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I had a fantasy about being eaten alive by hyenas. It was not a sexual fantasy, but neither was it particularly disagreeable. When I was breaking down cardboard boxes in the bin store at work, or when I was lying in the Meadows watching the exchanges over on the tennis courts, the fantasy would appear in my head, like a screensaver upon an unattended computer, and it usually went something like this:

I was walking across the savannah. The heat was relentless and my clothes were so wet and heavy that I considered stripping naked, but I did not relish the sensation of peeling the clothes off my body. For a while I was conscious of the hyenas wandering a little way off, but I was not certain that they were aware of my presence. I decided to walk in the opposite direction, but the heat was so thick that I could not walk at any great speed. For a while I waddled determinedly, panting in the heat. I had a vague plan of escaping from the hyenas by climbing a tree, but I have no idea how to climb trees and there was not one in sight. After about ten minutes of frantic walking, I looked over my shoulder and the hyenas were no significant distance from where they had been before. They seemed to be drifting towards me. I was exhausted and I could not walk any further, so I stopped and helplessly watched them approach.

The hyenas were now definitely advancing and I watched with mild dismay as the head of the pack broke into a run. I felt somewhat detached from my fear of the hyenas because their progress had hitherto been silent, making them appear unreal, like a mirage. But I now heard the approach of their titters and whoops and cackles. There seemed to be something very innocent about their evil: it was expressed in the sort of laughter that I had only ever heard emanating from the lips of villains in superhero movies. When they were near, they all huddled together before encircling me. One of them tripped me up awkwardly and then they all piled in. My body is largely unfamiliar with bloodshed and injury, and my fantasy of the dismemberment resembles the morbid speculations of a man who cannot swim about going over Niagara Falls. The hyenas were at work on my lower body and I heard the crunch-crunch-crunch as they broke down my hips and femur. One of the cannier hyenas rather audaciously dipped into the scrum, tugged off my right leg, and galloped off, dragging it behind him. The pack were generally irritated by this larceny and some of them attempted to arrest it. For a while, the hyenas were distracted by the fight over my leg, furnishing me with the absurd hope that I could crawl away from them, but they soon resolved their dispute and returned to eating me.

As a child I always slept on my front because I was fearful of glimpsing ghosts soaring over my bed, and for some reason I remembered this in my present desperation to stay on my front. I did not want the hyenas to eat my face whilst I was still conscious. Thankfully they unravelled my innards from the back. There is pain which cannot be escaped or controlled, and this was one of those occasions when one can only stare directly into the sun. Throughout all of my torments, however, I was dimly aware of the sensation that this is fantastic! this feels fantastic! this feels absolutely fantastic!