He hears a voice. Raspy but gentle. "Do you know your name boy?"
Slits his eyes open. Then closes them tight again against the bright light. He hurts all over. Tries to move. A hand presses on his shoulder.
"Stay still. Nothing's broke but you'll have some colossal scrapes and bruises. And your bike's a total loss boy."
The hand lifts away. He hears movement. Then something cold against his lips. He opens them a bit. Water squirts into his mouth. Then something bitter joins it.
"Just aspirin, it's all I have."
When he swallows the man gives him more water. Swallows again. Thirstily.
"Where am I?"
"My place." The man laughs then. "Sorry, that tells you nothing. My house, a few miles outside of Lecompte."
"Lecompte, it's a town in Louisiana. Bit over 200 miles from New Orleans and close to Alexandria. That ring any bells?"
He starts to shake his head. Winces. Mutters, "No."
"OK, far as I can tell you were heading down the highway and spun out. You landed in a deep ditch. Guess no one saw it happen. Maybe cause it was dark. Anyway, I found you. Well, spotted the wreck that's your bike first in my headlights, then you. Shit boy, you done made a mess of it and you, but like I said nothing busted on you that I can tell. Now, like I asked earlier, do you know who you are?"
He thinks. Trying to remember. Nothing. "No clue," he tells him.
"Damn. Cause you have no ID on you. No license, no wallet, nothing. Guess it musta fell out. Now that I know you're not gonna die on me, I'll go see if I can find it." He chuckles. "You ain't gonna die on me are you?"
He opens his eyes again, slowly. Lets them adjust. The man's half in shadow but he can tell he's tall. Well built. Maybe young, maybe not. Wearing overalls. Plaid shirt. What he sees of the room looks rustic.
"I think I'll live." Tries a smile. It feels like his lips will crack. "How long?"
The man gives him another drink. He understands his question. "You been here for bout ten hours. No clue when you crashed. Like I said, probably after dark since no one saw it."
"Why here? Why not a hospital?" he asks. Frowning.
The man shrugs. "Figured maybe with that sword and all you might not want to go where someone would ask the wrong questions."
"Yeah. It was in your coat. Lucky it was sheathed or you'd a bled out if it had cut you. Sharp booger that." The man looks at him. "My names Lenny by the way. Short for Leonard. Never did introduce myself."
"Hi, Lenny. I'm..." Groans when he goes to shake his head. "That didn't work. I thought maybe..." His voice peters out in frustration.
"If you answered without thinking, it would be there? Mighta been, but guess not. Now you hang in there. I'll be back soon and maybe with your ID, if it's with your bike." With that Lenny puts the bottle of water in his hand. Then leaves.
He struggles to sit up. Pain flares everywhere in him like fire trying to consume him. A second's flash of memory of other searing pain. Gone in an instant.
Managing to move enough to rest his head on the sofa's arm. Gasping for breath. Parched throat aches. Hand scrabbling to find the water then taking a long drink.
He looks around. A cabin he thinks. One large room. Two doors plus the one to the outside. Heavily curtained windows. Probably a cooking area though he can't turn enough to see. The sofa, a comfortable looking chair, small table and two chairs on one side. A stone framed fireplace. Books, lots of books. Something missing. It takes him time to figure what. No TV.
He closes his eyes for a minute.
A sound. He wakes, startled. Groans as every bruise, scrape and, he now realizes, bandaged gash lets him know he's still alive. 'Unfortunately'. The word flashes through his mind. He wonders why.
Lenny comes into view.