His first sense of consciousness comes as a faint humming. The air, cold and still, slowly begins to surrender to the steady buzz of the sound. Somewhere within a pit of darkness, Josiah is aware that his perfect tranquility, his sense of nothingness, is being disturbed. He struggles to free his mind and rise into the realm of knowing, but he is not strong enough yet. The heavy blanket of anesthesia pulls him back down.
Time passes. He isn't sure how long. There is a faint sensation of pressure on his face, which he cannot identify. The pressure strengthens gradually until he is aware that it is pain. Heat pain. His eyes are burning. The sensation is so strong that a sickly smell fills his nostrils, and he is jolted back into living. His mind resumes its normal activity. He brain frantically searches itself, trying to make sense of what he is feeling.
"Where are you?" it demands. It turns to the senses for answers. "I don't know," reply his ears, ringing with the mystifying buzz. "Don't ask me," says his nose, agonizing over the nauseating, sickly smell. He swallows, but tastes only himself. His hands, resting beside him, twitch to life. "We are clutching at something soft," they say. "You are warm. Very warm..."
"Aha!" His brain clicks with recognition, and suddenly a surge of memories come flashing by. "You are in the hospital. You had an operation. You have eyes now. Open them. OPEN THEM!"
And Josiah opens his eyes.