The Agony of Awakening

Avatar Author: Robert Quick A no-name, aspiring author who can't stop writing. Looking ahead, he strives for perfection. Shackled by various forms of entertainment, he dreams of success. Most stories here are an invitation to YOU, to join me in cre... Read Bio


It was too hot.


If I could just worm my way deeper into unconsciousness I wouldn’t have to face . . . anything.

Something nuzzled against the top of my head. My skin crawled. Not daring to open an eye too wide lest I see too clearly, I let the blurry pockets of color slide into vague shapes. The wide pool of blue became the sky. Amorphous balls of green and brown became trees.

Snuffling sounded at my ears and nose, like insistent furry prodding, followed by a tentative lick.

“Sorry. He just got away from me.”

Opening the other eye, I blinked twice trying to get all the overlapping blurs to focus.

A girl in a blue parka stood over me, the blond hair under her beanie spilling off her neck like ivy. Her hand held the collar of a small dog. “Are you okay?”

An itchy sensation built in my chest, like my lungs were on fire and I exploded into a fit of coughing. With weak arms I push myself onto my side and choked until bloody spittle splattered across the grass.

“Where am I?”

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Comments (15 so far!)

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  1. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Beginning of a quest to find himself, or herself? I like it. Welcome back.

  2. Avatar Robert Quick

    Thanks, Elsha.

  3. Avatar DB

    This started off well setting a good scene and creating a character, but then we get to the creature “snuffling”. I am assuming this creature is a dog, and therefore if it is “snuffling” the character it would most likely just be using it’s nose and so it probably would not feel furry.
    Then there are the tenses, it starts off with “was” for the first tense and stays in the past tense for the most part, but in the nuzzling paragraph 5 it changes to present in the third sentence and stays in the present for the rest of that paragraph. The next paragraph is past tense, and then it goes back to present for the rest of the story.
    I’m fairly certain you should have a comma after “fire” in the penultimate paragraph. Also the “off” should be a of.
    I really enjoyed the “bloody spittle splatters” and the way it sounds out loud.

  4. Avatar Stockholm

    Hahaha. The Marble Hornets inspiration sort of explains the amnesia. Go on; I’m listening :)

  5. Avatar BiC

    Sir Robert! I take it your journey went well? Welcome home, brother.

    It looks as if you’ve brought a friend with you. DB is it? Joins Ficly just to keep you in check? Ah, a good companion this one is. (Why am I talking like Yoda?)

    Nevertheless, I’m a sucker for a good amnesia story, so I’m all ears. (Not another Yoda reference.)

  6. Avatar 32 ^2


    A little harsh, like extruding a chicken. You fail to realize, the character is half asleep, not too sure what’s going on, so the sensations are muddled. When the brain is split between two worlds, nuances shuffle like a deck of cards.

    The ending proves the character’s dilemma, I get a sense of amnesia or awaking after a hard fall; from where might be a sequel.

    The fact that you’re confused means Robert did his job, pulling you into the chaos.

  7. Avatar DB

    @1024 that is a very good point, and I had not thought about that perspective.

  8. Avatar Tad Winslow

    This is a good read, Robert!

  9. Avatar Kihd

    I love the fact that you drew inspiration from Marble Hornets. I can see it, and I like where this could be going.

  10. Avatar awayken

    I loved the line “the blond hair under her beanie spilling off her neck like ivy”. An uncommon and evocative description.

  11. Avatar Angela LaFey

    amazing imagery.

  12. Avatar As Large as Alone

    I’m very glad to read this, a very good evocation of the Marble Hornets style and slender sickness. I was hoping it was Amy appearing there but that’s probably wishful thinking. I wrote one about Tim here…

  13. Avatar Robert Quick

    Okay, thank you all for your comments! I think I have dealt with all of the tense issues that had plagued this piece. I’m not sure if anyone else wants to participate or if they just want more. Feel free either way.

  14. Avatar JonB

    Just catching up with this, having worked back from your newest post (Re-evaluating Strangers).

    I confess to knowing nothing about Marble Hornets, Slender Man or ARGs, save what I’ve just looked up for context, so to judge on its own merits:

    It’s pretty vivid, with some memorable descriptions. There is an itchy, crawly tone of unhealth that pervades the piece which I think was exactly what was intended.

    DB seems to have gone through the technicals with fine teeth, so I’d just add / reiterate that Snuffling sounded at my ears and nose, like insistent furry prodding doesn’t quite sound right, and I’d add an Oxford comma between were on fire[,] and I exploded

  15. Avatar Miz Em

    I too just worked back through the installments and not been disappointed. Very evocative and a little creepy – reminds me of old Alfred Hitchcock movies that kept me on the edge of my seat!