Consciousness entered his brain like smoke will slowly rise from a smoldering camp fire on a still morning. The realization that life still existed woke forgotten senses with little explosions of feeling making each new experience singular unto itself, like random raindrops bursting in the dust of a dry country road. It was like being reborn. He was floating in an unknown gray emptiness where flashes of pain sang like arrows and he was unable to control the helplessness he felt in the swirling of senses that imprisoned his mind in that abstract world of terror.
His eyes ached with all the pressure of someone leaning their whole weight on them with clenched fists and he knew better than to try to open them yet. He explored his head with trembling fingers, finding that his hair was wet; wet with the softness of cold rain, wet with the dank grease of perspiration, wet with the warmth of blood. His blood. With unsteady fingers he traced in pain the warm break in his flesh, a ragged hair entangled wound that ran from the top of his forehead almost to the crown of his head. Already it was beginning to congeal, clotting into damp scabs that pulled the entangled hair in pinpricks of agony every time he moved.
At last the floating ended. Suddenly he was heavy, aching, cramped, cold and tired beneath the weight of complete exhaustion. The groping for knowledge became a reality. He was alive. Then without warning his nervous system orchestrated itself, sending messages of pain screaming along each nerve into the confusion that was his mind. Pain. Exhaustion. Cold. His brain finally caught hold of the groping realization that he just might be dying.