Listening and torture revisited

“They lay motionless side by side. Theo was aware of the strong smell of the sawn wood and the dead fire, of the oblong of sunlight like a green veil, of the silence, windless, birdless, of her heartbeats and his own. They were wrapped in an intensity of listening which was miraculously devoid of anxiety. Was this what the victims of torture felt when they passed through the extremity of pain into peace?”

-P.D. James, Children of Men, 1992