The drill stopped three inches from his face. Little flecks of metal fell off the point to tickle his nose. Belatedly, Aubrey realized he probably should have closed his eyes while the bit pushed through.
After the drill reversed itself out, he heard Ranger’s gruff voice, thinned out and metallic from its trip down the hole.
“Y’alright? Can you talk?”
Aubrey tried to respond, but found that his mouth was so dry, his throat so parched, that the only sound he could make was faint and airy, like a slow leak from a tire.
He tried to cough, make some kind of audible, human sound, but still came up with nothing. He gave up, and tried his teeth and tongue instead.
The whistling noise was airy, too, but more than loud enough.
From the hole, he heard more voices:
“Oh, that’s him!”
“Someone hand me that spray can.”
“I guess that means I don’t get his comic books.”