They gleefully threw him, head first and screaming, into the heart of the volcano.
And then he died. A brief moment before death his skin popped into flame and his cry was eaten by the heat, but then he was dead. Skin, muscle, fat, and bones were consumed by the molten rock in mere seconds.
He was still screaming though, or he thought he was. Until he realized he wasn’t, so he stopped. There wasn’t any reason to scream, he didn’t hurt. Still, his body had just been tossed into a volcano, so he tested another scream. Nothing. It is quite difficult to scream without a mouth, or tongue, or vocal cords, or lungs, which he should have suspected. And while he’d possessed all those things once, and had made extensive use of them moments ago, they were gone.
If he’d still owned a pair of the afor mentioned lungs, he might have at this point started hyperventilating. Where he looked down, there was churning fire and rock, when he looked up there was sky. Up and down being relative, as at the moment, he didn’t seem to exist. He had no presence with which to judge a current position to another.
That, in of itself, would have been enough to start losing oxygen over. As it was, the panic suffused him, and nothing else happened. Without a throat to tighten or a stomach to flip the fear occurred and then faded without anything to hook itself into.
Small mercies, he would decide later, though now he was too busy coming to terms with the fact that he was dead and probably something else as well.
He was dead, he decided, remembering the brief seconds before his body melted away. But he wasn’t gone. He felt the blistering zephyrs and could shift his sight. The sensations were removed, like they were being described to him from a particularly engrossing book, but they were present.
Dead people were supposed to go, disappear off to some after-realm or oblivion. Whatever this was, he thought, it was a sorry excuse for a heaven or hell. And it definitely wasn’t nothing.
While undoubtedly an impressive example of nature’s terrible majesty, the hunk of rock around him had just killed him. The proximity was more than a bit depressing. He willed himself away, and with a mild amount of surprise, he began to slowly rise.
That was until molten fingers dug into him. The golden arm yanked him down. With one more silent not-scream, he disappeared beneath the lava.