How long has it been since he first awoke?
He didn’t remember.
Was he always as he was?
He didn’t know.
Did he use to be someone else?
He didn’t care.
That wasn’t true. Part of it wasn’t true. He remembered, he knew…something.
He remembered the heat of the flames and the shrieks of sirens. He remembered the smoke pouring through the walls, snuffing out what little light and air remained. He remembered his prison of flesh, trapping the living mind beneath the sheets that at that moment began to burn. He recalled these fragmented images, tied together by a single faint emotion that highlighted every scene: relief. Whoever he once was, whatever had brought him there…it made him welcome death.
It was like a dream. The silent and cold blackness felt both brief and eternal, but not unwelcome. For the first time in a long time, he felt, at peace. But all good things, he soon learned, did not last forever. Before he could enjoy the gift of oblivion, he