I woke up in the open: behind me the sun was setting, and I could see, on the ground ahead of me, the shadow of a large tree. Some old wreckage appeared half buried, atop a small tumulus, and beyond it I could see the reflecting mirror of an estuary. In my mind some vague memory was floating, telling me that I knew this place, and I knew its significance. But I had forgotten what that was, who I was, and where I was.
Images were flashing in front of my eyes: a beach, a river, a bridge, a garden, a stream… Then there was the cave, something had happened there. When? I did not know; what? I did not want to know. Was I still in the same time, in the same world? Was I supposed to be looking for someone? Was I a fugitive, or a predator?
Once I had read a novel, a story about a non-Aristotelian world. There, time had another meaning, the hero was killed, was reborn, and killed again. The forces against him seemed invincible, and yet he kept coming back, brought back to suffer another death. Was I caught up in one of these loops, surfacing in another place, not knowing for what reason, or for what purpose: was I being manipulated, or was I the manipulator?
I looked around: I was on the edge of what may have been a cultivated field, some time back, but now, there was no trace of whoever had lived and worked here. When did I have last seen another human being? Then, it struck me: was I still human?