***SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the end of "Hob's Hog" yet, you probably won't want to read this post, as the ending of the chapter is revealed here. Don't say I didn't warn you.***
Page 46, Paragraph 4:
The girl stands up and takes the clothes off her breasts. The clothing is thick, but her breasts are now really small. White there in the light of the fire, it's like there not breasts at all. The rat-noise becomes a hissing now, and it's warm beneath me and in the hill of branches. There's a lot of smoke rising from it.
The warmth becomes hot on the backs of my legs, and the heat becomes pain - wherever I move my legs, it's hot. I now smell hair burning; it's my clothes; I try to make a noise, to cry out in pain, but my voice has become thick and wet. There's blood on my mouth. There's blood on my chin.
I don't want to be burned to death like this. It's not right. It's more pain than I can take. There's fire on my back, fire beneath my head, and little bright sparks rising all around between all of us and the dark sky. I can't breathe. It's so hot that the girl takes off the rest of her clothes. She's naked. In between her legs is...
She puts her hand to her head, where the frightening tear of skin is, below her hair, and puts her finger to the edge of the skin, where she now pulls and...
Page 47, Paragraph 1:
There's smoke and blood in my mouth. Bright hair falls in the dark, with a scalp falling next to it. Her dick, bigger than mine, that I couldn't smell because of the flowers. I don't have the breath to make another sound. The girl's changed to a boy, as the rat became stones and the pig became logs. It's this change that's in things. It's this frightening change that makes the whole world wrong. Smoke rises and falls like a grey river around me, and the pain becomes as big as the sky. I can't breathe, and my vision darkens.
In the darkness there are many strange things - many little visions hanging in the smoke. I see fiery-haired men that can make fire run like blood from stones. I see a place where human skin falls black from the sky. I see a path that runs from sea to sea, where lights now go back and forth, faster and more numerous than the fish. I see a building like a skull, big, and black, and made of [?] fire. In its mouth sits a man with fire coming out of his hair, filled with pain. Now I see women held to a log, with fire all around their feet. We look at one another from our fires. There's no pain now. Only smoke.*
Behind the smoke I now see dogs with eyes as big as tree-stumps. Now I lift my hand, to hit them away from me, and my hand is on fire. The skin is rising up in blisters and hissing; it's all black underneath. Through the smoke I see Hob. The boy sits by him, the firelight on his short-cropped dark hair. Hob is finding little circles of flattened grey earth, and he has a stick in his hand to mark them. It's not good to make marks.
My hair's on fire, and it comes this way into my head, and into my belly, so that a thought comes into me with the fire. It's not a thought of mine, but a thought of the fire's, full of strange words that no tongue can make. Phror. Becadom, sissirishic and huwf. Hob sits closer to me, to hear. He makes a mark in the grey of the earth with his stick, and now another, across it.**
I open my mouth, to make a noise in my pain, and the voice of the fire comes through me, and rises, and rises, with sparks of light, beneath the old black sky.
*If you haven't read the rest of the novel yet, you're going to want to remember this paragraph.
**Or "across from it"