Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and has become a moveable feast of word or picture or music prompts that encourages stories, poems, or whatever strikes the imagination. This month, MessyMimi is providing the prompts."Ah, the River Warrior awakes! Perhaps now he can introduce himself to us?"
Riku looked up at the shadow that was speaking to him, and shook his head slightly. "いいえ、分かりません" [I don't understand.]
Loud bawdy laughter from behind him filled the room. "Well, that just figures. You catch a River Warrior and he don't speak English!"
"Hush old woman! Head injuries can be insidious. We have no idea where he came from or how long he was in the river. He could have fallen off a fishing boat somewhere and been washed in with a storm."
"He ain't no iceberg so I doubt that. More likely he was caught in some outgoing tide during the storm and got washed back in the river. What was he speaking? Didn't sound like Inuit."
"It wasn't. I think it might be Japanese. Didn't one of the high school kids spend a semester as an exchange student in Japan? Who was that? He doesn't have hands like someone who has worked as a laborer on a fishing trawler. He looks more like someone who sat behind a desk his whole life. I wonder what he was doing out here?"
"I'll go see if I can find out and get him over here."
Riku watched the conversation between the old woman and an equally old man, not understanding a word the two of them were saying. His head hurt, in fact, his whole body hurt, but at least he could move both of his arms, and his legs no longer felt like they were restrained. When the old woman left, he watched the man as he continued to talk and move about the room.
"You sure had us worried, River Warrior. Not many survive in that river, especially someone who had your injuries. Both of your legs were broken in two places. You must have hit a boulder in the river pretty hard to do that. We had to set one of your legs twice. You're lucky my wife is the tribe's doctor and had some young men to hold you down and help her. You put up a good fight even being unconscious."
The man glanced at Riku. "You don't understand anything I'm saying, do you?"
Riku just looked at him, and finally shook his head, repeating what he had said before, "いいえ、分かりません"
The old woman finally returned with a young man, and motioned to Riku on the bed. "Tell him what I told you to tell him."
Giving a polite bow to Riku, the young man began. "私の名前はジェームスです。 私はここの署長の息子だ。 あなたの名前は何ですか。" [My name is James. I am the son of the chief here. What is your name?]
Riku looked at him, then down at his hands before lifting his head and shaking it. "私は私の名前が何であるかわからない。 思い出せない。" [I do not know what my name is. I cannot remember.]
James relayed his response to the old man and woman, then motioned to them. "これは、私たちの長老の一人であり、彼の妻マーガレット、私たちの部族の医師であるハワードです。" [This is Howard, one of our Elders, and his wife, Margaret, who is our tribal doctor.]
He continued, "私たちがあなたを見つけたとき、あなたは2本の折れた脚、脱臼した肩、折れた手首、いくつかのひび割れた肋骨、頭部外傷を持っていました。 私たちがあなたを見つけたとき、あなたは非常に幸運でした。 溺れてしまった" [When we found you, you had two broken legs, a dislocated shoulder, broken wrist, some cracked ribs, and a head injury. You were very lucky we found you when we did. You almost drowned.]
"どのようにして川に来たか覚えていますか" [Do you remember how you came to be in the river?]
Riku looked thoughtful for a moment before he finally responded.
"私が覚えているのは、花と金髪の女性です。 それ以上ではない" [All I remember are flowers and a woman with blonde hair. Nothing more.]