Jane repeated herself, “I said, who are you?”
The man coughed abruptly to clear his throat. He then replied, “Joe. Joe Ewing.”
“Joe Ewing?” said Jane repeating the name. Hoping it would help her remember. Damn. Who are you?
“Yeah,” Joe affirmed.
“I don’t know you,”
“You don’t know me?”
“Nope. At least, not who you are. Can you not point those at me?” He asked, referring to the knife and the gun.
“How can I trust you?”
Joe grunted again, “You can’t. But by the looks of it, my leg is broken. And it feels like my arm might be too. So if it comes down to a fight, you might win. Does that make you feel better?”
Jane looked the man over. Into the Joe’s eyes. Although she didn’t know the handsome man, his eyes bright and blue and honest. And she felt that she could trust him.
Without a second thought she dropped the weapons, and wiggled into the backseat to help Joe out of his seat.
“Here, let me help you,” Jane offered.
As best as she could, she stood inside the truck, though hunched over, and stood next to the man.
“It’s the right arm,” said Joe, testing it. “Aaand it’s sprained.”
“Alright. When I undo your seatbelt, hook your left arm around me, and put your weight on your left leg.”
“Yep, I got it.”
“Ready,” said Joe. Clenching his teeth, and all of his muscles.
“Alright. One, two, three!”
After Jane counted to three she freed Joe from his restraints, but rather than let him fall, she caught him. Albeit awkwardly, and not his who weight. She didn’t fall to her knees, but she sunk slightly, and Joe’s broken leg made contact with the roof of the truck.
Joe grimaced through the pain, as he used his good leg to balance himself.
“Oh, fuck! That hurt,” Joe gritted.
“Shit,” Jane exclaimed, struggling to stay upright.
Both parties breathing was laboured, but the job wasn’t done.
“Thank you,” said Joe, heaving.
Jane just nodded. “Okay, let’s… hobble over to the door.”
The two did so, and with great difficulty. And Jane pulled the latch, letting the door swing open.
Joe grunted again, “Ah. How deep is the snow out there?”
Jane thought for a moment, and answered, “three... four inches?”
“Okay,” Joe nodded, “let’s go.”
With that, the two of them limped out of the pickup, and into the snow. And when they were truly standing again, Jane helped ease Joe onto the ground, so that he was somewhat more comfortable.
“Fuck, my leg hurts.” But Joe laughed despite the pain, “And my arm.” Then he asked, “What about you? Are you okay?”
Am I okay? Jane asked herself. She didn’t know. She was alive. But she was certain she’d been better.
“Yeah,” Jane answered.
Once Jane and Joe caught their breath, he asked her, “And what about them?” And he motioned with his head to the other pair lying in the snow. “Are they…?”
She nodded no.
“Shit.” Joe sighed, and out of the blue, asked, “Hey what time is it?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well you’ve got a watch, so…”
Jane looked down at both of her wrists. So I do. Didn’t notice that before. Jane looked at the dial. It was shattered. Nevertheless, she looked at the time and replied, “Two thirty. But it’s broken, so it could be wrong.”
“Probably,” Joe concurred, and then asked the big question, “Hey, who are you?”
Jane sighed now, and responded, “I don’t know. I was hoping that you knew my name.”
Joe paused, considering the possibility. He looked her over, and written on her face was not a look of fear, but confusion.
“Like… amnesia?” he finally replied.
Now Joe looked, puzzled. “It’s probably head trauma. Come here.”
Jane walked over, and knelt down beside Joe, not caring about getting her pants wet, or worrying about the cold. And then a complete stranger began examining her head.
“Are you a doctor?” asked Jane.
“A writer. But I don’t need to be a doctor to tell you you have some major head trauma.”
“What?” Jane gasped. Though she could hardly be surprised. You knew that’s what it had to be.
“Where is it?”
“Just on the back of your head.”
Jane felt with her forefinger. And all of a sudden it started to hurt. An injury she hadn’t noticed, started to ache. She brought her finger to her face and saw the blood for herself.
“It looks like the cold has slowed the bleeding,” continued Joe, “but I should dress that. In fact you should get dressed. You’re going to freeze to death in that outfit.”
Jane knew he was right. As soon as he mentioned it, she felt a shiver run down her spine.
“Go get Kevin’s coat, he’s about your size. His scarf too.”
Jane just stared at Joe, unsure of any names.
“Oh shit, sorry,” Joe apologised, “the… the guy with the neck tattoo. Hurry, hurry!”
Jane shuffled through the snow, heading in the direction of the dead men.
The man closest Jane was lying face down. He was dead before she came to. Before she couldn’t remember anything. Most likely he was shot in the back. And a few feet away was the man who had choked on his own blood. His throat was slashed open, and blood had run down his front before it froze. He has the neck tattoo. He’s Kevin.
To stay warm, she put on Kevin’s jacket, and zipped it up. Instantly she felt the warmth wash over her. It was bloody, but she could hardly complain. There was a lack of coats to be worn.
But she couldn’t wear his scarf. It was too bloody, and she worried it might mix with hers.
Jane ran over to the other man. He’d been shot in the lower spine it seemed. Whether she was responsible for his death, or Kevin’s she still couldn’t remember.
Fortunately, the other man was also wearing a scarf. And it had been tucked into his jacket, so it had stayed dry.
“That’s a nasty blow you suffered.” stated Joe, as he wrapped the scarf tightly around her head.
“Do you think it happened in the crash?”
“It’s possible. But if you’re asking me if the wound happened before or after those guys died, I can’t say.”
Suddenly, the two of them saw a light coming from the road, and then heard the thud of a car door slam. Joe tried to look behind him to see who it was, but the wrecked truck obstructed his view.
So he asked Jane, “Who is it? Is it help?”