Prologue - Waking in Darkness
It was beginning to end. The darkness was beginning to fade. For what seemed almost an eternity, I had lain there, unconscious and unmoving as time and the world continued on without me.
I clenched my toes, then my fingers. I was vaguely aware that I was sprawled out on a futon and that my body was almost completely covered in bandages. I don't know how long I lay there, but I eventually tried to move my arms and legs a bit. The limbs were sore and tired, but they were all still in the right places and accounted for.
I squeezed my eyes shut several times. I could see.
Well, sort of. The room was hazy and dark with night, but a little moonlight came in through a small window on the far wall, offering more light than unconsciousness did. I could just make out several lumps strewn across the floor of the room, people curled up on futons like the one I lay on. One was pulled up next to mine, nearly touching. Just before I gave in to my body's exhaustion - and it was sleep this time, real sleep - a soft fragrance touched my senses. I knew I had smelled it before, somewhere, perhaps a long time ago…
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Edited and reposted 6.20.05