Author: D C Farmer
Series: The Hipposync Archives
Genre: Contemporary, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Spence City
Release Date: June 24 2014
Edition/Formats it will be available in: eBook & Print
Matt Danmor thinks he's lucky. Not many people survive a near death accident with nothing more than a bout of amnesia, a touch of clumsiness and the conviction that the technician who did the MRI had grey skin and hooves. Still, it takes time to recover from trauma like that, especially when the girl who was in the accident with you disappears into thin air. Especially when the shrinks keep telling you she's just a figment of your imagination. So when the girl turns up months later looking ravishing, and wanting to carry on where they left off, Matt's troubled life starts looking up. But he hasn't bargained for the baggage that comes with Silvy, like the fact she isn't really an English language student, or even a girl. Underneath her traffic stopping exterior is something else altogether, something involving raving fanatics bent on human sacrifice, dimensionally challenged baked bean tins, a vulture with a penchant for profanity, and a security agent for the Dept of Fimmigration (that's Fae immigration for those of you not in the know) called Kylah with the most amazing gold-flecked eyes.
DC Farmer is alive and well in darkest West Wales, UK.
Places to find D C Farmer
Places to find the 400 lb gorilla
Closed head trauma is about as much fun as nude paintballing. There is nothing remotely enjoyable about your brain being bounced around inside your skull like a Ping-Pong ball in a goldfish bowl. And since normal grey matter has the consistency of a chilled egg pudding, the outcome is seldom positive. Damage can range from a very nasty headache to a borg-like half-life, totally dependant on technology to feed and breathe. With luck, it’s possible to recover with nothing more than a touch of memory loss, which in itself may not always be such a bad thing. After all, sometimes it’s a blessing not to remember every detail of the day your life gets thrown into a blender.
Matt Danmor was a blender survivor.
Because he couldn’t remember the few moments leading up to the accident, they’d diagnosed a smidgen of retrograde amnesia. And since the details of what happened after the car left the road were pretty sketchy, too, they slapped on the label of posttraumatic memory loss for no extra charge.
In truth, it was all a bit of a blur. Matt’s recovery was slow and inconsistent. Even months afterwards, as his bruised mind repaired itself so that the picture became less like a half-finished jigsaw puzzle and more like a stuttering magic lantern show, certain stark recollections would return with a vengeance to wake him sweating, pulse pounding, in the dark watches of the night. Sensations like the juddering thump of the car turning over twice, or the sharp metallic odour of petrol soaking slowly into his trousers, or the sickly rose bouquet of the air freshener leaching all over his upside-down forehead, or the pitiful relief he’d felt when the fireman wielding the Jaws of Life finally cut through the screeching metal to grab Matt before he passed out.
He’d regained consciousness at the hospital. There, the thing that stood out like a Klingon in a bikini, the one abiding memory he had of those first couple of hours as they tried to work out which parts of him weren’t broken, was his MRI scan.
He’d mumbled half-conscious responses to their questions about him having any metal in his body (“Are you absolutely certain, Mathew?”) as they whipped off his watch and his festival armbands and his Celtic cross pendant. Then they’d slid him into the machine’s cylinder and started the buzzing, metronomic scan. Matt had been woozy and sick, though mercifully free of pain, thanks to whatever it was they’d shot into him. Confused, he’d started to believe that they were burying him alive to the sound of Burke and Hare playing the bongos on his sarcophagus, but had clung on to reason just long enough not to make an arse of himself by screaming to be let out.
Yet it wasn’t the scan itself that was the issue; after all, who in their right minds would object to having the protons of their body’s water molecules tweaked into different eigenstates so long as it revealed all the broken bits? No, it was what happened immediately afterwards that had threatened his sanity.
When it was over, the mechanized table slowly eased him out, and someone took his hand and asked him if he was okay. He’d mumbled a grateful “Yes,” and looked up into a pair of kind, green, female eyes in a quite attractive, dusky-grey face. Quite apart from her unusual complexion, there were two things about this woman that stood out. The first was that she wore the strangest-looking diaphanous green robes, which flowed about her like mist. The second was that her feet went clip-clop on the hospital tiles when she walked.
Matt had squinted down and been reassured by what he saw, in a half-conscious, altered-state kind of way. After all, if he had a pair of woolly legs and hooves for feet, he’d be doing the two-empty-coconut-shell-tango when he moved, too. It was only later that he would put his decision not to scream down to the confusion brought on by his parlous, opiate-dulled, posttraumatic state.
“Just rest,” said the woman in a soft Scottish accent. He struggled for a woozy label. Was she a radiographer? A goat-nurse?
But he’d taken her advice and shut his eyes, deciding that the presence of a genetic hybrid in the X-ray suite of a busy NHS hospital was not something he need concern himself with at that particular moment. He simply stored it away as something he would think about later, when he didn’t have to worry about whether he was going to live or die. He must have drifted off, because when he next opened his eyes, he was in a hospital bed with his leg in traction, his right arm in a sling, and his watch and necklace back on (the armbands, he later learned, were considered too much of an infection risk and incinerated).
Of course, when the hours and days and weeks of “later” arrived, so that Matt did think about his clip-clopping Florence Nightingale, he decided to keep his own counsel. He filed the goat lady away in the mental drawer labelled side effects: ignore. After all, opiates were a wonderful thing when you were all banged up, but they did have a bit of a reputation for inducing the odd hallucination. Besides, Matt had other sea creatures to barbecue-like learning to walk again and wipe his ass with his left hand (not necessarily at the same time).
Memory of the goat lady didn’t fade, exactly, but the inclination to tell anyone about it did, because Matt had absolutely no desire to see some smart arse trying to keep a straight face while saying “You’re kidding,” or, “Must have been your nanny.”
It was there in the quiet moments, though, always ready to come to the surface, challenging Matt to find an answer to it all. Not that there were any answers to find. Not then.