of him were about to be freed the hand of the thing which had brought him here shoved him back inside to a place more painful than the one he had escaped. The harder he pulled the harder the wires were drawn, but he couldn't help himself. He panicked, screaming and flailing as the box drew him deeper and pulled his limbs apart.
And a hand, warm and oft and gentle, reached up and touched his cheek.
Past all the wires and barbs, from nowhere, he saw a woman's face. He could see her clearly even in the dark and the gloom of this place, her pale skin seemed to almost glow in the darkness framed in golden hair that shimmered as blue eyes danced while they stared into his own. And as he looked she placed her other hand on his other cheek and held him there as she kissed him. His eyes closed once more and his metal prison seemed to fade away as their lips met again and again, warm and soft, savoring every caress.
He opened his eyes and she smiled up at him, loving and just a bit silly with a terrible case of bed-head illuminated like a sloppy halo by the daylight that poured in through the sheer white curtains of their bedroom. Around him everything was as it should be, on the one side his dresser covered in clothes that never got put away, on the other hers neatly housing an organized collection of arcane cosmetics and a few pill bottles. The lights were still of, but at this hour daylight alone was enough to illuminate everything. Not a shadow in sight.
She kissed him once more. "Restless dreams, sweetheart?"
He kissed her back. "Not as long as you're here."