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It’s on the tip of my tongue…(chapter 4)

I know it's not a shotgun.

I know it’s not a shotgun.

For those interested parties, I apologize for the hiatus. The first few  chapters flowed really quickly, but this one came together a bit slower. It’s still pretty rough, but I’m posting it anyway for feedback purposes. Let me know what you think.

Chapter 4

He had no concept of what an uncomfortable silence was, but she did and after several minutes of waiting for a better response, she slammed her fists on the table in frustration.

What the hell were you doing out there?”

His eyes widen and he leaned back from the table in reaction to this abrupt change in atmosphere in the cabin, unsure of what he’d done.

“I’m sorry for making you angry, and I’ll leave if that is what you want.”

“That’s not what I want, I want some answers, damn it,” she fumed.

Unaware of what he was doing, he was wringing his hands as he thought of how best to answer her question without angering her further. All he could do was recount the entirety of his memory to her from the moment that he had awakened and hope the truth was enough for her.

“I can only tell you what I remember,” he said.

“What is that supposed to mean?” she said with only slightly less acid in her tone.

“I came to in the dark; I had no idea where I was, how I got there or even who I am,” he said trailing off at the last few words.

“Oh, I’m supposed to believe you have amnesia, in addition to rest of your bizarreness?” she asked with disbelief.

In an almost dog-like fashion, he tilted his head as he repeated the word amnesia to himself and nodded in agreement.

Yes, that’s got to be it,” he said with more confidence. “I must have amnesia because I can’t remember anything, nothing else fits.”

“Well, I’ll be the judge of that,” she said eyeing him suspiciously.

“It just so happens that you happened across a fairly accomplished psychiatrist that can smell bullshit a mile away,”

She stared intently at his face looking for any sign of deception and could discern nothing. He was literally a blank slate–emotionless. On a closer examination, she was unsure if she had ever seen a human being capable of eradicating all aspects of feeling from their countenance as he was. She was drawing a blank.

“Well, I’d usually start a session by having a first-time patient state their name, but I suppose that is out of the question, she said.” “Right?”


She again sat in the chair in silent disbelief.

“How is it that I have all the luck?” she thought.

Despite her frustration, she knew, on some level, that her new friend, John Doe, meant her no harm and she found this innate feeling unsettling.

“Why is he so disarming?”

“Why don’t I feel compelled to call the police and solve all my problems?”

She had no answers for herself other than the fact that her intuition about him was infallibly correct.

The thing that disturbed her most was that she knew she was willing to do whatever it took to help him—as long as it didn’t put her in imminent danger. She had a disconcerting feeling that helping him would be anything but safe.

“Well, name or not, start with what you “remember” and we’ll go from there.”

He recounted his brief account in stunning detail recounting nearly every step. When he got to the part of his tale outside of her cabin, she laughed uncontrollably for nearly a minute when she learned he nearly beat himself unconscious on the silver maple tree just outside as it was storming earlier.

The fact that she had forgotten all about the storm during her interrogation of this stranger sent a wave of disbelief through her. She had never been able to disregard a storm of even the slightest degree, no matter what the distraction. She wasn’t sure what this meant, but maybe it was a sign that she could recover what she had lost after all.

She realized that he had stopped talking and was again staring at her waiting for a response to what he had told her, she could only assume.

“That certainly tells me how you got here,” she said, “but,  it’s not very helpful in letting us know what we need to do to put Humpty Dumpty back together again now is it.”

“What’s Humpty Dumpty?”

“You are, you dope,” she said. “And, Humpty Dumpty is a he not a what.”

“So you’re calling me Humpty Dumpty?”

She sighed and placed her head on her hands. She knew from talking to him and the way he spoke that he wasn’t unintelligent, but he was either great at playing dumb or this was the worst case of memory loss she’d ever encountered.

“I don’t know why, but I really do believe you.”

“I also don’t know why I feel so compelled to help you, since I have my own problems,” she said continuing to stare at him suspiciously. “But, I’ll do my best to help you remember something, so that we can figure out who you are.”

“It’s late and I’m tired,” she said as she stood up. “You can sleep in the guest room and I’ll wake you in the morning, so we can get an early start.”

“Thank you for your hospitality and kindness,” he said. “I hope this isn’t too much of an imposition.”

“Why no good, sir,” she said with a biting sarcasm. “Please make yourself at home.”

Elise turned and waved goodnight as she shut the door behind herself and locked the door. For that added sense of security, she dragged an old, wooden chair and wedged it under the door handle just to be safe—knowing it wouldn’t be necessary.

She thought she would subconsciously fight sleep, but was out as soon as her head hit the pillow.


About Todd Fuller

After a really long search, I found work that I feel is more relevant to my degree--technical writing. While it's not what I initially envisioned doing, it's actually been very enjoyable and rewarding work. I guess I feel like there is still more out there to do, so I've decided I will try the whole blogging thing again and resurrect this site. If anyone's still out there, enjoy and feel free to comment.


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