His head hurt. That was all that he could think about right now. He could see yellow lights to his left, but that was it. The yellow lights rolled nearer and stopped when they had almost reached him. A car door opened and closed again, and he felt someone helping him up. The sudden motion of being upright again sent his head spinning and he felt his vision blacken.
When he woke up again he was in a hospital room. Everything was a blinding, sanitary, white that bored into his eyes and hurt his brain. A nurse came into the room with a clipboard and sat down in the chair next to his bed.
"What's your name?" She offered no introduction. Or, she did, but it trickled out of his brain as soon as it had entered his mind. He thought about her question, focusing as hard as he could, staring at the wall. Name. What was his name? What was a name?
He frowned and looked down at his hands. They had burns. Not the "whoopsie I touched a pan for half a second" type burns. Real, raw red burns that felt more like "I put my hand in the middle of a bonfire for half an hour."
There was a question that someone had asked. Who had asked it? What was the question again? Why were his hands burned? He looked up again and saw the nurse. She frowned a little and wrote something down on her clipboard.
"What is your name?" His voice sounded dead. Burned and blistered. He wondered what happened to make him receive the worst type of pain. Pain had never happened to him like this. Hot and cold and achy and stinging. The nurse was saying something again, but he couldn't hear her.
"Okay, you have a fractured skull and severe amnesia. I'll let the doctor know. You try and get some sleep, okay?" The nurse stood up and gave him a kind smile. He tried to return the gesture, but his face was also covered in a flaming pain. After the nurse left, he tried to take inventory of what hurts, and why.
He had burns everywhere. What had he done to get so many burns? Trying to look back on the last twenty-four hours was hard. There was nothing there.
It took ten months for his head to heal, but his memories never returned. So he decided to do as much good as possible with the least amount of decision-making. A prison guard. He already commanded some respect everywhere he went. The scars that marred almost every inch of his skin marked him as dangerous.
What was interesting though, was that he was really good at keeping prisoners in line. It had been a couple of weeks since he had begun working, but he felt good about what he was doing. These people were bad. He got to help good people have separation from the bad people, and he was being paid.
He opened the door to the prison and walked in. Gary wanted to switch shifts because of his daughters' softball tournament. He liked to think of himself as a pretty nice person, so he agreed, wishing Gary good luck.
Gary's rounds went through the hallway full of people who had done really bad things. Not petty criminals, but folks who had every right to be exactly where they were. In jail. So, he started Gary's rounds. As he walked up and down the hallway with what he thought was a menacing look, one of the inmates stared at him.
He walked to the inmates' cell and glared back at him. But rather than seem affronted in any way, the man looked surprised. "Boss? Where you been? We thought you was dead."
There was a gray pit in the side of one of the mans' teeth and his breath stank of cigarette smoke. But his words held hushed and slimy respect that felt almost familiar. He felt something switch inside of him and saw a flash of fire in his vision. This man knew answers to questions he had been asking himself for months.
"I'll be back at seven. I need some answers." He continued down the hallway without looking back.
True to his word, at seven, he found his way back to the man from earlier, and he stopped at his cell. The man looked up at him with shrewd eyes. Then he started to weave his tale.
It was interesting.
According to him, there was a magical well somewhere that granted wishes. It was laughable. So that's what he did. He laughed right in the man's face.
Then the man told him his name.
Dr. Elliot Scott.
Elliot could feel memories coming back to him like a wave. Suddenly, enormous memories filled his vision with flames and a feast. Festivities and fire. A teenage girl with a serious expression and the uniform of a guard. A flag that waved proudly over the courtyard. A beautiful girl in a blue dress. A boy with a dimpled smile. Fury and betrayal. Fire. So much fire.
Elliot clutched his head, right where one of his scars resided. It was a gash that the doctors had put there to fix his skull. He could feel each burn scar as if it was on fire yet again. His heart filled with hatred and he looked up.
Mountxase. That was the name of the town. A name. Something that Elliot could hold onto and hate. He looked down at the man in front of him who was wearing an expression of complete and utter smugness. Name. What was his name?
The man's smile widened, revealing more cavities. Greed lit both of their eyes. Elliot whispered the escape plan into Josc's ear. Finally, he would get to strike back. The town would still be weak from what had happened, and this time, that princess and her fiery servant would die. All thanks to him.