Sara's brain was racked with disorientation as she worked her way toward consciousness, but wakefulness was certainly elusive; it was like digging upwards through a mudslide -- just when she thought she saw daylight the muck would suck her back in and cover her. She knew something was wrong and wanted nothing more than to awaken so she could set things right, but that proved evasive as well. Like a nightmare that she knew she must awaken from but remained unable to break its grasp.
Eventually the blackness was penetrated by a beautiful lyric tone that lightly warbled and increased in volume until Sara recognized it as a voice. She couldn't make out the words, but it nonetheless brought her closer to lucidity.
As she groggily opened her eyes, Sara became aware of her dimly lit surroundings and the terrible, all-encompassing cold that ran throughout her body; a thousand shards of ice in her veins that made her shiver beneath a thick layer of blankets.
The singing continued from somewhere to her left. She squinted and tried to sit but she was too weak. Instead she bundled herself deeper beneath the blankets and called out, "Who is singing?"
The tune kept on its errant course, not quite in tune, yet beautiful nonetheless. Sara struggled to stay awake, the darkness fought to bring her back into its fold. She cleared her throat and asked, louder, "Hello?"
The singing faltered for a moment then resumed. Sara passed from frustration to fear in a heartbeat. Why didn't this person answer her? Anger flashed in her eyes and tempered her chill enough to allow her to sit upright -- for the briefest of moments --
Until she discovered her clothes were missing.
She immediately ducked back beneath the blankets and glanced in the direction of the singing. This time she was able to find the source of the unique humming which had woken her. A young man, younger than Sara, swirled mop around the cabin floor while continuing to hum that nameless tune of his. Suddenly, Sara found it more threatening than beautiful. She pulled the blankets tight to her chin and barked at the boy, "What have you done with my clothes?!"
The boy did not answer, continuing his blasted mopping as if Sara wasn't even there!
Scowling, Sara got angrier. She grit her teeth and shouted, "Hey!"
Suddenly there was a voice behind her, "You don't need to yell at him, you know. It won't help. He's a good lad, but his head is soft. He doesn't often speak ."
Sara gasped and snapped her head around at the stranger who had dared to sneak up on her. She was about to give him a verbal thrashing when she realized the voice had come from the man with the different eyes. Sara's anger quickly faded and she wondered just how upset she really was.