She was running as fast as her trembling legs could carry her, but she could hear it gaining on her. The fog in front of her was so thick she couldn’t see where she was going, but that didn’t matter now, the only thing that mattered was getting away. She couldn’t let it catch her. With that thought, she felt herself falling as she had unknowingly run off an unseen cliff.
Her immediate thought was that she had gotten away until the realization that her death was imminent shocked her back into an immediate state of panic. When she looked towards the ground she began to scream.
Elise shot bolt, upright in bed with the scream stuck in her throat as she realized she was still kicking and thrashing from the sensation of falling left from her nightmare
“At some point, I’ve got to get to the bottom of this freaking nightmare.”
“I’m never going to get a good night sleep if I wake up every forty-five minutes.”
With that last thought, she noticed the sun shining brilliantly through the east window realizing it had been a bit longer since she had last woken to the nightmare than she had previously thought. Exhaustion must have played a role in this she decided and she reasoned that her mind must have blocked the dreams in order to collect the rest it so desperately needed.
A heavenly odor was hanging in the air that she hadn’t noticed until her mind had reasoned her time lapse—bacon. She immediately remembered that she was no longer alone in the cabin and would now need to adhere to some semblance of social etiquette even if her house guest chose to be a bit more brazen. She slipped a thick, comfortable cotton-robe on over her shoulders and shrugged the sleeves into place as she strode to the door. The fantastic aromas were beseeching her nearly demanding that she pay them heed as she made her way to the kitchen and their source.
“What on earth are you cooking in here?” she yawned as she stood in her doorway stretching through the vestiges of sleep.
“I’m sorry. Did I wake you?”
“No, I actually woke up on my own,” she said thinking to herself how odd it had been that she had been able to sleep at all with the arrival of her unexpected houseguest.
“Good, I made breakfast,” he said brightly.
She was awake, but she definitely wasn’t ready for the chipper, perky attitude with which John Doe was starting his day.
“We really have to decide on a name for you,” Elise said as she walked over to the breakfast bar and flopped onto one of the vinyl-topped, yellow bar stools.
She laid her head down on her folded hands and breathed slowly for a moment before she exhaled abruptly.
“So that when I have a thought about you I don’t have to think ‘John Doe.’”
“What’s wrong with that name?”
“You mean ‘John Doe?’”
“It’s a bit unadventurous, but if that’s what you want.”
“I can’t think of any other names, so it will work with me,” he said with a shrug.
“Please to meet your temporary acquaintance, John,” she said as she stretched out her hand to shake his in greeting.
He stared at her with a slightly bewildered look on his face for a moment, as though he was completely unfamiliar with the gesture.
“Never mind, John,” she sighed rolling her eyes. “What’s for breakfast?”
“I was watching your television and saw a cooking show, so I decided to make what the people on there were making—everyone seemed to love,” he paused reflectively.
“Well,” Elise said staring at him. “What did you make?”
“It’s a breakfast quiche with spinach and mushroom, but I have to warn you that I made some adjustments, since you didn’t have everything necessary to make it.”
“I’m sure it will be fine because it smells divine.”
She went over to the cupboard and pulled out a fresh bag of Dunkin Donuts regular coffee, which had been her favorite for as long as she could remember. She opened the filter basket lid and dumped the previous days grounds and proceeded to make a fresh pot for the two of them as if this were old hat. She wondered why this all felt so routine and comfortable, but decided that she would let it go for now and deal with these odd feelings later. Hunger was obviously getting the better of her and she couldn’t wait to try the fresh quiche.
When the coffee was ready they sat down and without a word served the meal and finished it. She savored her last bite and couldn’t believe just how hungry she had been. Generally, she wasn’t much of a breakfast person but today she had consumed more than half of a nine-inch breakfast quiche. She was shocked the voraciousness with which she had devoured her portion. She had eaten her meal as if were to be her last.
Once they were done, she gathered the plates and ran some water in the small, age-worn porcelain sink’s single bowl to clean up the mess that they had created. After she had rinsed the dishes and cutlery and placed them in the rack to dry, she turned and looked at him.
“So, what are we going to do with you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, it’s Saturday and unless it’s an emergency there’s probably not much we will get accomplished as far as identifying you.”
“That’s disappointing,” he said.
“You don’t seem that upset about it.”
“When I first realized that I had no memory, I was scared, but I guess to a degree I’ve come to terms with it.”
“Just like that?”
“Well, I haven’t and I have a plan to help unearth what’s trapped inside that head of yours.”
“What is that exactly?”