November 2, 2008 § Leave a comment
Hello, nanowrimo. Are we going to be friends this year?
The only thing he perceived upon opening his eyes was the blinding white light. It bored into his retinas and seemed to continue its burning path through the optic nerve and into, no through, his brain to pin the back of his head to the…floor? Ceiling? Every nerve ending was commandeered to ensure he was aware of nothing except the light. He could not distinguish the texture beneath his hands nor the smell of the air. Every memory was crowded into a damp dark corner of his mind so as not to distract him with trivialities like his name.
Seconds, hours, days seemed to pass through his eyes until, as though using the muscles for the first time, he forced his eyelids together, slamming a door on the uninvited light. Abruptly the world came back into focus. This time it was not a single sensation that paralyzed him, but thousands.
A harsh buzzing filled his ears, although he could not be sure if it was from outside or in his own head. He lay outstretched on a bed of dirt, he clenched his fingers around the warm clay, though the gritty texture could not tell him any more than that.
Memories emerged hesitantly, wondering if it was safe to come out. Names and faces floated briefly in front of his closed eyes. Which one was his? At this point his involuntary functions peered around the corner to remind him that he needed oxygen, no rush but sooner would be better than later. He took a deep breath which turned into a hacking cough as the layer of dust that had accumulated on his lips flooded his lungs.
He rolled over on his side and nearly vomited as he tried to move his leg. The rush of pain ripped warm and cold from toe to head and back again, knocking the dusty air from his lungs. He was barely aware of a hand gently but firmly guiding him back to his prone position while something damp wiped the grime from his face. He didn’t dare open his eyes, but gagged and chocked and tried to find his voice.
“Don’t move,” a muffled voice commanded. “Don’t talk, and for god’s sake don’t be a baby and open your eyes.”
He squeezed his eyes shut even tighter; aware he was being as petulant as a child. The hand hadn’t seemed unkind, and he slowly allowed one eye to open. Only darkness met his squinting gaze, and he cautiously opened his other eye to take in his surroundings.