They are acquiescent companions, ready to follow my bidding at any cost. It is more than obedience, cannot be called subservience without insult and inaccuracy. They are the embodiment of distilled loyalty. The keep me safe when others would bring harm to me, watch over me when my eyes are closed for the night, hear for me what I cannot.
We are bound, these creatures and I, by subtle strands of thought. Subtle but powerful and I am thankful for the gift. My gratitude however does not supersede the frustration of my amnesia and the word remember ominously tattooed on my right forearm.
I was in the middle of running somewhere I think, endless plane tickets in a suitcase full of money and jewellery. Now I live in a small flat being quiet and careful with the assumption that I was a criminal. Since then, alone, I have found my company amongst three huge Alsatians a small cat and a small flock of austral parakeets. The parakeets have to live in the greenhouse on my balcony because of the noise they make chattering to themselves but they are an essential component of my life.
I haven't had a job in years because I haven't had to. When I want money I tell the parakeets to watch someone at a cashpoint, learn the pin code and then steal the card. They then fly to another cashpoint and withdraw the maximum available credit. For this they are rewarded with a bounty of fruit and nuts. My birds are in the papers and on the news all the time, they love it. The most notorious robbers this state has seen in years are a dozen little green birds.
I've always felt like I should be afraid of something, like people were after me, not the kind of people who'll slap cuffs on me, the sort of people who'll shoot and spit on me. That's why I have the dogs, I would have gone with something even more intimidating but they are just gorgeous creatures as well as being excellent bodyguards.
The cat, Gerald, is a tubby tabby lump of love that spends most of his life on the pillow next to mine in my double bed. He is under orders to wake me up with a scratch if anyone ever brakes into the flat during the night or to hide if I'm out. When he was younger I had to keep him locked in to stop him trying to eat the parakeets, there's no reasoning with instincts. Luckily he’s too old to care about chasing things that fly now. He's just a fluffy hot water bottle in the winter and an alarm that scratches me if I sleep through the other one.
It's lucky I have such an inexhaustible supply of money, the animals eat through tons of food each year while I attend to and maintain them and they return the favour. My home is a small zoo to which I sometimes consider adding something like a snake as a security measure; it could bite anyone that broke in without risking my three beloved guardians. I care for them so much I bought them Kevlar vests the other day, I probably wont inflict the discomfort of wearing them on the dogs but it's reassuring to know I have them. They are my surveillance crew, always alert, supplementing my underdeveloped senses with their acute vision, hearing and olfactory senses. I try to tune out when they're eating, dog food really tastes disgusting.
Whilst moving on endlessly in this unaltered cycle of petty-ish crime I have been making efforts to solve the riddle of my previous life. I have all of the tickets that were in my suitcase and some of the memories that I had lost before but only of moving, only living in one place for a day or two at a time and moving towards what? His fake passport was of no help, the name printed on it corresponded to no one that resembled him. None of the credit cards with pin codes written on them were his. There was a photo of him and a girl, she was pretty but they just looked like friends and he half thought she was his sister.
Another enigma of his anatomy was the bullet wound scar below his left nipple which corresponded with a bloody shirt which had a hole in the right position. He had no idea what it meant, clearly though someone didn’t life him. Sometimes he sat in front of the mirror, staring at his own face, hoping all of the memories would come flooding back. All he saw was a young man with a beard that fluctuated between being presentable and a matted mess worthy of a powerful wizard.
He was not a wizard in the sword and sorcery sense but still gifted with superhuman abilities which he used accordingly. Sometimes he flew with the parakeets, seeing the world from above as they did, feeling the rush as they dived through the air. Sometimes he ran with the dogs, lost in the chaos of the moment and the hectic joy and euphoria of careless abandon. He relaxed with Gerald who was never stressed or worried, never anything but calm. These were his drugs of choice; they nulled the sense of absence he felt in his life. There were answers he needed that would only come after questions he feared to ask. Until he found that strength the menagerie would be his comfort as the cycle continued.