TITLE: Borrowed Time
GENRE: Adult Science Fiction
What is my name?
The slash of a longsword accompanied each unspoken word, as if the question’s answer lay behind the morning mists. Exhausted, frustrated, defeated, the unarmored knight drove the blade into the dirt at his feet, panting and glaring at the sun-drenched leaves all around. Had it been this difficult before? Was remembering his name so problematic yesterday? He couldn’t remember that either. “Yesterday” was already fading away. Disgusted, he turned, spotting his shield where he’d left it propped against a tree trunk. He spun the metal triangle around, letting the concave inner surface show him his reflection. Longish blond hair, intelligent blue eyes, scruff of beard on chin and cheeks—precisely the young man he knew would greet him when he woke earlier.
But it wasn’t his face. Nor was yesterday’s. Nor would tomorrow’s be.
And the name… the name eluded him. Immersing himself in today’s vocation hadn’t helped draw it out of his tangled mind, even after the other shards of knighthood had fallen into place. The two-day carriage ride from his home in Dunham Massey to Stamford Castle. Arriving too late last night to greet his host, Baron Fitzwalter. Collapsing on a straw mat in his dark chambers. It all happened, the memories crystal clear in his mind. It just hadn’t happened to him. He couldn’t even be certain he was present for the recurring nightmare that woke him mere hours ago.