It was so cold. Why isn’t it cold…ah. Of course. It is cold. I’m freezing to death. Incredible that I can realize that. Amnesia…I’m sure I read amnesia is part of hypothermia. Wait, I don’t know how I got here. Amnesia. Haha. Something must have happened. Cause and effect. I didn’t just appear. Maybe I did. Did I? Have I always-no. That’s just, just my mind getting confused.
Think. I came here from-where? Inside. That would be warm. Inside would be warm. I need to go back, to retrace my footsteps. Think…
The house is cosy-looking on this cold winter night. Inviting. The light glows on the snow, like a beacon promising warmth. The man moves closer, smiling to himself, humming. He’s wrapped up against the cold. Thick coat, hat, gloves. His tracks theough the snow lead away behind him into the darkness
The house. My house? Feels like a dream. Have to stand…have to…have to get back there. There is a faint whisper of worry at the back of my mind. I should be in more pain. This should hurt. But I can’t find it in me to care. Will I die out here? Is there anybody who will miss me?
He rings the doorbell, stands back from the door.
It opens partway, on a chain. A young man, no, a boy looks out.
“Can I help you?” He asks
I glance up at the empty night sky. No moon or stars. Oh. Clouds. I see…I see snow. That’s not good. Am I him? Am I the boy, or the man, or neither…how did I get here?
The man smiles, a slow, lazy smile.
“My truck broke down. I thought for sure I’d make it to town but…” He shrugs, as if to say, ah well.
The boy looks incredulous.
“You’re not from round here?” he asks, wary of this stranger with so little respect for this harsh country.
The man sighs. His smile is smaller, bashful.
“Long time ago,” he says. “Guess I’d forgotten quite how cold it gets, ya know? Like, I really thought it wasn’t as bad as it seemed when I was a kid.”
He glances back into the night.
“Listen,” he says, “ya don’t have to let me in. If you could call the emergency services, maybe lend me a flask of coffee, I can wait for help in my truck.”
The door closes, and he hears the latch slide across, then the door was thrown open.
“Come on,” the boy says, “you’ll catch your death out and my mom’d tan my hide if I didn’t help.”
That happened. Happened tonight. It’s why I’m here. But who am I? What happened? I don’t…don’t want to die not knowing my name. I shuffle-stagger in a circle, spot a disturbance in the snow. That must be the way I came. It’s hard. To move. I feel…nothing. It’s like I’m watching somebody else’s body moving. I’m not wearing a coat. Why…am I the boy?
The man glances round the hall, shrugs out of his coat.
“Are your folks home?” He asks, trying to make conversation, tone light and casual.
“It’s just my mom,” the boy says, “she works real late, most nights.”
The man nods, looks…sympathetic? Yes, of course. For a moment it seemed-no.
“My dad raised me himself,” the man says while he unlaces his boots, “we moved away after my mom died. I was real young.”
The boy shrugs, uncomfortable. He’s not sure what to say. The man picks up on his discomfort, changes the subject.
“We should call someone about my truck, huh?” He suggests.
The boy is clearly grateful.
He smiles, says “My mom’ll be back in an hour or so, tops. She can give you a lift into town, then you can get it towed tomorrow.”
The man smiles broadly, clearly pleased by this news.
I think…I think I’m the man. That kid. He sure was nice…don’t remember his name. Must’ve asked him, right? No way I wouldn’t ask he…he helped me. I…I left my coat there? Why? Stupid, to come out without a coat. Did I leave my boots too? Something…something big must’ve happened. But what? What…
I follow the boy into the kitchen.
“Would you like some coffee mister?” The boy asks.
Wait. Do I want to remember? It might…might be something bad. Can’t be good…freezing to death. Should I go back? Ha. Do I have a choice? I’ll die out here. Have to…have to keep going, force my body forwards, reach the house, the warmth.
“Gee, that’d sure be great,” I tell him. I’m…irritated. Keeping up this farce is a chore but I have to be patient, wait for my moment.
He turns away, opening a cupboard and taking down two mugs. And I…
…stumble. Fall, face first. Couldn’t…couldn’t lift my arms to catch myself, barely manage to roll over. I lie here, contorted, curled on my side. The snow is falling, coating me, but I can’t feel…what did I…
…step forwards, softly, up behind him, and calmly, confidently, my arms wrap round his head and throat, squeeze. He flails, struggles, but I’m an old hand at this and soon enough the fight fades from him. Check the pulse. Faint but steady. Been a long time since I killed one. But I can be over-eager. I drag him back through the hall, into the toasty warm den. Cable ties around his ankles and wrists, then the gag from my coat pocket. Can’t have him raising a fuss and scaring his poor mom when she gets home. I have to wait for her. Can’t start the party until all the guests arrive.
Damn, what…that noise.
Holy shit, I’ve been shot. I stagger round, face the broken front window. Out in the yard, I can see…oh wow. Hahaha. That’s just. His mom. She’s a deputy. Well goddamn. Ow. Oh yeah. Shot. My arm hurts like hell. She’s gone. I hear the door. I have to get out. Get to my truck. I plunge through the wreck of the window and take off, sprinting into the night, trusting she’ll put her kid first and won’t chase me.
Damn, it’s cold out here.
oh that’s right i’m a monster
fancy forgetting…something like that
didn’t…never thought, never dreamed it’d end like this
guess i’m lucky i can’t feel anything my arm’d be sore as anything
must have…i got turned round, lost, never found my truck, can’t see the house
wow she probably doesn’t even know who she shot
she’s gonna…gonna be famous when they figure it out
almost feel bad
for the boy
Pop’s gonna be real mad at her