“Yer shouldn’t be out of bed” the young woman smiled, seeing him out of bed. It had been a struggle and he felt as though he may have split a couple of stitches but he was glad that he’d tried. He was beginning to wonder if he had any use of his body left at all.
“Aye” he smiled weakly, taking a moment to prop himself up on the doorframe while the world took a little spin.
“Go get back into bed before you fall down” she insisted beginning to stand from her seat on the porch.
“Im fine” he argued, “Sorry what’s your name again?”
“Sorry Kiena … I seem to have no room in my head for names”
“That’s alright” she reasoned, taking his arm and gently helping him to the chair.
“Your pregnant” he noted suddenly, he didn’t recall seeing the bump before then again thing where such a muddle in his head he was no longer sure what he knew and what he didn’t.
She nodded, placing her had protectively to her stomach. There was something odd about her demeanour.
“Where’s your husband?” he dared.
“I ain’t married” she replied quickly, turning her back to him… she hurried inside.
“Then where’s the father?” he called in after her.
“Would you like tea?” was the reply.
“Tea would be good”
A moment or two later she reappeared, two mugs in hand she passed him one. “It’s still a bit cold for you out here” she reasoned taking a seat on the bench beside him.
“Yes” he shivered the air was cold enough that he could see his breath.
“So what we gonna call you?” she smiled, “Can’t keep callin ‘You there”
“No I suppose not” he chuckled to hide just how disconcerting he found the complete and abject lack of memory. “Do we have any clue… any clue at all as to who I could be?”
Kiena shrugged, “I ain’t sure… a hunter maybe, you’ve got some scar’in, worked hands. You ain’t no pansy boy that’s fer sure… but your nightgown was of a good knit so good at your trade I’d guess, an it explain’s yer presence in the wood and why the Lupis want ya. Perhaps you stepped on their huntin ground?”
“Perhaps” he nodded. “So a name, what do you suggest?”
“I always liked Luke” she smiled, “You look like a Luke”
“Wouldn’t you like to use that for the baby?”
“Not much” she replied seeming on edge again.
“Then Luke it is” he agreed, “At least until we find out who I am” It was strange but suddenly having a name was in its self-comforting.
“We should get you inside” she decided, “Your turning blue”
He nodded, allowing her to help him up. It was strange to feel so weak so helpless… but suddenly he caught something in the corner of his eye. Movement in the corner of his vision.
Spinning his head he watched as a figure… skittered on all fours across the outskirts of the clearing. “what’s that?” he panicked.
Kiena span to meet his gaze. “Damit” she cursed. “It’s a deadling”
“Deadling? What is that?”
“A creature that should be dead, we don’t know where they came from… they live up on the ridgetops but sometimes they find their way into the valley. Go inside I need to kill it, else it will come and kill us in our sleep”
Her voice was level but he could tell she was scared, fumbling she pulled out a knife from her belt.
“Have you killed one before?” he asked.
“Once or twice” she nodded.
“Can I help?”
“No” she replied with a nervous chuckle “You can barely stand”
Watching as she headed out across the frozen ground to meet it, he watched with nervous anticipation. She clearly didn’t know how to handle a knife she held it all wrong. He didn’t know how he knew that… but somehow he did.
Suddenly he spotted a bow. “hunter hu?” he grimaced, stumbling towards it. Scooping it up he grabbed an arrow we was surprised to find how natural it felt in his hand “Let’s see then”
Pulling back he let the arrow fly, it whizzed past Kiena before she’d barely made it half way across the clearing.
“Ha!” he called triumphantly as the creature fell.
“Luke!” Kiena exclaimed spinning.
“I am a Hunter after all” he called back, but just as he did he suddenly noticed the pain looking down he watched as a red stain seeped through his shirt. “arh bugger!” he complained, as his legs gave way beneath him and the darkness one again took him.