The voice is from his memory, someplace in the grounds where he buried it deepest. Some more sounds pass him by, and miss.
“Just… what the hell are you doing in this dump?”
Those are the first words he gets in full, and they rain down on him slowly. Like the sparse rays of light in this cloudy afternoon, they cut through the fog in his mind.
He almost remembers, but he is not quite sure.
Putting his past back together is a new game to him. It hasn’t been long since he got tired of smashing it to pieces. But broken things can’t be used without nails and glue – he has to fix it first, as the kids taught him.
It isn’t that hard. He needs a plan, like a fine engine does.
He goes back, as the image in front of him grows neater. Good – now he has got a face to work with. Isn’t it a face he sees nearly every day? How is it so familiar, if it feels so ancient?
It’s all about going back, isn’t it. If anything, he knows this system of face and voice and words is linked to the greatest horror of his life. The shack in the woods, and the mystery man – it all comes together, if it weren’t for the fact that this man just came back to this world. Where does he come from?
Of course he knows. The terror speaks too well. No matter how it happened, this man is a traveler, as much as he is himself.
This man knows him, but it doesn’t show anymore. This man asked a question. That’s all he ever does, he somehow realizes – he always asks and never explains a thing.
Well, too much has happened in between. There are countless things he has forgotten, and too many he never even came to know. But what the kids gave him back is clear enough for him to understand.
He takes it slow, choosing what to do, and repeats the events at hand in his mind.
This man asked a question. The shreds of his past are stirring.
And as they fall into place, joined in a fragile spider web, the answer does too.
“You put me here.”