What Once Was Lost:  FUBAR


          It was a nice day, that day that I went down into the ravine chasing a Frisbee.  It was warm and sunny, a nice change after the snow we’d gotten a few days previous.  Everything was muddy from the melt, but it’d dry eventually.  I was the only one in boots that day, though, so I went chasing the Frisbee.  I was feeling good that day – I’d found out that I wasn’t going to fail two of the classes I thought for sure were lost causes, and that I was actually making a high “B” in another.  It was a good day.
          I still can’t figure out what it was that sent me tumbling down the slope to the bottom of the ravine.  I’ve begun to wonder if I’ll ever figure it out.  Maybe I tripped on a rock or hit a slick patch – whatever it was, it sent me tumbling to the bottom of the ravine real quick.
          When I woke up, I marveled at the fact that I was still alive.  I found myself propped up against a tree, feeling like I’d been flayed by some two-by-fours.  I began to stand, wondering how I was going to find a way to climb back out of here in my sorry shape.
          “Shai?  Be careful, there – last time you stood up, you fell right over again.”
          I looked over to see Lance – or the guy who looked like Lance – dressed in a white shirt under a green vest and long, dark pants.  There was a bow slung across his back with a quiver to match.  I shook my head, hard, and found that it made me dizzy.  I’m dreaming again, I thought.  “What happened?”  I asked.  My tongue felt thick in my mouth.  I leaned against the tree until my dizziness began to fade.
          He raised an eyebrow.  “Near as I can tell?  You fell off one of the city walls.  Are you all right?”
          I rubbed my head, knowing that I was dreaming again.  “Ungh.  Ask me later.  Remind me why I was scaling city walls?”
          He frowned at me.  “You must have hit your head harder than I thought.”
          “Shai, we’re here to rescue Lord Malcolm, remember?”
          As I stood there, trying to figure out exactly what kind of equipment I had on me, I glanced at him.  “Remind me why Craig’Ian of Malcolm would need rescuing.”  Geez, why doesn’t this guy find my questions strange?  I wondered.  Maybe he does and is just too damned respectful to say anything.  I came to the conclusion that I had a dagger in my boot, another at my hip, and a sword across my back.  I noted that there was a pack leaning up against the tree next to where I’d been sitting – mine?
          “Shai, I can’t believe you’d actually have to ask such a question.”  He tossed me a water skin.  “Here, have a drink.  Maybe it’ll sharpen you up.”
          I uncorked the water skin and took a deep swallow, expecting water.  Something sweet hit my tongue instead and I didn’t dare ask what it was.  I stoppered it and tossed it back to him.  “Just remind me.”
          He sighed and put the water skin away.  “Because if we don’t rescue him, Lord Craig’Ian of Malcolm dies at sundown.”


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