Somebody screamed and before I could look I knew. The next thing I remember was that damn fear of moose again, as if there was a moose coming up behind me. Or was it a freight train? I seem to remember something about a freight train. Then the axe fell, it was literally as if an axe came down to cleave my very psyche into two halves. Then the dam broke and the sobbing began as I fell to my knees on the forest floor. That’s when Rachel picked me up and took me to Matts car. I sobbed hysterically the entire way back. What I remember next is when we arrived at Rachel and Matt’s house they carried me, still sobbing, inside and put me in Rachel’s younger sisters bed. I remember Rachel putting on Pixies Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons on repeat telling her sister that it always put me to sleep. And sleep I did but I awoke in the night remembering not where I was or how I’d got there. All I knew was that sitting next to me on the bed was a girl about my age with long blonde hair and an innocent but nervous face. In her hands was a glowing green cross, a rosary who’s beads passed between the girls fingers as her lips moved making not a sound.
“Your an angel” is what I said for that is what I thought, that is what came to mind.
“I am not an angel I am just a girl”
“I’m alive?” I asked. Perplexed still as to where I was or how I’d got here.
“Yes your alive”
“Your not an angel?”
“No I’m just a girl”
“I was praying for the guidance and strength to know what to do with you when you awoke”
I guess I fell back to sleep as the next thing I remember is awaking in the morning to see this same girl with the long blonde hair sitting in a rocking chair in the corner reading a book. I asked what she was reading and she told me that it was just a science fiction novel called Ender’s Game. This is when I noticed that everywhere I looked I saw the leaves of the forest floor in the fall. Brown, orange and red leaves everywhere I looked. It turned out that the girl was as clueless as I was as to what had happened the night before. I told her about how everywhere I looked I could see the leaves of the forest floor in the fall superimposed over everything. She took out her dictionary to look up the world superimposed and said that she thought she might know what I meant by that. She asked me what I could remember about the night before and I told her that I could recall only being chased by a moose and something about a freight train.
Later that day, she took me across the street to the neighbor’s house. The neighbor was an older woman with straight chin length grey hair who told me she was an artist. She made us both tea and sat and listened to me describe what I remembered, the moose, the freight train and the leaves of the forest floor in the fall. She took us upstairs to her art studio where she sat me down and taught me how to first draw a leaf then how to paint the leaf with reds and oranges and browns. I picked this up rather readily and told her that I thought I could remember knowing how to draw like this.
After leaving the neighbors the morning had become the afternoon and I was recalling a little more. I had seen a skateboard in the driveway and told the girl that I thought I had owned a skateboard. But having got it underfoot it did not come easily back to me as drawing the leaves had, perhaps I was wrong about the skateboard. The girl however took my hand and began to pull me down the street on this skateboard. I told her that I believed I probably had owned a skateboard but wasn’t sure how good I’d been at riding it.
At this point I’d suddenly remembered playing the drums. I told the girl about this memory of playing the drums and her face had lit up as she told me that she owned a drum set in the cellar but did not yet know much of how to play it. So down to the cellar we went and I sat at the drums and found I could remember the names of each drum and cymbal. She put the sticks in my hand and I began to play. It was a simple, fumbled beat but it was a drum beat. Bass drum, high hat, snare, bass drum, high hat, snare. A simple rock beat. This is when I had the flashing remembrance of the knot in the old tree by the railroad tracks down the foot path off the road. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing in my mind but whatever it was I felt I knew how to get there. Having described this mental image of this tree the girl told me that there were railroad tracks not far from her house and that there was a foot path.
Sure enough just down the road was a footpath through the woods by the railroad tracks. As we made our way down this path it looked more and more like what I had seen in my mind. And there was the tree with the knot. I reached in and pulled out a paper sack with something heavy in it. Opening this paper sack I saw that what was inside was a small pistol and a box of ammunition.
“You ever shoot one of these before?”
“No” the girl said looking rather conflicted.
“I think I know how” I said. “I think I know how”