(Read 1 first)
Her emerging awareness initially centered on the fact that she was standing. It seemed all of her efforts were focused on the specific task of keeping her body balanced and supported in that basic position. She swayed back and forth slightly for a moment and then the dizziness withdrew and vanished. Her orientation suffered compromise somewhat longer, dabbling in surreal dimensions and degrees of depths, before simplifying to the limit of its perceivable tolerance. Identity came next in the line of her perception and she suddenly knew she was somebody, somebody with a history and a life…..an existence, but oddly, she couldn’t remember that somebody’s name. Nor could she remember her age or any specific memories. She could not even remember what she had been doing immediately before she had awoken in her current state. It felt almost like someone had pulled her out of some dreadful sleepwalking nightmare to save her from that torment, but that in doing so, they had sacrificed her memory and brought about her amnesia.
Her present identity, whoever she was, chose to assert herself in the moment, reflexively disregarding the plausible distraction of her amnesia. Her awareness began to flow freer and it rushed outward in uneven and unpredictable spurts and gushes. Standing there, she came to realize that she wasn’t looking forward or in front of her, as she had assumed. Her neck was actually bent, her shoulders were slumped forward, and her head was hanging down. What she had thought was a dirty dark gray horizon of the impermeable fog of delirium, was really a stone floor that she now knew she stood upon. Cracks, crevices, grit, and the inherent irregularities ever-present within the surface of such natural stone became obvious to her as the focus of her vision improved.
The ambient lighting remained dim, but this place had never seemed static in any regard, and even as she finished assessing the dimness, she realized that the light was gradually rising. It unhurriedly and unprovokingly rose like a lazy meandering sunrise, carrying no startlement or excitability in its progressive emergence. She found herself compellingly lifting her head and as she did so, her vision followed shifting away from the floor. Was it sunlight concentrated in one little ray, staring at her, slowly unfolding and stretching its wings, feather after exposed feather, turning into ray after ray of more and more soft expanding brilliance? She blinked or at least thought she did, and the light refocused into a candelabra that must have had fifty or a hundred candles anchored to its skeleton. From a single solitary flame that sat upon the candelabras summit, the candles kindled in a downward succession; the flame fell upon, caressed, and ignited each subsequent wick, gracefully flowing from one to the other in unifying harmony, like the conjugative dance of dominos. Though the ceiling and the farther reaches of the room remained persistently cloaked in a seemingly impenetrable darkness, the cumulative flame umbrellaed downward and immediately extracted two figures from that surrounding land of shadowed unknown.
To be continued….