• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 10

Fresh Start(s)

An unknown face in an unknown room.

There's ample space for reflection - the room has been polished to within an inch of its collective life; not a drip of entropy. I count the number of toothbrushes in the sink; my frame of reference - my grid of reality. I try counting the bristles of the nailbrush, but that's a futile attempt.

I revolve around clock-time; sun-goes-round-earth chronology. I don't have a watch nor a sundial, so that device doesn't bring me any comfort.

Four toothbrushes; a meticulous singular or I'm in the room of a multiple. Do they co-ordinate as they wash, a rota of self-preservation, or is it done on a purely ad-hoc basis?

As much as I love to play detective, there's the element of my safety I have to consider. Find out whose body I'm inhabiting today.

There's a guilt I have to consider, although that's purely self-inflicted. A parasite with a conscience. A hoarder with threads from the loom of multiple pasts, fraying on the ends, leading to nowhere.

It never gets easier, but I never give up hope.

Their consciousness will return soon, as per usual, but it's harder with families and loved ones. It's just one day, I know, but the inconsistencies can trigger an ontological earthquake.

What would fit their patterns of behaviour? Would it be perfectly natural if I were to leave for a day? Hide sick in a vacant room?

Take a deep breath. Gauge the collateral this time.

The mirror shimmers into life.