I've been running through the woods since I discovered that Coyote stole my memory. Losing my footing on patches of dirty snow, and twisting my ankle in carpets of wet leaves. Crashing through fog, trying to follow muddy footprints. Dropping onto all fours, running like and animal. Like a wild thing. I don't know where I am now. The footprints behind me are melting away. The forest here is different, wetter. Lichen is hanging low from the trees. I hear soft calls of nightbirds.
The footprints STOP here.
What has happened?
I can't begin to imagine. Moments ago I was chasing Coyote through the woods, Coyote whose fur kept me warm not two nights ago, a corporeal Coyote with a hot pulse and a touch of the kleptomania. And now his tracks end here, at this sad skull... bits of meat still on it, but not even a mandible.
Was Coyote murdered, and my memory stolen by some other beast? Is it truly lost now? Was this the way I was supposed to lose my memory? I touch Coyote's skull and feel an electrical vibration run through my hand. I think I hear a whisper, but it is impossible to make out what is being said.
I'll stop here for the night. Nightbird songs harmonize with my growling stomach. My hair is full of mud. It's time to sleep.