The first thing that woke her was the roaring water. A sharpness dug into her side and her body was cold and stiff. Serena coughed fitfully, water and spittle emptying onto her craggy bed. It was dark. She held up her hand but could barely see it.
Gradually, she felt down her body for bruises or broken bones. The slightest touch to her left ankle made her wince. She felt more gingerly around her ankle and could just make out that it was grotesquely twisted. She shivered against the cold finding that her thin jacket served little purpose. She estimated from the sound of the water that she was near the mouth of a cave and began dragging herself in that direction. The sharpness of the ground snagged at her light clothing leaving little scratches. She could feel the trickles of warm blood.
Another cough made her lungs shutter. She had to pause in her efforts, the slight activity made her breathing burn. There was little she could do except continue in her short spurts towards what she hoped was a way out. Her mind was groggy and she could focus on little else. One thought did steal into her mind: where was Kenji?
In a startled realization, she pushed herself off the rock she was resting upon and fiercely peered into the dark. While the rational part of her mind reasoned she could not even see her hand in front of her, the hopeless part of her desperately sought out her companion. She squinted into the darkness to no avail, softly calling “Kenji” as her lungs would allow it. There was never a response.
With a last effort, she gathered her will and yelled, “KENJI?” Her meek voice bounced off the rock only to come back and mock her. There was no one here but herself. And now she was light headed from shouting. She leaned back ignoring the icy crags that stun through her jacket. The coolness felt refreshing against her head and warped ankle.
Serena began to drift in and out of sleep, the distant waterfall a rhythmic lullaby to her pain. Strange images surfaced in her mind accompanied by passages that she vaguely recognized. The cold and pain were sapping all her energy and will power. She knew she would pass out again, it was only a matter of time. Her breathing became more shallow. Each breath a cool struggle to stay focused. Slowly, she inched her hand forward in an attempt to will herself to continue. The hand lay limply on the rock.
As her eyes began to droop, a soft blue light grew out of the darkness, gently pulsing. She focused on the light, her hand involuntarily lifting to point at it. There was a comfort in its glow. It made her think of home, of warm blankets and sweet words. Her mind grew more hazy. Then her eyelids slid shut with the blue light imprinted upon her lids.