The Logn Road Home, Ch 16: Off the Beaten Trail

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There is a saying, among humans, that I had never really understood until the hole appeared in my future memory: "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone."

How true. I had never really understood how completely integral to me my visions were, until they were taken from me, first in part and then completely. I felt like I was blind, literally blind...And even worse, in a revelation that honestly embarrassed me a bit, I had been rendered "normal" by the absence of that second sight...and I discovered that I didn't like being "normal."

How do they do it? I asked myself, about the people around me. How do they do it, getting through the pitfalls and perils of life without the slightest forewarning? Isn't it terrifying to them?

This whole thing had turned into one huge learning experience, and it was like Ebele had told me: perhaps some things are better left alone. I wasn't entirely comfortable with my new self-knowledge: it pointed out glaringly how weak I was without my sight to stiffen my spine, and how fragile my mind really was, which terrified me.

I don't like any of it.

But, at the same time, I was really beginning to appreciate what I had been given, and wondered if the horrible memories my mind had hidden from me for all those years was the price I paid for my gift. It was honestly a kindness, the lack of memories, because now that I had them back, the weight of them was crippling, especially without my sight. Once Ebele gave it back to me, I felt better, but I was also strangely eager to have her remove the memories again. That weak part of me craved the solace of forgetfulness, the soothing quality of not knowing something horrible. I knew, once Ebele removed my memories again, I'd want to know things again, but perhaps she could help me in that, as well? Perhaps she could implant some kind of...indifference to my past? Or quash the urge to remember completely?

And then, lurking behind it all, were the new memories. Well, the old memories that seemed new to me. My life before the asylum. My life in the asylum, if that's what it could be called.

And my angel...

Jasper held my hand as we ran away, into the deepening evening. I felt the eyes of the old ones behind us until the distance rendered them blind, but I didn't kid myself: those ancients were never truly blind. They saw far too much.

"Where should we go, baby?" Jasper asked me as we ran into the sunset. The plains were golden and glowing with the setting sun, the sky red and the wind dusty and fragrant. Everything in Africa was wild and lovely and deadly all at once, it seemed. "Back to South Africa? The jungle? Egypt?" He laughed, and his hair was golden like the sun, gilded and shining with a life of its own. "Or maybe we should just go hide in a cave somewhere until mid-September, eh?"

I thought for a moment, and savored the ability to cast the net of my mind ahead and see what it caught, to taste the winds of the future again and see what they brought. A few different paths were open to us, but one was much clearer, and seemed to be calling me. Calling us.



Kilimanjaro sits at the far northeastern part of what is now Tanzania, which at that time was still called East Africa, a huge chunk of land that included the territories of Rwanda and part of Kenya. It had first been a German colony, I lectured Jasper as we traveled (accompanied by many eye rolls and sighs on his part), but it had passed from the hands of the Germans after the end of World War I and became a British territory. From the summit of Kilimanjaro we had, with our sharp eyes, been able to see the vague smudge of the sea to the east, but it was north that we headed, into the vast savannahs of Kenya and into Sudan, aiming for Egypt.

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