Just another fiction idea I work on from time to time... I've mentioned before that most of what I write these days has to be composed in bite-sized chunks. I'm hoping that by bringing this project over to the blog, I'll get a few more pieces done.
It began with a growing awareness of darkness and cold.
He had not been aware of anything previously. At least, he could no longer remember anything that might be interpreted as awareness. Darkness and cold were raw experiences, neither words nor concepts, and he became aware of them only as they fell away. Already the darkness was growing brighter, the chill fading. A sense of motion accompanied the change, but this brought neither panic nor interest.
The blackness around him became formless grey, then a searing whiteness. Cold became heat, so suddenly that the sensation was almost identical. He was rushing forward, falling upward.
He blinked, and drew a dry, ragged breath. Both movements were reflex. The light became a vision of marble walls and oil lamps. Strange figures moved across them. None of this meant anything to him. He was not even aware enough to be puzzled by it.
The world shook, as though everything around him were mounted on the head of a massive drum which had just been struck. The movement faded, then occurred again. It was no longer just an impact. It was a sound as well: a sound so powerful that it shook the world, so primal that it rattled his bones.
Then came a rushing sound. It started low, but rose until it overwhelmed him. The world-shaking drum faded into it, became part of the steady roaring in his ears. After a time the rushing sound began to grow softer, until finally it was indistinguishable from silence.
He became aware that he was lying on his black on a low stone block. His lungs were moving, straining, and it occurred to him that he wanted that movement to continue. The figures around him were making sounds: some at him, and some at each other. The sounds made no sense to him. He felt the shape of his arms and legs, the bones that framed them, the muscles that drove them: a moment in which he was totally aware of his body and its functions.
As more of his awareness returned, he felt that there was something he should be doing. He tried to move, struggling against his body’s own weakness and the bonds that held him still. His breathing grew ragged, and he paused to get it under control.
This seemed to cause some excitement in the figures around him. One of them rushed forward, and in a moment his arms were free. The effort had exhausted him, and it was all he could do to lift one hand and touch his own face. Its lines were unfamiliar to him.
Then two of the strangers were lifting him, pulling him off the cold stone block. Their touch offended him, and he tried to order them away, but all that emerged was a faint gasp. The room spun, and a different kind of darkness engulfed him.