Author : Ryan Swiers

From the sand she raised herself. The desert wind had coursed over her exposed flesh and the gritty pain of its wake made the effort slow. Sleek tendrils of sand rolled from her back. She realized a layer of the sand had once been her skin. She could feel some of it filter through her skeleton, passing around bones and organs and pocked limbs, surprised that it hadn’t claimed all of her as a fossil.

She stopped to rest on her hands and knees. Nine feet ahead she saw her discarded helmet. The color had left it. She swayed—an old, obstinate fruit on a wind-worn branch—to shake away the remnants of the desert floor. Careful, let it ease out. Don’t want the important things to go too. It was a slow, exhausting ordeal this resurrection.

To pass the time while her strength recovered she fiddled with the error in her date system. She picked at it like a child would a scab. Errors like these gaps in time and memory were becoming more frequent. Hadn’t she just done this?

Star alignment gave her the local time. That was easy, but when had she fallen? An estimate put her between twenty three or twenty three hundred days. And the time before that? Maybe a millennium. Who could say?

A human expression came to her: time can heal all wounds. True, in her case, it could; not many humans would bother rising from the dead much less wear their worthless skin again. Yet, this wasn’t what the expression meant.

“Forget it.” She said. Memories fade and rinse the soul clean.

Awake now, she felt scrubbed, thoughtless, and relieved. Forget the errors.

It was time to get up. Make new ones.

Although, maybe another five minutes. It was Monday after all.

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