art by Melissa Mead
Hiking in My Head
by Gareth D Jones
The people in my head seem to have been there for a very long time. I can't remember how long, because I can't remember anything but the cheery, pastel-painted hospital room I awoke in. The doctor, a large man with a flamboyant moustache and grey hair, says I have amnesia. He is my oldest friend, in that he was there when I awoke and came to see me every day thereafter. I don't remember how many days it's been. Doctor Pulbarton, that's his name. I have a name too, apparently. Randolf. The doctor won't tell me my second name; I think he's hoping it will come back to me.
The people in my head aren't really there, he says.
"Where are they, then? And who are they?" I glare at him. I'm fed up with being confined to one small room and a pair of green, stripy pyjamas.
"They are in another part of the hospital," he says, stops and looks thoughtful. "A room where the synaptic imaging apparatus is contained. At least, they were." His moustache is not as grey as his hair.
I think about this for a moment. "What do you mean, were?"
"I mean," he purses his lips thoughtfully. "I mean, they have already finished what they were doing, but your brain is not yet aware of the results."