Galopping Dominos
Chapter 1

I woke up in a hospital bed with no memories. Well not quite no memories. It might be better to say I woke with no personality. I did not know who I was, where I was from, or any other memories that make up the "person". Let me throw some details in here that I learned later.

I had been found alongside the highway, I-20 west of Ft. Worth, Texas, in Parker County. My clothes were torn to shreds no identification was found. In fact I looked like I been hit and dragged for a couple hundred feet down the highway before being dumped on the shoulder. While unconscious the sheriff department fingerprinted me in the hope of getting identification. Which was a complete failure, and then they went for DNA identification. That took a week to get the test done. Nothing was found there either. No Military, criminal, or driver licenses anywhere in the USA.

My medical records after 11 days still stated John Doe. But the information within those records was getting pretty extensive. No cavity or missing teeth. Appendix was intact, no bones show signs of every being broken, and scarring was all recent for the injuries on the highway. Age estimate was 29-32. My body was in great shape, which is one of the reason they believe I was still alive.

I had a concussion with bruising and a slight hematoma that dissolved with medication. The doctors believed that the head injury caused the loss of memories, and specific to me Post-traumatic retrograde episodically amnesia. This simply meant the loss of past personal information due to injury.

Well after weeks of testing, and I do mean testing, it was deem that my amnesia was permanent. That it was not psychological in nature but that I had injury the brain someway where it was stored. It was very unlikely that I would get those memories back. I was a new person.

A new person, then Catch-22 stomped in. By the time they were ready to discharge me they found they could not do so. In order for the hospital to charge the cost of my care off to the county they had to have my identification. Now we are talking about over $100,000 in medical cost. But not only did I not have any ID, I did not know who I was. So once again the sheriff department got involved. I simply sat in the wheel chair and watched.

Finally the sheriff and the county attorney showed up. I listen with my ears and my mind. Oh, I forgot to mention I can read minds. Telepathy I believe it was called. Best that I can tell the injury to my brain caused it.

"Sheriff this is a mess. I don't mean the money but the bad publicity could make us out to be jackasses."

"I agree it's a mess. I am for sure not going to arrest that guy. It is like arresting a person for being naked outside his burning home."

"Joe, your department found nothing on him?"

"Not on him or any records of him in any government database. John Doe is the only thing we have and we gave him that."

"That it! That's how we can handle this. We give him identification!"

The county attorney pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and hit the speed dial.

"Judge Dennis, we need some help. Yeap, me and Sheriff Joe be there in just a couple of minutes."

"Joe lets go see the Judge."

"Everybody, just wait we'll be back in a few with the answers here."

It was like 2-3 hours later that both the county attorney and the sheriff return they had a nondescript middle-age man with them carrying a folder. They all had big grins on their faces. Like when someone had pulled a big one on a person.

"Okay John, I hope you like that name, cause it yours from now on."

The other man step forward and open the folders, it had a stack of papers inside. "I need you to sign some of these forms. Use the name John Buck."

"That was my idea, John Doe is too well known, and Buck is a hell of lot more masculine then Doe." The sheriff stated.

I reached for the pen and began to signed papers. Application for name change and application for emancipation I did a double take on that one. When all of the papers were signed, the court clerk for the judge gave me my copies. Then he turned and left.

The Sheriff and the county attorney stood there with those big shitting eating grin.

I looked through the papers. Court order names change to John Buck. A court order certification of birth, today's date minus 30 years. A letter address to Social Security explaining the reasons for the birth certificates and name change. Even a temporary state identification card.

I got the nurses aid to roll me over to the administration desk and laid all those papers down in front of the clerk there.

After she read them she turned to the computer and made some changes, then began to print out copies of all the previous papers she had.

"I made the name changes on all your records that is really what legal name changes are for." She smiled at me.

Then she placed the new copies in front of me, "Just signed those three pages."

"That's it?" I asked the sheriff.

"No, I'm going to take you to the Salvation Army half way house; I got you a voucher for 2 weeks. That will give you time to get your SS card, maybe find a job, get some clothes. John, I am real sorry that we could never find out who you were. And really sorry that this happen in my county."

That evening after eating a full meal I lied down on my bunk and relax. I had mainly been learning how to block out the uproar of having every mind near me going full blast since I had found myself reading minds in the hospital. Now I started trying to find out the rest of it. I mean could I select just one person and how deep into that person could I go. I turned my head looking at the desk next to the bunk; there was a tablet and pencil sitting there. That morning at the hospital I had notice another skill. I had pulled my slippers closer to me while trying to get them on. But I had not used my hands to do so. The slipper just slid across the floor to me.

So I reached for the pencil on the desk and it slowly rolled toward me. I decided to push it away and stopped then roll back till it hit the tablet.

That had felt funny. I closed my eyes and thought about it. Yeah, it had almost felt like I reached out with my hand to pulled and pushed with it.

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