31 January 2008

a new life - part 6


They knocked again. “Francis, you’ve got a visitor. Can we come in?” Francis swung his legs off the bed and cautiously walked to the door. He opened it and recognized the doctor, a memory specialist but the man with him, eyeing Francis from head to toe, was unfamiliar.
“This is Detective Black, Francis. He wants to talk to you. Don’t worry I’ll sit with you.”

Black motioned Francis to sit on his bed. Francis complied and the detective sat beside him. The doctor rested nonchalantly on the desk, legs crossed. Nothing to fear here, his body language said.

Black smiled. “Just routine, Francis. May I call you Francis?” He continued without waiting for an answer, “You had an accident and lost your memory. But you are an interesting man Francis, you are in a unique position and I think you may just be able to help me solve a little mystery.”

Francis shook his head. “I can’t help you.”
“Well. you were taken to hospital in an ambulance a few months ago,” confided the detective, “and the doctors tell me you were saying some strange things.”

“I can’t remember any accident,” Francis insisted. “All I know is they told me I fell asleep for seven days and then I woke up. They brought me here to rest and I'm slowly getting better.”

“You see Francis, I’m a patient man and I believe you. You told me the same story three months ago. I believe you but a suspicious man might ask, can’t help? Or won’t help? Can’t remember or won’t remember?” Black waited for a reply. None came.

“Francis, there are special doctors at a different hospital and I’d like them to run some new tests, ok?” Black scanned Francis hard for a flicker of reaction. There was none.

“OK, enough for today,” said the doctor. “We’ll organise a day at St James’ for next week and call you. Black held up his hands in defeat. “No problem doc, call me.” He pressed his business card into the doctor’s hand.

He opened the door, “I’ll see myself out.” He stepped out then slowly turned back to face the room. “Oh and one more thing Francis, you may like to think about why you were carrying a woman’s handbag at the supermarket back in June.”

Francis heart heaved in his chest. “Not me detective, I’m strictly a backpack man!” He managed.
“Thing is we saw you on TV Francis, saw you on one of those funny little cameras at the store. Think about it.”

The visitors left and Francis sank slowly into his chair. He would not be staying around for any more tests.

7 comments:

Michelle Dawn said...

Hmmm. I think Francis has been a bad, bad boy.

cocaine jesus said...

excellent. i especially like the way you are using a 'memento' style fractured, but still linear, approach. not quite like memento but still with that cut up method.

enjoying this a lot mate.

Perfect Virgo said...

M - you think right! The baddest boy you ever did see (apart from me!)

CJ - you're spot on and I'm glad that style is evident to you. I chose to show clear glimpses of the past in order to give a sense of Francis slowly regaining his memory, while simultaneously giving the reader some details to piece together.

Your mention of Memento puts me in high company indeed. I am a big fan of that film and have it on DVD. Unravelling its complexity requires multiple viewings and we watched it again quite recently.

Queen Neetee said...

This is another 'wow'!

I Love the way Francis builds his web and how we're fooled into thinking that it's torn apart.

Francis is way too clever to let that happen without having plans to rebuild a much stronger web.

I can't wait to see just how he'll get out of this. He's a clever one.

boulies said...

Hello PV, I know I'm coming into this very late! But I've read Part One and got my appetite wet for all which follows. I'll have to come back and play catch-up on what I'm sure will prove to be another one of your great tales!

Perfect Virgo said...

Neetee - I am pleased you are able to see consistent character traits in Francis. One of the hardest things about writing something of any length seems to be to keep a character level and credible.

You are right about his determination and rather devious nature, that was something I consciously wove in. As the second half of this tale unfolds you will see just how right you are!

Boulies - thanks for reading, it's nice to see you again. The chapters are only short so catching up won't eat into your day too much! :)

boulies said...

Oh No! He was caught on camera. This forces his options to extremes. I don't know yet whether to feel sorry for him or happy he could potentially get caught. So far I'm leaning for feeling sorry for him. He did return the purse. Ok, I'll just have to wait with everyone else and see.