Day 1 – pt 2:
As the day wore on, I puzzled about what to do. There seemed to be no sense to my situation, no hint of purpose or direction. I roamed again in circles, larger and larger, looking for any hint of a road and listening for signs of human activity. The world was mostly still.
Finally, I realized that I couldn’t find my way back to the oak grove where I started. Still surrounded by oak trees and scraggly clumps of grass, I felt as if the location were almost the same. Almost, but not quite. This time, I found myself staring into a shallow pond I hadn’t seen before.
My reflection in the water startled me. My face was haggard and dirty and I looked frightened. Something familiar stared back at me, though. In those green eyes I caught a glimpse of identity, a memory of sawdust, paper, stone, and books. A flicker of magic. As if reflexively I raised a hand and tried to stir the water with my thoughts, but nothing happened.
I had been a person of some ability once. Maybe I could be again. So I sat and breathed, clearing my mind as best as I could. I let the quiet wash over me for a time and then it came to me. A plan. I would walk.
It was that simple. I must have come from somewhere. Even if I struck off in the wrong direction, I had a hope of running into someone or something. Anything to stir my memory. At the very least, I could aim for a landmark – some place to base my explorations around. My heart beat with hope.
I leapt to my feet and climbed the nearest tree, scraping my belly on the rough bark, then turned in circles until I spotted something. Off to the North, perhaps a kilometer off – just a thousand meters! – I could see a large hill jutting forth from the forest. The side of it was dull grey and green, but what was that I spied? Something orange! The color stood out so starkly that my heart jumped.
The sun was sinking in the sky, but if I raced along I could easily get there before nightfall. I swung down from the tree, snapped off a large branch as a staff and walking stick, and set off on my way. At least now I had a destination.