Reassembly

By Russ Bickerstaff

It had all fallen out. Sight, hearing and every other sense had fallen out somewhere on the sidewalk in front of her. She had an instant sense of loss that needed to be filled. She stood there for long enough to wonder if the sense of loss wasn’t just a hunger. Had gotten only a pace or two away before realizing that she probably wasn’t going to make it very far without the sight or hearing that were littering the sidewalk around her, so she made a point of falling onto the concrete and rolling around in her senses.

When she was satisfied that enough senses had attached themselves to her in order for her to function, she stood-up and and began walking. She had gotten a few paces away when she realized that her sight wasn’t fitting her right, so she adjusted it. As everything settled-into focus, she glanced around one last time before being totally satisfied that she hadn’t left anything behind that she would miss. She then turned her attention to the sidewalk ahead of her and proceeded to walk forward into the day which she had clearly become a part of.

She’d passed a few intersections before she realized that she didn’t exactly know where she was going. A friendly face asked her if there was something wrong. (Evidently, she had been crying.) She didn’t know what to say, so the friendly face (which was attached to another person altogether) suggested that maybe she might like to have lunch or coffee or something. She nodded, feeling as though that would at least be some kind of direction.

The other person was a woman who told her to call her Synthia. There was a little anxiety when she realized that she didn’t have a name to offer in return. This was nothing compared to the realization that she didn’t have a memory to draw such a name from. That’s when she realized that she must have left it behind on the sidewalk when she was collecting all of her senses. She had considered running back and looking for it, but she figured that someone must surely have taken it and walked off with it. She shrugged and sunk into the conversation with Synthia, decided that there was nothing wrong with being where she was. The path ahead was a large blank page. She would walk the world ahead as it took its time introducing herself to her. There was little more that she could do and she wouldn’t want it any other way.


Russ Bickerstaff is a professional theatre critic and aspiring author living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his wife and two daughters. His short fictions have appeared in over 30 different publications including Hypertext Magazine, Pulp Metal Magazine, Sein und Werden, and Beyond Imagination.

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