PAIGN DRIFTED UP TO THE EDGE of awareness. Ephemeral shapes moved in and out of his vision, like strange shadows set fluttering within a cavern when struck by lantern light. Voices. He heard voices…with the movement? It was a struggle to focus his attention. Remember. So hard. To wake up?
There was awareness of pressure. Someone is touching me. Someone is pushing on my—Paign gasped—my ribs! Oh! This is intolerable—
He passed out.
More light, shapes and shadows swam at the rim of Paign’s perception. Again, he struggled to break through to wakefulness. A roundish shadow off to the right moved towards the center of his understanding and quickly grew, until it nearly filled Paign’s still-unfocused vision. He could almost make out a face. Whose? Don’t recognize him, do I? Like Lohxnahr, in a way. Lohxnahr? Is that you? But no sound came.
The face briefly came nearly into focus, although still vague. Paign could see for a moment a lovely smile on a gargoyle, but it was looking away, towards something or someone on Paign’s left. For some reason, this annoyed Paign greatly. He must have twitched or made some movement, because the gargoyle’s smile turned toward Paign and then vanished into a veil of concern.
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