He awoke from his stupor alone and confused, in a strange room that he could not remember.
He was sitting upon a cot, although he had no recollection of rising. He simply opened his eyes and found himself awake.
He placed his hands upon his knees and that’s when he noticed how different they were. Surely these were not his hands! They were gnarled and wrinkled and splotchy.
“Help,” he squeaked, his voice foreign. Weak. “Somebody?”
With aching limbs he pulled himself up, pushing back the nightmares that lurked in the recesses of his memory, pushing back the blackness that had once surrounded him.
Slowly he stood and shuffled to a mirror that hung on the wall across from his bed. As he approached a strange figure stared back at him. Old. Wrinkled.
He jerked his head about to see who stood behind him, but there was no one there. Only he occupied this desolate room.
He turned again to face the reflection and then recognized his features, once youthful, now obliterated by the ravages of time. Loose flesh now hung upon his once strong jaw. Deep furrows lined his forehead and the skin of his neck was baggy like a waddle.
“How did this happen?” he rasped to no one. He ran his ancient hands across his pallid face and stared into his own eyes. Yes, they were his eyes, still. He recognized them, if little else.
He could feel the darkness coming and he recognized it, too. It was the same darkness that had taken him before. When he was young. At the time it terrifed him. It was as if his world was blinking out, drifting out of reach as the blackness descended.
Only now he was not twenty years of age. This time was different. This time he was elderly. This time he welcomed the coming gloom and slowly shuffled back to his cot.
He sat down, felt a weak smile form upon his lips, and let it take him.