Ichor Falls

Aware

by admin on Jul.15, 2009, under Horror

She snapped back from the cognitive abyss she found herself staring into, something that happened far too often. It got in the way. It always did. The thick, dark air hung over her supine form, enveloped by a deafening stillness, her body cold and numb with old sweat from a receding sliver of dream.

She steadied her thoughts and concentrated. Not again, not again. There was the anticipated excruciating tensing of muscle fiber at the corners, pulling one against the other until whole striated networks of intertwined flesh stiffened like toothpicks, forcing hot blood from capillaries, sending plump cells and smoke-thin platelets cascading into arterial walls. The abyss again. How long it lasted she could never tell. She cut herself free, willed it. A sensation of electricity hit her hard, as it always did, and here came the cruel entanglement of thick black hairs, hundreds sliding against hundreds, clawing and scraping as the familiar arc of light appeared, searing her. She often thought it would be better to get struck with the harsh glare all at once, but as it was, that brilliant scalpel slid across, exposing a deep, raw swath of nerve endings that had been absolutely poised for hours waiting for this tiny, ragged white line of pain.

Lost in it for a moment. She could never feel exactly when it takes over. Back now. Helpless, she now felt a growing rush, a tremendous pressure that welled up from below, a single heartbeat reverberating within that flooded channel — even this she sensed — and mercifully the pinched, hard edges of the ducts slid open, offering a minor respite from the sensation of dry, corrugated flesh grinding against taut, throbbing sclera.

Her eyes were now open.

Less than a second had passed. Sixty thousand to go.

I wanted this to be really vague as far as what was happening, but I think the reader can figure it out way early. You tell me!

25 comments for this entry:
  1. miktar

    Sounds like she slit her wrists and starts crying. Still really vague though, this is a complete guess.

  2. Xivver

    Is she in hell or something? Seems like the body’s getting sliced apart repeatedly.

  3. AceOfBlades

    Sounds like she’s awake during surgery

  4. Grr

    Is she paying a visit to Johnny the Homicidal Maniac?

  5. Forrest

    Is she feeling the blood of her body flow through her veins as she dies?

  6. Sedge

    I sort of get the feeling that she’s undergoing some sort of transformation here, but I’m not sure. Mostly it was that hair bit that gave me the idea, but the talk of muscles and nerves, too. Depends on whether the scalpel is literal or not.

    If it means anything, 60,000 seconds is (I’m told) equal to 16.666667 hours. Too long to have anything to do with, say, how long the moon is out (werewolves– that almost seems too _normal_), but I wonder about all those sixes…? I got nuthin’.

  7. Kris Straub

    Obviously I have failed!

    She opened her eyes. That’s all. She was aware of all the things that happen when she opens her eyes in the morning. She’s cursed with feeling every single thing and being aware of every single thing.

  8. Jerig

    Nah, you didn’t fail. I got it. Kinda; didn’t extrapolate that she’s got the ability to know the everything going on, but understood she was waking up. My friends and I play a game where we over complicate a something simple and try to guess what it is so I’ve had plenty of practice at this haha!

  9. Jonda

    Kris, if it makes you feel better, I rea this two days ago and though it took me a few minutes, I got it. It was the sentence about her eyes that got me. Might be better if you had embellished more on her curse of awareness, but even so, I liked it. I would HATE to be so preternaturally aware, so this one strikes me deeper than most. Good work, despite the hard time people have with getting the message!

  10. AceOfBlades

    On a reread knowing what you intended, its absolutely brilliant!

  11. Sedge

    Huzahs all around for overthinking!

    Man, girl oughta get that checked out by a doctor; the worst I get when I wake up are eye crusticles.

  12. tom

    16 hours in a day! i get it!

    every moment of her life is pain except when she is asleep?

  13. Scarper

    I actually got this one before I read your explanation! It has a whole bunch of stuff that almost enters medical jargon, which I think could possibly throw a lot of people off even when they’ve read the whole thing. Fantastic metaphors and stuff abound though - I loved the knife imagery with the light entering her eyes. Great reading, but maybe a little specialised ;)

  14. WHO IS THIS IS?

    Kris, you didn’t fail. Though some of the specific details were lost, I could figure out that she was aware of the agony of her heart beating. Uh. Creeped me out. I have an odd disease and occasionally as a result I am aware of the sensation of food moving through my intestines, and while it is not painful, it is very unsettling.

  15. Koolakeem

    My first thought after reading this, early in the morning when i was half conscious was she was in death row, dying via the electric chair, i think the sixty thousand more to go set me off. After further investigation i came to the realization she had been hit by car and was slowly dying. That was, until the i read the comments, damn it.

  16. Alun Clewe

    For what it’s worth, I got it before reading the comments. I admit I did have to think about it for a moment and reread it, but after I figured it out I interpreted it as exactly what you said it was supposed to be, so you didn’t fail completely.

  17. Ukera

    On the second read I knew it was her blinking. It was because my own eyes were straining at the brightness of the computer screen, also the part about the hundreds of hairs was what mainly gave it away; eyelashes.

  18. milkkart

    got at the point where she started to open her eyes.

  19. biomechanical923

    She’s waking up.
    The last few sentences refer to her first conscious breath, heartbeat, and opening up her encrusted eyes.

    As somebody with apnea, I can relate to the terrifying feeling of waking up with a huge gasp of air, heart pounding, and thinking “how long was I not breathing?”

  20. Ralphomon

    I think I got it - she’s experience every instant to its fullest and in such detail, almost to the point of pain.

  21. Scaredofhorrorstories

    I got it on the second read.

    I love the bit about the her feeling the electricity that courses around her heart.

  22. mudkip

    i thought it was her dreaming and then waking up.

  23. SYL

    Kinda reminds me of the begining of the hellbound heart. When frank meets the cenobytes and they drive him nearly insane with a kind of hyper-sensitive awareness of the world around him.

  24. Dan

    I gotta say this was pretty damn terrible. It’s like some pseudo-intellectual, emo teenager decided there wasn’t enough purple prose in this world.

  25. Metrophor

    Ah, I get it. Hypersensitivity, correct? :3

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