First Breath – Prologue: Awakening
Through the darkness came a sense of nothingness. No… a sense of … something. Out of nothing came a sense of heat; searing heat that build up so fast and so large it could not be contained by that nothingness. It flashed and flared into the searing pain of a first breath.
A first breath in ages. A first breath since another time, a dimly remembered existence. After a second and a third breath, the flaming hot pain became a mere burning sensation. With the subsiding flame returned a brighter memory. A sense of being. A sense of body.
He slowly turned his head and sensed more than heard a creak. The memory stirred into brighter flame. His … head …. had moved and what he heard…. felt, was his…vertebrae.
Hours later he sat up. Once more he had a notion of his body, from the tips of his toes to the dusty, raven black of his hair. With that notion had come the incredible urge of hunger. It seemed to cramp up all of his muscles. It had pushed away all memories that had floated up from the depths of his mind. His sense of existence was keen because of that hunger. Nothing could make you more aware of existence than the want of something. His dry, cracked lips tried to curve into a smile but became a grimace instead.
In the darkness that held no shadow for him, he stood up and wrinkled his nose as the dust stirred. He swayed slightly as he fought the dizziness and hunger that threatened to overwhelm him and cloud his thoughts.
He did not know whether he had said it aloud or just in his head. His fingers went to his lips and felt the dry, cracked surface he had expected.
His being screamed and he fell down again on the old bed, swirling the dust up to the ceiling. His breath caught as darkness faded his sense of existence. His breath caught one more time, then it stopped.