NaNoWriMo 11/01/2007 - Awakened

He opens his eyes and sees the sky, powdery blue and streaked with high cirrus clouds. A white streak, the contrails of a commercial airline divides the sky neatly into two completely equal, completely interchangeable halves. The sun, the light source for this abstract illusion, is beyond his field of vision.

He blinks and then he blinks again, each reflex action triggered by the muscles in his face. These simple twitches re-awaken the sense of his physical self in a way that looking at the sky did not. In incremental steps, his consciousness multiplies from “sky” to “I am looking at the sky” to “I can feel my chest rise and fall rhythmically” and so forth and so on like some kind of logic tree. I am breathing. I am lying down. I can move my eyes and see things other than the sky. I can see the corner of a building. I can a powerline sagging between poles. I can see poles. I can hear my breathe as I exhale through my nose. I have a nose. I have a mouth. I can open my mouth. I can breathe through my mouth. I can see a man in a blue jacket standing over me…

These observations cascade in rapid succession, one following right after the other without prompting, each infinitesimally and inexorably expanding his known universe.

…I am warm. I see a woman with a similar jacket. There is a man over there in a white shirt. If they are standing over me, then I must be on the ground….

If…then. The first step beyond observation into logical reasoning. The explosion of observation and thought continues.

…I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t know what just happened. I have images in my head, but they are fleeting, not like the blue sky, not like the corner of the building, not like the guy in the blue jacket….SHIT!…

His consciousness extends through his body. It flows down his neck, down his arms, down his torso, and down his right leg, where it meets searing, scalding, abject pain.


His body convulses in pain, his mouth bursting open, not with breath but with sound. Eyes shut tightly and wince against this sensory flood. His head tilts back, his body….HIS BODY arching as he gasps for air that his now furiously-beating heart will use to awaken him even further to the pain that makes the sky and the clouds and the powerline and the corner of the building and the guy in the blue jacket not all that interesting any more.

breathe breathe breathe
“My foot!!!!”
breathe breathe breathe
“FUUCK that hurts!!!”
breathe breathe breathe

His eyes flash open again, big, wide, crazed. The pain has been replaced momentarily by his panicked response to the pain. The relief is only temporary, as the next wave of sensory overload hits the shore.

He clenches his hands into fists.
The next wave arrives.

He twists and contorts.
The next wave arrives.

He tries to shake his head from side to side
But his head won’t move.

He has the attention of the man in the blue jacket now, who turns, calmly drops to one knee, and says, “Hi. You’ve been in an accident. Do you know what day it is?”

He responds, “Friday.”

“Do you know what month it is?”

He responds, “October.”

“Do you know your name?”

He responds, “No.”

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