Sometime after being struck by a truck, the unnamed narrator suffers from retrograde amnesia. He remembers the rehab. Before the accident, he was a runner. He has no memory of running, or of anything that occurred before the accident. At home, he has a trophy room and a family to corroborate it, however. He runs now not because he likes it but for exercise. His doctor threatened to put him on insulin.
While he’s out running, he begins to see a woman running in the distance, who then disappears, as if into fog, even on the clearest days. She is always ahead of him. As his running improves, he can close the distance between them. He thinks maybe she can tell him something about himself, from the time he can’t remember. She might be connected with his running. He only sees her when he’s running, right?
The day come when he’s able to reach out and poke her in the shoulder.
This is a wonderfully atmospheric little tale. I remained engaged in the mystery. Who is this woman? Is she real? Is she a ghost? How is she connected with the narrator’s unremembered past? Why does he see her only when he’s running? Why doesn’t she talk to him?
That the ending may not be a complete surprise, but it hardly matters. The reader is along for the ride.
I enjoyed this story.
According to his blurb, author Ronald Schulte is an avid reader and writer of speculative fiction. His work has previously appeared in several online and print publications including The Literary Hatchet, Dark Fire Fiction, Bewildering Stories, and Fiction on the Web. He lives in upstate New York with his wife, son, and twin daughters. Facebook
The story can be read here.
Title: “Fast Forgotten”
Author: Ronald Schulte
First published: Theme of Absence, July 3, 2020