Jeremiah had been at Eugenia’s place for three days and his leg was getting stronger every day. Unfortunately the same could not be said for his memory; the only ones he could recall started when he awoke on the farm. Everything before had gone and only an aching void could be found in its place.
Eugenia, Genie as she asked to be called, had explained several times, her patience never waning, what she knew. Jeremiah had gone missing from his room many weeks, months, before but Genie had kept it for him as long as she could, eventually having to let it to Maxim, the purple-skinned Jagermonster who still eyed him with naked suspicion. Then nearly three weeks ago a noise in the room alerted her and she found him sprawled on the floor badly injured, shot in the leg with a poisoned arrow and mumbling incoherently. Of course he looked totally different from the last time she saw him, he had been human when he’d left but had returned as some strange half-man half animal complete with fur and horns which Maxim said he recognised as gazelle. What the devil he had done to become half-gazelle and to be shot with an arrow was beyond everyone’s guess, although Maxim did mutter something about “Herr Doktor M und hall dat jazz” but he refused to elaborate.
In the end, it was only because in his fevered state he kept repeating his name over and over that Genie knew who he was. The sheriff and others came, but with Darien’s sudden flea in to exile, Genie kindly offered to look him. The poison attacking his system was tricky to fight and she nearly lost him more than once, but with her tender care he slowly began to pull through. Now he was conscious again he struggling to come to terms with what had happened to him. Genie told him what she knew of him, although she was kindly trying to brush over what he guessed were some less than palatable areas of his background.
He was Dr Jeremiah Mason, father of Dr Darien Mason of Mason Labs in Steelhead city a few miles from Genie’s farm. Darien and Jeremiah were estranged (Genie couldn’t – or wouldn’t – go into details) but Genie was convinced that Jeremiah had returned to make amends. He had rented his room and workshop here under the name Sawyer so as not to alert Darien to his presence before he’s had a chance to fix their relationship.
He had absolutely no memory of any of this. He could not remember having a son, let alone falling out with him. His entire life consisted of the last three weeks.
He looked through his belongs stored in his workshop, but both they and the contents of the workshop didn’t reveal anything new to him. He picked things up, tools, papers, a beautifully crafted metal toy doll but none of them, spoke to him or awoke even the smallest memory.
“And you say I built this?” he asked Genie of the doll in his hands.
“Yes, you are very talented Jeremiah. You make the most wonderful dolls, although I don’t pretend to understand how. You used to talk of the spark and how that automated them, but, well you said so many things I didn’t fully understand,” she replied. He nodded slowly and she walked out quietly, leaving him to his thoughts.
After a few more days rest he was feeling strong enough to venture into the city. “Are you sure about this Jeremiah?” Genie asked him as he climbed up on the horse she had saddled for him.
“I can’t stay here, Genie. I may not remember anything of my life or who I was, but I’m sure that hiding wasn’t something I would have done before,” he replied.
“But is it wise to go to Darien’s laboratory? You don’t know what you might find… he was involved with some dangerous things. You both were.”
He looked down and smiled, “I’ll be careful Genie. I’m just going to see if anything jogs my memory, that’s all. Maybe someone will know where I went all those weeks ago.”
She smiled back, her lips a little too tightly drawn to hide the worry, “Well just be careful is all I ask. Don’t play around with anything in there until you know what you are doing.”
“When you get there, find Frau Lowey and talk to her, she knew you too.”
“Thank you Genie, for everything,” he smiled at her more grateful then he could every tell her. Then, with a flick of the reins, he set off down the path to the gates and the road to Steelhead city.
Maxim watched him go and walked over to Eugenia, “Vell, ve vill see vat de sheriff makes uf him.”
“What do you mean, Max?”
“Dat sheriff, he hes a goot nose too hyu know…”
“You still don’t think it’s him, do you?” she sounded exasperated.
“Hall Hy’m sayink iz dat he doesn’ schmell right iz hall, not like de schtuff he left behind.”
“Well I’m sure the sheriff will know what to do, Max”
“Hrmm,” was all he said as they both watched the horse and its rider trot slowly down the road…
To be continued…
All the “Lost & Found” posts can be read here.
Links to other blogs & stories:
Sheriff Ortega weighs the new Jeremiah up here.
Maxim informs Veles Jagermonster of his doubts concerning the new Jeremiah here.
Veles relays these concerns to Frau Lowey and she shares her own here.