Gently, now, he tried rolling his head a few inches right, then left. When it hurt only one-tenth as much as he feared, he let his eyes open.
"Hel-lo!" rasped the bulbous creature squatting beside his pallet.
Charlie shut his eyes quickly, and very tightly.
Something with a dampish, spongy tip, probably one of the grape-red tentacles he had glimpsed, prodded his shoulder.
"Hel-lo!" insisted the scratchy voice.
Charlie peeped warily, was trapped at it, and opened his eyes resignedly.
"Where'n'ell am I?" he inquired.
It sounded very trite, even in his confused condition. Sections of the dark red skin b