Story (c) 2000 by Keith Dickinson. All rights reserved. Characters Sabrina the Skunkette, Amy the Squirrel, Tabitha, Carli, Tammy Vixen Shiela Vixen, Clarisse, and Carrie Squirrel (c) Eric W. Schwartz. Character Roxikat (c) John Barrett. Character Thomas Woolfe (c) Michael Higgs. Characters Chris Foxx, Susan Felin, Cindy Lapine, Debbye Squirrel, Clarence Skunk, Mr. Canis, Dexter Collie, Angel Collie, Sarge and Endora Mustelidae, Wendy Vixxen, and Wanda Vixen(c) Chris Yost. Character Florence Ambrose (c) Mark Stanley. Character ZigZag (c) Max BlackRabbit. Character Cyberhorn (c) William Morris. Character Terl Skunk (c) Rodney Stringwell. Character James Sheppard and Marvin Badger (c) James Bruner. Character John Silverback (c) Himself Character Kittiara and the restaruant "Callahan's" (c) "Kittiara" Character Katja (c) Herself Character Mark the cheetaur (c) Mark White Eric W. Schwartz (c) Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz. Arden Eastridge (c) Keith Dickson. All rights to additional characters reserved by their respective owners. 
Identity Crisis - Chapter 8
Elementary, my dear Watson.

  As I slowly woke up in the morning, I could still hear Nanuk's song running through my head.  I had slept the entire night for a change.  The first time in a long time, I was not haunted by the image of my father.

  With a little fumbling, I managed to get my glasses on and look at the clock.  It was almost seven A.M.  Reaching over to the bed rail, I turned on the TV.  I figured I'd catch some of the morning news.

  As I lay there watching TV, that cute Rabbit came in.  "Ohhh.  We've found our glasses, didn't we?"  She asked.

  Why do they always talk in the third person?

  "I'm here to prep you for your move.  I just need to unplug some tubing from you, and we'll be all ready to get you headed downstairs."  She informed me.

  "No sweat.  I'm at your disposal."  I answered, happy to be moving out of this room.

  Smiling, she pulled the covers back.  At this point, I realized that I wasn't even wearing one of those stupid hospital gowns.  What was even more disturbing, was where she was unplugging the first tube.

  Needless to say, I suddenly realized why I hadn't felt the urge to take a whiz in two days.

  Laying my head back down, trying my best to think of something other than what she was doing, she finally rolled the covers back over me.  "All done champ."  She said.  Looking down, I noticed the definite lack of a tent.  Chalk one up for the good guys.

  "Whew, I wasn't even aware that was there."  I admitted sheepishly.

  "Don't worry about it.  Once it's in place, I'm told that you rarely feel it afterwards."  She told me, then she flashed me that smile again.

  Pretty soon, she proceeded to remove the IV's that had been plugged into my left arm.  Finally able to stretch it without any restriction, I gave it a good, tendon-popping stretch.  "Oh ya. That's much better. When does the straight jacket come off?"  I asked.

  Changing my bandages again, she paused.  "The way you're healing, I wouldn't be surprised if they took it off today."  She answered.

  Giving me a brow furrowed look, she continued to change the rest of my bandages.

  "Hey, can I help it if I'm quick healer?  I figured you'd be happy to see me getting well."  I said.  I put on my best puppy dog look.  At least as good a puppy dog look you can accomplish with a bear face.

  Chuckling, she licked a finger and drew a line in the air.  "Ok.  Chalk one up for the visiting team.  All done."  She said, then gave me that patented smile again, and headed out with the dirty linen and bandages.

  As she left, a pair of suits walked in.  My first impression were that they were some kind of corporate goon squad from the hospital, come to talk to me about my bill.  My second look determined that although they were dressed in suits, they weren't good suits.  They were the kind that you get off the rack at Sears.

  They had COP stamped all over them.

  The first one was a small Basset Hound, his floppy ears dangling onto his collar.  He grabbed the chair, and swung it around so that the back was towards me, he straddled the chair resting his arms on it's back.  Reaching into his jacket, he pulled out a notepad and a pen.

  His cohort, a tall Doberman Pincer, just leaned against the wall.  He had the classic "Hans and Franz" build, and was wearing a scowl on his face that would curdle milk.

  The Hound spoke, "Howdy. My name is Officer Smith, and my partner back there, is Officer Jones.  I hope you don't mind if we ask you a few questions about the accident the other night?"  Smith and Jones?  Sounds more like a couple of feds than it would local cops.

  OK.  Time to turn my IQ down to room level.  "Sure, officers.  I'd be glad to help in anyway I can, but I'm still having trouble with my memory."  I told them.

  Nodding , "Ya, we had a little talk with the doctor.  Quite a blow to the head you took.  He says it's a miracle you're even awake.  I was hoping you'd be able to tell me what you can remember."  The first officer said to me.

  "Not much to tell really."  I said, continuing, "I remember waking up in the ambulance for a few seconds.  There are bits and pices of the ER and being rolled down the hallway, and that's about it until I woke up yesterday evening."

  Making notes in his book, Smith nodded, "And you have no memories of anything before the accident?"  He asked.

  Making a little show of looking at the roof, like I was trying to remember things.  I answered, "I remember sitting at a computer.  I think it was in my living room, because I could see a large TV behind it.  I remember riding a motorcycle down a country road, watching airplanes take off and land from the end of a runway... But it all makes no sense.  I can't get a grip on it."

  Time to get dramatic.  I started banging my good hand on my forehead, "None of it makes sense.  It's all just flashes of images.  I can hear a voice, but I don't know who it is, or what their name is and I KNOW I should be able remember it!"

  Officer Smith straightened up a little in the chair, "Whoa there, partner.  Take it easy.  The doc says it will come back to you eventually.  These things take time."  A derisive snort from Jones confirmed the "Good Cop/Bad Cop" team.

  Laying my head back on the pillow I closed my eyes.  "I know, but it doesn't help.  I go to sleep wondering who I am, I wake up wondering if I have a history.  All I know is that apparently one of the paramedics said I told him my name was 'Arden.'  That's not much to go on, you know?"  I told them.

  Once again I tried to use the "puppy dog" look, this time going for the 'haunted" look.  It worked on the Nurse, maybe it will work on this cop.

  I could see Jones rolling his eyes.  Smith on the other hand just nodded.  "Don't worry about it." Flipping a couple pages back he continued, " I understand you met the woman who hit you?"

  Guilty as charged.  "Yah, she came around here yesterday.  She was worried about me.  Nice to know that there are people who would actually care about someone they know nothing about."  I said quietly.

  Nodding, Smith again made a note, "Do you remember her name?"  He asked.

  Thinking for a second, "Ummm...Sheila?..No, that was the other one, the one they said got hurt.  Umm...Zippy, Zigy, Zig, no Zig Zag, that's it.  Zig Zag."  I told him.

  Writing again, "And have you ever seen this Zig Zag before?"  Smith asked.

  Do bears crap in the woods?  "She looked familiar.  At first I thought she was a movie star, but she just giggled when I asked her.  Why, is she famous or something?"  I asked, innocently.

  That got Jones good.  He cracked up.  It's hard to keep a straight face when someone drops a line like that.  Even smith had his mouth covered.

  "What?  What?!"  I asked, giving them my most innocent, 'What did I say?' look.

  Getting a little control, Smith cleared his throat.  "Ahem, you could say that.  She specialized in the non-mainstream film market."  He told me.

  Some times the gods are kind to fools, "Oh.  She makes art films!  Ahhh.  No wonder I don't remember her.  I don't go to 'artsy' theaters.  I prefer a good action flick."  I said, innocently.

  Jones actually turned and ducked out of the room, I heard him lose it in the hall just as the door was closing.  Smith on the other hand, was a little better of an actor.

  "I agree.  If it's not Hollywood, it's not worth it."  He said.  That man should get the silver star, he fought that smile hard!  Standing up, he set the chair back against the wall, and said, "I think I have everything I need for now.  Here's my card.  If you remember anything of importance, or think of something that we can do to help you, please give me a call."

  Handing me his card, he smiled and walked towards the door, as it was closing behind him I saw him pause, then both of them lost it again.

  As I heard their laughter fade into the distance, I allowed myself a chuckle of satisfaction.  Yep, things were definitly looking up this morning.

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